Donovan Dzavoronok in action at the U21 World Championship
Brno, Czech Republic, June 30, 2017 – He was supposed to be one of the key players in Ivan Pelikan’s squad. Despite the injury he sustained early in the competition, Donovan Dzavoronok
is still probably the most interesting Czech player of this generation who can be seen at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship in Brno and Ceske Budejovice.
Son of volleyball and beach volleyball national team player Milan Dzavoronok and former Junior European Championship medallist Katerina Pakostova, and nephew of the president of the Czech Volleyball Federation Marek Pakosta, Donovan did not have much of a choice, but to follow the steps of his family members since childhood.
Very soon he became known as a prodigy in the Czech Extraliga and the next logical step for him was to move to a higher-level competition where he could start playing against some of the world’s best players. The turning point for him was his encounter with coach Miguel Falasca in the Czech men’s national team who brought Dzavoronok to Italy at the age of 19. After the hard first season, the young volleyballer admits, that his decision to leave the Czech Republic was the best thing he could have done for his career.
“Donovan is like a rocket,” his dad says with a smile. “All he can see in front of him is the victory. He loves to attack so much that sometimes he does not think about the other skills. He is very stubborn. Even the departure to Monza was his own decision. But I am glad, because he has to fight for his position and that helps him to form a stronger character.”
Donovan Dzavoronok played for the men’s national team of the Czech Republic in the 2017 World League before a last-minute decision was made for him to move to the junior team for the upcoming U21 World Championship. For Donovan it was easy to fit into the squad, especially because his younger brother Matyas
is also part of the team as the second setter. This was actually the first time the 19-year-old and 15-year-old brothers would play together on the same team. Of course, both of them are happy to participate in the most important under-age tournament, even more so because their family comes from Brno.
“I am proud to play for the Czech national team
in front of the home crowd,” Donovan says. “There is nothing bigger for players at our age. But my personal goals are bigger. My dad has been my role model since I was small - not only in volleyball, but also in life. There are only few people who achieved as much as he did and I want to follow in his footsteps.”