The coaches of Pool B giants Italy and Brazil in the lobby of the players' hotel in Hamamatsu
Hamamatsu, Japan, October 28, 2010 - With a cluster of international titles, European champions Italy are considered one of the favourites for the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship, which gets under way in Japan on Friday.
But Italy coach Massimo Barbolini believes his team should not look too far ahead and instead adopt a step-by-step approach to the tournament. "I asked my players to take it match by match and to consider each stage separately," Barbolini said ahead of their first training session in Hamamatsu before their opening Pool B match against Puerto Rico on Friday.
"Our main preparation was during the FIVB World Grand Prix matches as well as the European qualifiers as we worked as a team on all the technical and tactical aspects. Really we've been drawn in a difficult pool and so we have to study each team well.
"I consider myself lucky to work with such quality players who are considered the best all over the world," added Barbolini, "especially middle blocker Simona Gioli who has devoted 12 years of her life to serving the Italian team even after she had a baby early in 2009."
The Italy coach has held his position since 2006 and has collected four major titles in that time, with the 2007 World Cup, the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix and the European Championship twice in 2007 and 2009.
The world No.4 are in Pool B in Hamamatsu along with world No.1 Brazil, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Czech Republic and Kenya.