Poland boasts a
strong Volleyball tradition. The Men's National Team has played an important
role among the elite teams since its first appearance in the inaugural
World Championships in 1949 held in Czechoslovakia. Fourth place at
the tournament was repeated in France (1956) and again in Brazil (1960).
In 1970, the Polish squad claimed the top position in international Volleyball
and continued its domination for several years.
Poland triumphed at the FIVB World Championships in Mexico in 1974 and
succeeded again two years later at the Olympic Games in
Montreal, where the team won the Olympic title.
Poland also claimed second place at five consecutive European
Championships between 1975 and 1983.
The Polish squad joined the FIVB World League in 1998 and finished 10th in its
first tournament. They were eighth in 1999 and again in 2000. In 2001,
Poland hosted the World League Finals for the first time, finishing
One year later and led by coach Waldemar Wspanialy, Poland took another step
forward and advanced to the World League Finals, where they claimed fifth
place, returning the team to international prominence.
One of the strongest and most innovative sides around, Poland has gone from
strength to strength in recent years and their quarterfinal performance at the
2004 Olympic Games, which included a straight-sets win over Serbia and
Montenegro, summed up the quality of this side.
Poland finished fourth in the 2005 World League and fifth in the European
Championships the same year.
To cap a successful year, Poland qualified for the 2006 World Championships in
Japan via a Qualification Tournament on home soil in Rzeszów.
Things were going well for Poland until tragedy struck on September 16, 2005,
when Arkadiusz Golas, one of the most talented Polish Volleyball players, died
in a car accident on the way to Austria during a road trip with Italian side
Macerata. He was 24 years old.
Poland bounced back from the Golas tragedy and back into the world Volleyball
elite by winning the silver medal at 2006 World Championships.
In 2007, Poland hosted the World League Finals in Katowice and claimed fourth
place in a super-successful finale that attracted bumper crowds.
This, unfortunately, was followed up with a disappointing 11th at the 2007
European Championships in Moscow.
In 2008, Poland swept through its Olympic qualifying tournament in Portugal,
winning all three matches to book a berth at the Beijing Games, where they lost
to Italy in the quarterfinals to finish joint fifth. A fifth-place finish was
also the team’s outcome at the 2008 World League.
This year the team is under the guidance of new coach Daniel Castellani, who replaced
Raul Lozano in February. The team has had mixed results this year, finishing 11th
at the World League but winning its qualification tournament for the 2010 World
Championship in Italy, where it will attempt to do one better than the silver
medal it won last time around, and claiming gold at the 2009 European
Championship in Turkey to qualify for the 2009 World Grand Champions Cup in
Castellani was just 32 years old when he was offered the job as coach
of the Argentine National Team. Sixteen years later, in February 2009,
the Board of the Polish Volleyball Federation entrusted him with the
task of coaching our National Team. Expectations are high following the
National Team’s successes under former coach Raul Lozano.
Born: March 21, 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina Married to Silvinia, with two children, Ariana and Ivan
Career as a player: Teams:
Obras Sanitarias (Argentina), Chieti (Italy), Atlantica Boavista, Minas
(Brazil), Falconara, Bologna, Padova, Firenze (Italy)
National leagues achievements: - Runner-up at Brazil Championship – Atlantica Boavista 1984 - CEV Cup Winner – Falconara (Italy) 1985 - Brazil Championship – Minas 1985
National team achievements: - Gold, South America’s Junior Championship – 1980 Chile - Bronze, World Championship – 1982 Argentina - Winner, Olympic Qualification Tournament – 1987 Brazil - Bronze, Olympics – 1988 Seoul Coaching career: - Won the Pan-American Games with Argentina – 1995 La Plata - Helped Argentina qualify for the Olympics – 1996 Buenos Aires - Argentina Championship – 2003 and 2004 Bolivar Signia - Poland Championship – 2007 and 2008 Skra Belchatów - Poland Cup winner – 2007, 2009 Skra Belchatów - Third place in Masters’ League – 2008 Skra Belchatów - Became head coach of Poland Men’s National Team - 2009