Guide of local and foreigner coaches
Park Kiwon well known as Mr. Park in Iran is a veteran player of international volleyball from South Korea. He played for his country team from 1972-78. He competed at the 1972 Olympic Games of Munich and Olympic Games of Montreal at the 1976. He won the gold medal at the 1978 Asian Games in Thailand and was a member of the Korean team that finished fourth at the 1978 World Championship in Italy. After retiring as a player, Park spent nearly 20 years as a coach in Italy. He led Perugia Sirio to the women’s championship in 1987 and Forli Volley to the men’s second league title in 1990.
During his work in Iran he had especial order and discipline with a bit of serious treatment in his work. He had brought an Italian analyzer for his team. For the first time he was getting information by headphone from his analyzer and it was a new and strange act in volleyball of Iran.
Efforts of his coaching at the Asian Games in 2002 brought silver medal of the Asia games for Iran team. After 44 years, Iran could repeat achieving its silver medal. At the following year in Asian Championship Iran team under his coaching got bronze medal. In 2003 for the first time in its history Iran beat Japan and finished third at the Asian Championship in China.
Under his coaching, Iran team in qualification tournament of Tehran defeated teams of Australia, Qatar and Uzbekistan. Our team bagged permit to the World League of Japan in 2006.
Tolerating some disorders in volleyball was hard for Park Ki-Won; he was saying ” volleyball of Iran has some difficulties, in case of not removing, those would put bad impact in the future. Situation of Iran volleyball is well, but very soon Japan, China, Australia and south Korea again will become propounded.”
When he left Iran he returned to Italy. Latter in 2011Park Ki-Won was appointed as the head coach of Korea. In 2013 he led the Korean men’s team to a silver medal at the Asian Championship. He has repute of coaching Korean team. Helping them to finish the fourth-place at the World Championship in 1978 and gold at the 1978 Asian Games.
After an extensive playing career as a setter for Ex-Yugoslavian Sloboda and Gik Banat clubs from 1965 – 1984, Kijac moved straight into the coaching position and had immediate success in Serbia and Bulgaria. He had eight championships in league of Yugoslavia. He became champion of Bulgarian league with Levski Sikonko team , in 2003 became head coach of Bulgarian National team.
In the World Championship of 2006 in Japan Milorad Kijac was coaching the Iran national team. The team lost all the matches, got only one set from powerful ITALY.
He was to this belief that:”Most of Iran players should say goodbye to the national team for giving a way for new generation of young players. When he was not successful in Asian games of DOHA, he claimed I had some certain players, I was told to choose the roster of my team among those players. There was not possibility to substitute a player. Most of national team players have weakness in Technical points. This weak point should have been removed in youth era, so we should not think for training and upgrading the skills of players when they have reached into the senior level.”
This Serbian coach was national player of Ex – Yugoslavian team. Then he became the head coach of Serbian team. He has worked for 7 years as head coach of youth men’s and junior boys’ teams of Iran. Vice championship of Asian junior boys of Qatar in 2004 and fifth rank of the world volleyball championship of India in 2005 were his achievements .By ending term of his 2 years working contract, he left Iran. When Davarzani became president of the volleyball federation invited him again for collaboration with the volleyball of Iran. In this period he was more successful, Champion title of Asian Youth boys Games in Malaysia, the precious champion title of the 10th Youth World volleyball championship of Mexico in2007 were the most notable achievements of him for Iran. At the moment, mostly his Players are playing in different teams of Iran. Farhad Ghaemi , star player of Senior national team of Iran is one of those players. In the current season he is playing for the team of Paykan in super league; his other teammates are also playing in different club teams.
In 2011 Cevetkovic took the world’s sixth rank with junior team of Iran. Amir Ghafour another player of Iran team became the best server of that championship is playing for Matin Varamin team. In 2008 for the second time, Jovica took Gold medal of the Asian championship in Sri Lanka; in 2009 Iran became vice champion of the world youth boys in Italy.
Jovica Cevetkovic was to this belief that “Staying in the high level is harder than getting that high point. When you arrive there, you should maintain yourself there. I am anxious of preserving of our situation in this highest point of the curve.”
