Julian Bissette is set to play with his third team in three years, having signed with French club, Narbonne. The Ligue A strugglers made the 25-year-old Caribbean middle one of their top recruits for next season, coming off his strong season in the Greek Volleyleague.
Julian, an alumnus of St Mary’s College, ended the Greek season first in blocking, second in attack efficiency, and was voted as Best Middle, whilst helping A.O.P. Kiffisias to the semifinals of the Greek cup competition. Julian had spent the previous year with MENT, who were relegated after just one season in the top flight.
Eight times in the team of the week in Greece, and mid-season MVP, Julian is eager to get started in France. But first he is taking a well-deserved break. The 1.98m veteran volleyballer, Saint Lucia’s player of the year the past two years, explained how the move came about and what he is looking forward to from his next big adventure.
“This latest transfer came about through my agent, Mike Aidonidis, and the club in Narbonne who been scouting my games this season,” he says. “It was not easy to make the move to Greece, much less to France, one of the best leagues in the world, if not the best now. I am from Saint Lucia, a small Caribbean island, not many people even know Saint Lucia. So after a great season at Kiffisias, I attracted another European team to sign me this season. And it just happens to be Narbonne in France.”
The French league is rated by the Confédération Européenne de Volleyball as the seventh best in Europe, a big step up from the 18th-ranked Volleyleague. Julian opines that what he will miss most about Greece is the people. Over the past two years, the young man has built up great relationships.
“Just today [Friday] I sat for coffee with the coach, president, and other members of Kiffisias. Generally the Greek players I have been around have been very close to me, which makes leaving Greece difficult. For sure I know I will return! As for when, I don’t know.”
But even though the move might be a little bit bittersweet, it is far more sweet than bitter.
“I am thrilled. I’m going step by step. I have a fire burning to do more. I will push myself to the limit. It’s a great feeling to be where I am now, especially coming from a small Caribbean island. Everyone knows the difficulty that’s comes with this, and that makes Greece and now France more special to me.”