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16/03/2015 17:09
Giani named head coach of Slovenian men’s team
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Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 16, 2015.  Andrea Giani is the new head coach of Slovenia's men’s national volleyball team, the country’s national federation announced on Monday.  Giani's first test on the new post will be the matches against Portugal from the third qualification round of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men in the end of May.

44-year-old Giani, one of the best Italian players in history, spent his entire playing career in Parma and Modena, winning five Italian championship crowns and five Italian national cups.  He piled up a record 474 caps with the national team.  He won three Olympic medals, three consecutive world titles and four European titles with the Italian squad.

Giani started his coaching career just after his retirement in 2008, becoming the head coach of Italy’s Casa MODENA and won the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men in his first season.  In the 2009-2010 season he was named head coach of A2 league team M. Roma Volley ROME and qualified to A1 at first attempt.  In 2012-2013 he moved to Blu Volley VERONA.  Giani was also an assistant coach in the Italian national team from 2011 to 2014 and won silver at the 2011 and 2013 European championships and bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.

“I am very happy and honoured to be able to coach a national team, which has a group of players at great level.  I thank the President of the Slovenian federation, Mr Metod Ropret, and his council for giving me this great opportunity.  This season will be long and difficult, but at the end of it we would like to prove to everyone the value and the strength of our team,” Giani said after taking over the post from Luka Slabe, who resigned in the beginning of February due to personal reasons.

“There were 22 candidates for the spot, which clearly shows that the interest for leading this generation of players was enormous,” President Ropret commented.  “We decided for Mr Giani, since he is a young, ambitious volleyball expert and enjoys great respect in volleyball circles.  He was tremendous as a player and his coaching track is also impressive.“

The main goal for the Slovenian team is to qualify for the European Championship and achieve some good results at the finals to be held in Bulgaria and Italy.  The Slovenians will also try to qualify for the FIVB World League.

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