After departing Yazdani Khorram from presidency of volleyball federation to presidency of the wrestling federation, DAVARZANI appointed Gajic as the first foreign head coach of the senior national team with new president. He had brilliant record as the head coach of Ex-Yugoslavian team, in 2000 at Olympic of Sydney his team achieved the champion title. At Olympic Games of Atlanta in 1996 his team got the third rank. Slobodan Kovac – the present head coach of Iran’s senior team was a player of that team. A collection of Europe and world successes were in his work’s report. Achieving the fifth place at Asian cup of Indonesia in 2007 for Iran team created criticizing over the work of Gajic. Besides being head coach of Iran, he also was working for a Russian team. Before moving into club coaching, he had worked as the coach of Serbian and Russian men’s national team.
Since Simultaneously beside senior national team of Iran Gajic was coaching a Russian club team. Iran wanted him to work just for Iran team as his contract. By not accepting at last activity of Gajic in national team of Iran was stopped; he continued his work with Russian club of Iskra Odincowo. In May of 2008 Iran volleyball team had a preparation match with volleyball team of this Russian club team and Iran was the winner of that friendly match.
When he became successor of Late Hussein Maadani, for 15 years he had not put up any cup over his head.
In decade of 1950- 1959 Velasco was the best volleyball player of Argentina. In 1981 he was working as the coach in his country, achieving four champion cups. With the wake of massive immigrant of sport stars especially football players to the Italy, he also migrated there. Even for some times he was training football. Later he became coach of Modena volleyball team and for four successive years he became champion of Italy. Also he achieved three elimination champion cups of ITALY.
By having the following records: 3 cup in European nations, five championship in the world league, a silver from cup of nations, a silver and a bronze from world league including a vice champion title from the Olympic Games of Atlanta nearly for a decade he was the first man of net and ball.
For 2 years he was head coach of Italian girls’ team. He became head coach of national team of CZECH republic for 3 years; he was head coach of Pyachenza club team and had unsuccessful return to Modena team. From 2008 to march 2011 he had coaching of national team of Spain. Spain before taking him in 2007 had become champion of Europe but with him fell down to the 9th rank of Europe. It is normal any coach during his work has some brilliant and some faded steps in his career.
With such vivid records it was natural to become head coach of Iran team. He is a cunning man. He carefully had studied volleyball of Iran and was well aware that there are great opportunities for progress. So he accepted offer of Iran for becoming head coach. But in one point his calculations for leaving Iran were not correct. He was thinking that Iran volleyball had reached to his highest position and from that point as a fountain would descend down and would not improve any more. So he was searching a post in other country and when a space was opened in his country he grasped it even his contract had not finished with Iran. But in this stage he was wrong. Since we saw that Iran team under management of Dr. DAVARZANI and with coaching Kovac got more progress and stood among the giants of the world.
When he got the responsibility of coaching national team of Iran along with his assistant coach Juan Manuel Cichelo for the first time by accomplishing the champion title of Asian games he took ticket to the world league and had two unbelievable wins against Serbia and Italy.
Slobodan Kovač was born in Veliko Gradište at September 13, 1967.He is a former Serbian volleyball and current head coach of Iran’s senior national volleyball team. He has contract with Iran volleyball would take the helm of the team until the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Previously competing for Yugoslavia he won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and won his first gold medal with the Yugoslav team in 2000 Summer Olympics of Syndey at the age of 33.
I personally praise his braveness for accepting steering wheel of Iran team after Velasco. He was totally aware of this high risk. He knew that in case of failure he would lose his chance of coaching forever in the world volleyball with big teams. He had no experience with any national team. But he dared and stepped forward and accepted it in a crucial moment. Also Dr. DAVARZANi was very plucky to leave this post to a young coach knowing that who had no experience of coaching any national team. Congratulations to his management, cleverness and farsightedness.
Kovac himself once stated: “It is not easy to be the replacement of Velasco. Expectations are high and we have a big responsibility ahead of us. Also, I have plenty of incentive to succeed with Iran volleyball team. Fortunately, I am familiar with the Iranians and it will help me a lot. Of course, I will ask my assistants for help. We should not waste the time and I will see the videos of the league to know more about Iran’s volleyball.”
Kovac replaced Julio Velasco as Iran head coach and He began his work from April 2014.
The 46-year-old has already played in the Iranian volleyball club of Pegah Urmia in 2004-5.
The Serbian coach when met the Iranian volleyball officials at the airport in Istanbul said :
“At the moment, I have three offers from the Italian good teams but I cannot afford to ignore Iran,”
By his hard work along with star players of Iran, According the last ranking of FIVB which is related to September 2014, Iran’s senior men’s volleyball team has rank 10th of the world.
I would like to express my sincere and humble thanks for every one of the above persons for their hard and valuable work for volleyball of Iran. I wish all of the best and good luck in the new year for them and our loyal readers.