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20/03/2020 11:30
Friendly handover at the helm of Team Austria
News from the National Federations

Vienna, Austria, March 20, 2020. On Friday morning, the Austrian Volleyball Federation (ÖVV) used their official Facebook page to announce that Belgian-born Jan De Brandt, 61, succeeds Svetlana Ilic as the head coach of their women’s national team. Ilic was at the helm of the Austrian team since May 1, 2016 and helped the group achieve unprecedented results, including participation in the 2019 edition of the CEV European Golden League. However, her commitments at Züri Unterlands prevent her from continuing her work for the Austrian Volleyball Federation.

The man chosen to follow in her footsteps could not be any more fitting. When De Brandt was head coach of the Belgian women's national team, Ilic was his assistant. Previously, she had played under his guidance from 2001 to 2003 in Belgium with Eburon Tongeren. Together they won two national championship titles. Not least because of this shared background, De Brandt, head coach of the Hungarian women until October 2019, always monitored the development of the Austrian women's team and was therefore immediately ready to take over the position from Ilic.

ÖVV President Gernot Leitner: “I am glad that after Svetlana Ilic’s club-related decision to step down, we quickly found a professional, experienced replacement. Jan De Brandt not only comes from a strong European volleyball nation, but also has a lot of experience in top-class Volleyball - both as a former team player [he amassed 350 international caps for Belgium] and as a head coach for almost 30 years. We expect and hope that Jan will continue the successful work of Svetlana, with whom he has worked for a long time, and secure the qualification of our young women’s team for EuroVolley 2021.”

Jan De Brandt: “I would like to thank the ÖVV for offering me this opportunity. It is always a great honour to lead a national team. I am doing it for the third time now, so I know it is something very special. A national team represents the whole country, good performances are incredibly important for the motivation of future generations of players. The EuroVolley qualification will be a big challenge. It is definitely possible to make it there. I want to pass on my knowledge to the players, but also to Austrian coaches, to take women’s Volleyball in Austria to the next level. Through her work, Svetlana Ilic has played a major role in ensuring that our sport has also gained popularity in Austria. I hope to be able to build on that. We want to get a lot more Austrian girls excited about Volleyball.”

ÖVV sports director Gottfried Rath: “Jan De Brandt should continue Svetlana Ilic’s successful path, especially since the two have been working together for many years. It is a friendly handover, so to speak. We want to go to EuroVolley 2021 with both of our national teams. That would be something unique for Austria in any team sport. Our women have great potential. They will have to prove that in the European Championship qualifiers.” Austria are due to play Spain, Greece and Norway in Pool C.

Picture courtesy of ÖVV

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