Champion of Asian Games was an aim for Iran volleyball in 2014; After2010 Asian Games Volleyball of Iran started its Missile growth and achieved it.
This report is written by young journalist Mojtaba Zakizadeh, I have translated it. I have done some changes, additions and omissions on it.
( we both are ISJ and AIPS members)
After 56 years of regret in all pervious Asian games and despite all tiredness Volleyball of Iran becomes champion of Asia. Following hardworking of four years this victory came to the team. 4 years ago the Late Hussein MAADANI head coach of Iran with his team were disappointed in achieving it, 2 months ago all of sudden he passed away. His demise was a shock and gave determination for players to fulfill his desire; they got double motivation in their matches for achieving the gold medal of Asia games in 2014. They were successful and it was awarded to his great soul.
Four years ago in Asian games of Guangzhou, Iran team was suitor of champion title. But Japanese took out the Championship from hands of Iran. This frustration failure was unexpected for volleyball family of Iran.So the Volleyball federation for compensation thought fixing of more stable plans than the previous ones. Gold medal of the Asian Games championship 2014 in Incheon was one of the aims of the plan. So federation was planning to engage a proposed foreign coach. After abortiveness of Iran volleyball in 2010 Games of Asia, Julio Velasco – one of the outstanding coaches, came to Iran and took helm of volleyball team.
Progress started with Velasco
Development and progress of Iran volleyball started up in 2010.At that time Infrastructures were totally ready for Iran volleyball to get out from its traditional state for entering into the modern volleyball phase. At that time there were several choices for Iran volleyball coaching such as Julio Velasco, Zoran Gajic, Andrea Anastazi, Silvano Prandi. By surveying all situations at last federation propounded Argentinian coach Velasco came to Iran and took directing responsibility of Iran team.
Views on new head coach
When Julio had made up his mind for coming to Iran, in some formal and informal circles, there were some who’ve been criticizing and expressing that the amount of money contract with Velasco is high (the contract amount was not announced formally, even in that time I was press director and International Affairs Director was not aware of the amount). Some others were saying, Velasco is a dead loss in the world volleyball and he has no more place among the world projected coaches. But when he became champion of Asia with Iran team many turned back from their views. The work arrived to a place that Velasco became a myth with Iran team. When he was going to leave Iran all were asking why the Federation gives him permit to go away, since our volleyball would be devastated.
Asian Champion, the first achievement of Velasco and his students
Somehow when Velasco came to Iran, federation fixed a long term plan for six year term. Rejuvenating the team from old to young players, training and performing modern practices and riveting new assistances were first affairs of Velasco. In 2011 after 32 years Iran team became champion of the Asian and achieved its first champion title. 3 players of Iran named Arash Kamalvand, Amir Husseini, Farhad Zarif got title of the best players, respectively they took the most valuable player, the best setter and the best Libero among the players of the tournament. In the pursuit of this championship Iran ascended to the world cup of 2011.Players of Velasco in their first amazement demolished teams of Poland and Serbia, stood at the ninth rank. In that champion of the world cup, Alireza Nadi became the second defender over the net.
Olympic of 2012 slipped out from hand of Iran
Iran team by participatin in Olympic Qualification tournament of Tokyo ,wanted to trial its ascending chance to the Olympic games of London in 2012. Everyone was expecting Velasco- the lovable aged man of that time, to prepare the situation for presence of Iran in the Olympic Altogether Iran got five points, just by one less than Australian points. Unfortunately expectations were not fulfilled. Unbelievably Iran team hindered from qualifying to the Olympic of London. Though, Farhad Zarif and Saeed Maurof in turn were nominated as the best Libero and best setter.
What happens next to the Iranian volleyball? How did it develop in the upcoming years?
Read the interesting tale the next Monday to see how Iranian volleyball make the volleyball supporters all around the globe smile by showing great play.
To be continued…
Photo: Reza Saeidipour; FARS NEWS AGENCY