|In 1995 women's Volleyball in the Netherlands has
been riding a wave of popularity as the Dutch
national team gained their biggest success in their
history when, under Bert Goedkoop (the current men's
coach) the Orange team became European Champions in
the Dutch city of Arnhem.
In 1996 the team excelled at the Olympic Games at
Atlanta finishing fifth behind such powerhouses as
Brazil, Cuba, Russia and China but the following
years saw the beginning of an unstable phase.
The Netherlands failed completely during the
European Championships of 1997 and Bert Goedkoop
took his leave in the spring of 1998. His successor
Pierre Mathieu performed reasonably well at the
World Championships (7th) and the European
Championships (5th) but 2000 was another inadequate
year. The Netherlands' failure to qualify for the
Olympics accentuating the disappointment.
To everybody’s surprise, the Italian Angelo Frigoni
was selected as national coach in 2001, but the
experienced trainer was an instant success, helping
the Netherlands qualify for the 2002 World
Championships in Germany. However, the result there
was less than expected and he could only lead them
to ninth place.
place finish at the
Championship was impressive but nothing compared to
their fourth place finish at the World Grand Prix
that year. Out of five attempts that is by far the
best performance by the Netherlands and was made
even sweeter by the personal success of Francien
Huurman and Elles Leferink
(who finished third and sixth respectively in the
rankings of the best World Grand Prix players).
Despite the 2003 performance, the Orange team still
had to play in a 2004
World Grand Prix qualification
tournament in Poland
that same year.
Everybody expected them to qualify for the next
edition, but for the first time in World Grand Prix
history, the Dutch women did not succeed. Germany,
Greece and Bulgaria were defeated, but Russia and
Poland were too strong. A major disappointment.
2004 started similarly and following the failure of
the Dutch women to qualify for the 2004 Olympics in
Athens at the European Olympic Qualification
tournament in Azerbeijan, the Dutch Volleyball
Federation confirmed in the beginning of May that
Avital Selinger, a former international and
successful coach, was hired to be the new head coach
of the team.
Following some friendly matches with Turkey, Russia
and Spain last year, Selinger took his squad
to play Poland,
the Czech Republic and Slovakia in what shaped as
ideal preparation for the 2005 World Grand Prix
The Netherlands surprised everybody by defeating the
top three teams from the last European Championship,
losing only two sets in the five matches they played
against Poland, Turkey, Romania, Germany and
Salinger had his team on the right track by gaining
the top spot in qualifying, now all the fans want to
see is if he can transform that into the same result
when the tournament proper starts.
Overall Standings for Netherlands
Word Grand Prix Played
Total Matches played
Former Israel national player Avital Selinger has a wonderful history in the sport of Volleyball both in his home land and the Netherlands. Having recorded over 60 caps for the Israel national team from 1974 to 1982, he soon represented the Netherlands having moved there in 1968.
From 1985 Selinger was officially allowed by the FIVB as a former Israelian international to play for the Dutch national team and from 1985-1992 he went on to play an incredible 387 international matches to be the fifth most capped Dutch player of all time.
As a member of the Dutch national team he won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and two bronze medals at the European Championships of 1989 and 1991.
At the end of 1992 Selinger retired as a Dutch international, although he continued playing at the Dutch Premier League club Alcom/Capelle, and it was four laters when he took his first step into coaching in Japan.
Initially he started working as an assistent-coach to his well known father Arie at the Daiei Orange Attackers (Hisamitsu Springs Attackers) and from 1999-2003 he became head coach of that team, as his father's successor. With the Attackers he won the national championship and the Japanese cup twice and the Asiatic Championship.
From 2003-2004 he transferred that success to Tenerife in Spain, winning the Spanish Championship, the Spanish Cup and last but not least the European Champions League.
Since becoming the coach of the Dutch national women’s team in May, 2004 Selinger has already recorded some success having won the 2005 World Grand Prix qualification tournament last year. Results like that bode well for the future of Netherlands women's Volleyball particularly when Selinger has signed on with the 'Orange' team until August, 2008.