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10/03/2019 10:00
Roberto Piazza new head coach of Dutch men’s Volleyball team
News from the National Federations

Utrecht, the Netherlands, March 10, 2019. Roberto Piazza is the new head coach of the Dutch men’s Volleyball team. The 51-year-old Italian expert signed a contract for two years, up to and including the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo. Currently, Piazza is active as club coach for the reigning Polish champions PGE Skra BELCHATOW. He will start his work with the ‘Lange Mannen’ in May.

Impressive resume

Roberto Piazza played professionally in the Italian league from 1987 to 1990 for Parma and Piacenza, before starting his coaching career. After working as an assistant coach for a few years, Piazza took the reins of legendary Sisley TREVISO in 2009. In that year, Dutch star players Robert Horstink and Rob Bontje were on his roster. Several years later, when the club moved to Belluno, Piazza welcomed Nimir Abdelaziz in his team. When Piazza moved to Cuneo for the 2012-2013 season, he took Abdelaziz with him.

After Sisley and Cuneo, Piazza worked for JASTRZEBSKI Węgiel (Poland), Olympiacos PIRAEUS (Greece), the national team of Qatar and Volley MODENA (Italy). Since the 2017-2018 season, Piazza is under contract with PGE Skra BELCHATOW in Poland. In his first season there, he immediately won the league title. The national team of Poland won World Championship gold in 2014 and 2018, and the Polish league is one of the strongest and most competitive ones in Europe. Later this week, Piazza’s team will be playing in the CEV Champions League quarterfinal versus Zenit SAINT PETERSBURG of Russia.

Important summer for the Dutch national team

The new head coach can look forward to an exciting programme with the Dutch squad in 2019:
-    May 25 – June 22: European Golden League
-    9 – 11 August: Olympic qualification tournament in The Netherlands (Rotterdam)
-    12 – 29 September: EuroVolley in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Slovenia with matches due to take place in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Apeldoorn.

Staff almost complete

With the appointment of Piazza, the staff of the Dutch team is almost complete. Henk-Jan Held is returning as assistant coach, a position he already held before in the national team. Patrick de Reus will be the new team manager, while Willem de Wit will take care of the video scouting. Max Giaccardi (Italy) is the new strength and conditioning coach. Rob Vesters (doctor) and Arne Hendriks (embedded scientist) remain part of the staff.

Joop Alberda, technical director of the Dutch Volleyball Federation (Nevobo): “As Nevobo, we are very pleased that we have managed to find a top coach that fits into our philosophy. His experience as a top trainer gives us confidence that he can make the next step with the team. His knowledge of international top Volleyball is an added value for this special summer with the Olympic qualification tournament and the European Championship in our own country.”

Roberto Piazza: “I am extremely honoured to be able to train and coach the Dutch men’s team. This team has a great history, and in the past, I had the pleasure to work with legends such as Peter Blangé and Ron Zwerver. I have seen all the matches of the Dutch team at the last World Championship and I was impressed by their performances in Bulgaria and Italy. This team has everything in its hands to take the next step. My dream is to bring The Netherlands to the top 10 of the world. From my compatriot Giovanni Guidetti I understand that Papendal is one of the three best training locations in the world. I have had the opportunity to coach a national team before, but this was the first time my head, heart and stomach said: this is something special, and I have to do this. I am very motivated to start in May.”

Nimir Abdelaziz, captain of the Dutch men’s national team: “When I started playing with Sisley in Italy at the age of 19, Roberto became my coach. A year later, I also followed him to Cuneo. He really lives for Volleyball and is present at the club from early in the morning until late at night. I learned a lot from him and we have always kept in touch. A foreign top coach was our wish as a team, and we are very happy that the Nevobo has managed to sign Piazza.”

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