2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League-Men Final Four
22-23 March 2014-Ankara

From Field to be a volleyball star 27 February 2014

Halkbank’s top middle blocker Emre Batur draw attention with his success story from farm to the national team. 26 years old Emre Batur born as a son of a farmer family of Tokat, wanted to register into a basketball school first but due to his old age he started to play volleyball when he was 15 years old with recommendation of his uncle.

After playing 1,5 years old in Tokat Plevne team, he participated in the selection of Fenerbahçe’s pre-youth teams. Three months later, when he was 17 years old, he moved to İstanbul after a good news came from yellow-dark blue team.

As soon as he came to Fenerbahçe, he qualified directly to the national team and still today he is an abonnement of the senior national team uniform. Being the best middle player of Turkey, Batur, after witnessing 4 times league trophy with Fenerbahçe, he now dreams the cup of the Champions League follow with the trophy of last years’CEV Cup.

Halkbank, just like a farmer’s club. Emre, De Souza, Raphael….Emre Batur, he is also the best farmer in between them. When he starts speaking and acting, you can tell that he was never being apart from the nature nor from the soil. During summer holiday he goes back to his village and work on their field and fruit gardens. He says: ‘if I did not become volleyball player, I would be a farmer’.

Volleyball is a passionate love for Emre. ‘I’m really connected to the soil but I can not be separated from volleyball, not because of Money because I love it.’

‘After I complete my active volleyball life, I am planning to work in a club as a coach or as a manager. In order to communicate my experiences, I am also planning to open a volleyball school.’says Emre explaining his future plannings.

Gökhan Öner, William Priddy, Miljkovic are some of the players he draw samples. He has been inspired by their professionalism, their characteristic playing and their caracters which they show on the court.

Even he is one of the youngest of the team, he has enough career as he says also. ‘There are total 11 cups so far which I was involved to obtain’.

He never believe the Notion of ‘free time’. He passes each of his second by working or doing something. He is still single. He declares this by putting a smile on his face and by saying:’This is a declaration to the public opinion’.

Halkbank’s successful middle blocker Emre Batur is distinguished by his success story: “going from farming to the national team”. Being born in a farmer family in Tokat; 26 years old Emre Batur had first attempted to enrol a basketball school. Since it was late for joining a basketball youth programme he began to play volleyball at 15 with his uncle’s encouragement. After playing for Tokat Plevne for 1.5 years, Mr. Batur had participated in Fenerbahce’s youth team selections and good news came after 3 months leading him to set off for Istanbul.

Making his first U16 National Team squad in the first year in Fenerbahce, Mr. Batur now plays regularly in the national team. Accepted as the best middle blocker in Turkey; Mr.Batur who was transferred from Fenerbahce to Halkbank after winning 4 national league championships; now dreams of CEV Denizbank Champions League gold after last year’s CEV Cup gold.

I would have been a farmer if I did not receive education

Here are the answers of successful player Emre Batur to the questions about his life story:

What would you do if you did not play volleyball?

I would be a farmer. Since I began volleyball late, I was not able to allocate enough time for studying in order to catch up the others; I was training 7-8 hours a day. I had to close the gaps to my friends. When I moved to Istanbul, I thought that I had to have a difference from my friends. So I did extra training. I did not waste any single day in order to avoid a possible regret.

You are not a volleyball player who frequently succumbs to injury. Can it be linked to growing up in a village?

This mainly results from my family. I would like to thank my family for this. My mother take care of me very well, I eat naturally. The food (e.g. eggs and chickens) is from the village. There are three main points in sports: nutrition, rest and good training. If you do these, it benefits the games. If you want to be a good athlete; you must work hard, be patient and desire.

I trained with Women’s Team

What are your characteristics?

I am too ambitious; I do not like to lose. Volleyball is a game of mistakes; when I make a mistake I try hard to forget it. This is because one mistake can lead to another one. Since we have played a lot of games, we have gained experience. Volleyball is a game of practise. The more you practise the more you are successful.

-Which one is more important in volleyball: talent or hard work?

It is necessary to shape talent by hard work. I had a strong body thanks to growing up in village. I used to go farming with my family, work in the orchard and cropland and look after the livestock.

When I began volleyball, I was not highly talented. After joining Fenerbahce, I trained with Women’s to improve my technique. I lived in the gym. A person who is patient gains the victory. If you want to deserve something, you have to struggle.

They are surprised when they see me farming

Do you visit the village?

I love the nature, I pursue quietness and serenity. We have exhausting trips frequently in volleyball. Also there is a stressful environment. When the season ends in summer, I visit the village and drive tractor, plough field.

What is the reaction of the villagers to you?

The villagers are surprised when they see me working in the field. They say: “the farmers should sponsor you”. Because I work harder than the farmers.

Is it important to become an international player coming from village?

It is important but being a decent person is more important. Nothing is permanent. Being a decent person is possible by finding your self-esteem.

Good foreign players have raised the quality

-      Have you got used to living in Ankara?

The place where I am successful is significant to me, so I am here. In my first season, we won the CEV Cup and Turkish Cup. This year is more important. We will compete in CEV Denizbank Champions League Final Four in Ankara. We would like to raise the bar.

What are your feelings of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League Final Four?

It is an unbelievable feeling to be in the Champions League and to be at home. We will compete with Jastrzebski Weigel at semi-final, same team we played before at preliminary group. We have a respect for them and they are really a fighter. It will be a difficult semi-final. If we pass it we will than face with one of the Russian teams. Even if adrenaline is high, I believe we should be relaxed. We are consentrated to the Final Four at the moment, all the preparation is for a cup.

We have dreams to carry 4 Cups home. Now it’s turn for Champions League. After 23 March, we will than start to think about Turkey’s Cup. For my criterias, to receive silver medals is not a success, the only success is to become a champion.

You became stronger with new coach and new transfers. Do you believe with Halkbank’s success in the Champions League, Turkish Men Volleyball will gain acceleration.?

Let’s evaluate Halkbank and Turkey in General separately. Not just this year but also in previous years a lot of stars came to Turkey. This year we also made good transfers, this will bring success and raise the quality and Halkbank will promote Turkey’s name also.

Same thing for our coach. I used to follow Radostin Stoytchev and he was a coach with who I always wanted to work with. He has ambitions to become succesfull. He coaches us very well, he knows each one of us very well. His ambition helps us to be more motivated. Seeing this ambition in his eyes makes us to be more fighther.

I would like to stay at Halkbank

-      Your contract with Halkbank ends next season. Do you want to stay here?

My first real transfer was Halkbank. At first I had some doubts; it is really hard to be transferred to another club. Can you achieve, can you fit in the new environment? Halkbank supported me a lot in these issues. So I am very happy to be here. I would like to stay here.

-      Do you have a plan about coaching after retirement?

After retirement, I would like to contribute to Turkish volleyball as a coach or manager in the national team or clubs. I desire to share my experiences with the young players.