The Womenís National Team of Serbia leaves again for Japan, the place of their greatest success. Last December in Osaka, the "Blue" girls got hold of their first World medal, and according to all, they were the most pleasant surprise of the whole Championships.
Before the World Championships in Japan, Serbia and Montenegro at the time, participated only once in World Championships in 1978, under the name of Yugoslavia, and was ranked 16.
Even though the Volleyball Federation of Serbia set up a goal for medals in 2007, the elected Team of Zoran Terzic, with their brilliant game won against the Teams of Italy, Cuba, Peru, Egypt, Turkey, Korea, Poland, Chinese Taipei and then Italy again in the match for the third place. The slogan taken from a song for children "There is a empire in this world, where friendship rule", and a "smiley" drawn on their hands, was their main trademark in Japan.
In a grand celebration more than 10,000 supporters welcomed their sports heroines in front of the City Hall of Belgrade, heroines who became the champions of the whole nation.
Thatís how this new beautiful volleyball story came to pass in Serbia. Certainly, due to many injuries in the Team, Serbian Senior Girls did not qualify for the World Grand Prix 2008, but they will try it next year.
At the recently finished European Championships in Belgium and Luxemburg, the "Blue" girls, ranked 2nd won the silver medal and thus qualified for their first World Cup in the history of Womenís Volleyball in Serbia. Also, that was by far the best result achieved in the Championships of Europe. For the very first time, Serbia is now in position to qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008.
Incredibly aware of the difficult task that awaits them in Tokyo, Osaka, Saporo and Nagoya, the "Blue" girls are ready to put everything to the test and for the first time ever in all known history, qualify for the Olympic Games 2008.
Two medals in two years, a bronze from the World Championships 2006 and a silver one from the European Championships 2007 , launched young Zoran Terzic to the very top of the list of the most successful womenís volleyball coaches.
Zoran Terzic, Head Coach of the National Team of Serbia, is one of many young and promising coaches who continued coaching after his playing career.
He was born on July 9, 1966, in Belgrade. He studied Physical Education at the Faculty of Physical Culture in Belgrade, where he graduated in 1998. He played in Red Star Club in Belgrade from 1979 until 1986, and went through all teams of the "red-and-whites".
He had to stop playing to continue his studies, and only future will show whether that was a mistake. The beginning of his coaching career is tied to Drago Tomic, former National Team Head Coach of Yugoslavia, who won bronze with the Senior Men's Team at the European Championship in 1979, in Paris.
He worked as an assistant coach with Goran Nesic, head coach in "IMT" Club in Belgrade. In 1996, he started working in VC "Red Star" as Coach of their Juniors and won with them all that could be won, from Championships of Belgrade, to those of Serbia and Yugoslavia. As a player, he was member of the Belgrade Junior Team that won first place in the traditional international "May Tournament of the City of Belgrade" in 1985, to win it again as a coach in 1998. He never wanted to work with girls, but at the suggestion of Mr. Aleksandar Boricic, Director of VC "Crvena Zvezda" (Red Star), and President of the Volleyball Federation of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and presently Serbia and FIVB Executive Vice-President, he started coaching Senior girls, just to help. This help has lasted ever since the end of 2005/2006 season. As a coach of Red Star girls, he stopped the winning series of VC "Jedinstvo" from Uzice in the National Championships, and replaced Darko Zakoc on the bench of the National Team, in 2002.
- Darko is my roll model. I actually continued his work. The generation of girls Darko coached in junior team matured in time. It is difficult to make a good result when most of the players are from the junior team. But we came to a change of generations. With Zakoc, our National Team entered A group in Europe and qualified for the European Championships. From year to year, our playing just had to improve.
After 28 years, we qualified for the World Championships, and were the biggest surprise, not only for the world but for ourselves as well, as we won the first ever medal in the history of World Championships. And to crown our good work, the silver arrived at the European Championships in Belgium and Luxemburg. However, more importantly is that we succeeded in qualifying for the World Cup in Japan, which is in fact the first qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games. Participation in the Olympic Games now, that is the greatest dream of all athletes and the coaches equally. We know very well that we will encounter extremely good quality teams, but we shall try to get us the pass for Beijing in our lucky Japan. And that, believe me, would be the greatest success, and play in the Olympic Games for the very first time ever, said Zoran Terzic.
Judging after the matches in the last major competitions we took part in, it is certain that Zoran Terzic and his elected girls will be willing to tackle yet another of many challenges and trials in Japan.