Porto, Portugal, February 3, 2005. Cuban Gladston Orlando Samuels Blackwood, the newly designated coach of the Portuguese men's national team, arrived in Portugal on Wednesday.
Succeeding fellow national Juan Diaz, the former Portuguese men's national team coach who is now working in Qatar, the Cuban's main aims this year are the 2005 Senior European Championship, the qualification for the 2006 World Championship as well as the World League.
The President of the Portuguese Volleyball Federation, Mr. Vicente Araujo, the General Secretary Mr. Teodemiro de Carvalho, and Luis Ribeiro, the Press Director, welcomed the new coach at Porto airport. Portugal is not new to Orlando Samuels given that he worked with the Portuguese men's junior national team in the season 1997/98.
"I know that Portuguese Volleyball is nowadays much stronger as I experienced at the World Championships in Argentina", revealed Samuels to the many media present at the airport, "I know that they are an ambitious young team and I will try to do my best this year in order to perform well at the European Championship Finals, the qualification for the 2006 World Championship as well as the World League."
Samuels was coach of the Cuban men's team from 1985 to 1994, where he won the World Cup and the Pan-American Games, as well as becoming two-times vice world champion. The new Portugal coach now has three months to observe and prepare the Portuguese national men's team for this season's highlights, as they start their practical work at the beginning of May.
By Shelly Bickendorf
CEV Press Officer