April 9, 2003 - The German men's volleyball team has sent out a warning to the rest of the volleyball world by signing top Italian coach Marco Fenoglio as assistant to Stelian Moculescu on a four-month contract from May 1.
Having successfully staged the Women's World Championship last year, Germany hosts the European Men's Championship in September and the appointment of Fenoglio is a clear indication that the German men's team, ranked 22 in the world, is serious about performing well.
Add on a full itinerary this year, including the World League and friendly matches against Olympic and European champions Serbia and Montenegro in August, and it is evident that the German men are genuinely trying to build on the substantial progress volleyball has made off the court in their country recently.
And with the World League starting on May 24, the pressure will be on Fenoglio right from the opening whistle to get his new side up to speed. Especially as Germany is in the same pool as world number two Brazil, Portugal and Fenoglio's former team Italy.
The 33-year-old, who was the Italian national fitness coach from 1999-2001, will work on Germany's fitness and preparation routines. He comes from an extensive coaching background in Italy, which includes two years with the national side and as an assistant coach at Bossini Gabeca Montichiari since 1999 where German captain Stefan Hübner has been playing for two years.
"Fenoglio is a well-rounded coach," Hübner said. "He is particularly strong in the gym, the athletic sector and in the area of video monitoring. He works meticulously but is always in a good mood. His work as co-coach for the Italian men at the 2001 men's European Championship in the Czech Republic and also at the World League tells its own tale."
In Fenoglio's time with Italy, the Squadra Azzuri won the World Leagues of 1999 and 2000 and finished second in the World League and the European Championships of 2001.
And Germany is after a piece of that Fenoglio-magic to help them move up the world order, sighting their female counterparts (7th in the world) as a benchmark during an all-important year.
Marco Fenoglio in brief
Born in Cuneo on March 16, 1970, Marco Fenoglio has, despite still being very young, has already achieved three major career stops. From 1992-1998, he was co-trainer in his home city of Cuneo of the Italian First Division club l'Alpitour Cuneo. From there he went to another top club Bossini Gabeca Montichiari, where he continues to work as co-trainer. In addition, from 1999-2001 he was assistant trainer of the Italian National Team. In all of his posts he has been responsible for physical fitness, an area that he will also take care of in his new post in Germany.