Gladston Orlando Samuels Blackwood, the newly
appointed coach from Cuba of the Portuguese
menís national team has already recorded some
success from his first outing in the role,
seeing his team complete a 2006 World
Championship second round tournament unbeaten
with three wins from three matches in May.
A good start and one of many steps for Samuels,
who succeeded fellow national Juan Diaz who is
now working in Qatar, after admitting his main
objectives in 2005 are to see Portugal succeed
in the Senior European Championship, the 2006
World Championships as well as the World League.
"I know that Portuguese Volleyball is nowadays
much stronger than I experienced at the 2002 World
Championships in Argentina", revealed Samuels
when he first arrived in Portugal in February.
"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 early rounds of the 2006 World
Championships as well as the World League."
Samuels was coach of the Cuban menís team from
1985 to 1994, taking them to victory at the
World Cup in 1989 and the Pan-American Games, as
well as becoming two-time vice world champion.
And Portugal is not new to the 58-year-old given
that he worked with the national menís junior
team in the season of 1997/98.
The new Portugal coach has a big task ahead of
him however, with a young side still blossoming,
he needs to reverse the results of previous
years which has seen Portugal finish last in
every World League competition they have entered