Poland can pride of a strong Volleyball tradition. The country's national team has played an important role among elite teams since its first appearance at the very first World Championship held in Czechoslovakia in 1949. The fourth place from the tournament was repeated in France (1956) and again in Brazil (1960). But the best results were yet to come. In the middle of the 1970s, the Polish squad claimed the absolute top position and dominated the international Volleyball scene for several years. Poland triumphed at the World Championship in Mexico in 1974 and succeeded again two years later at the Montreal Olympics, winning the Olympic title. Also at that time, Poland finished second at five consecutive European Championship between 1975 and 1983.
The Polish squad joined the elite of the World League in 1998 and has since been again on the ascendancy. After their debut, finishing tenth, they finished eighth in 1999 and again in 2000. In 2001, Poland made its mark on the world scene by hosting a fantastic final of the World League in the city of Katowice, where they finished 7th overall. Atmosphere, entertainment and ambience at this event drew widespread praise and set new standards for international competitions. One year later, Poland, led by coach Waldemar Wspanialy, took another step forward and advanced to the World League finals, where they claimed a fifth place and re-launched the team into international prominence.
One of the strongest and most innovative sides on the international stage, Poland has gone from strength to strength in the 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 Polish side.
Despite an interesting change of coach, with Argentine Raul Lozano replacing Stanislaw Gosciniak, big things are expected again from Poland in group C with Serbia & Montenegro, Greece and Argentina as opponents. The core group of players, which is based on the successful 1997 World Junior champions lineup, includes such prominent names from the free scoring Dawid Murek, Pawel Zagumny and Piotr Gruszka to the twin towers of Piotr Gruszka and Lukasz Kadziewicz, who both stand at 206cm tall, and provide Poland with plenty of attacking artillery.
Poland qualified to the Final Tournament of the World League 2005 together with Brazil, Serbia Montenegro and Cuba. The Polish Team, in all its Final battles, played five sets and finished forth. It was the best performance in the history of the Polish participations in the World League.
In the 2005 European Championships, the Polish Men’s Team finished fifth.
Together with Russia, Poland qualified to tje World Championships 2006 in Japan. The qualification tournament was played in Rzeszów (Poland) with the participation of Bulgaria, Estonia, Russia and Poland.
On 16 September 2005 the Polish team's sky was clouded as one of the most talented polish volleyball players, Arkadiusz Golasthe, died in a car accident at only 24 years old.
In 2006 Poland was back to the World volleyball elite and won the silver medal in the 2006 World Championships. Now the Polish Men’s team is fourth in the FIVB World ranking.
In December 2005, Mr. Raul Lozano was appointed head coach of the Polish Senior Men’s National Team. The purpose of the team is to win a medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Argentinean coach is the first foreign coach in the history of Polish Volleyball. As a National Coach he replaced Mr. Stanislaw Gosciniak, with whom the team went to the 2004 Olympic Tournament quarterfinals.
Many of the players who have been nominated to the Senior National Team by Mr. Lozano are gold medallists from the 1997 and 2003 Junior World Championships.
In 2005, the team finished at the 4th place in the World League Finals, and at the 5th place in the European Championships.
Mr. Raul Lozano is one of the most valuable coaches in the world. He worked with the teams of Italy, Greece as well as the Spanish National Team. With his team from Milan he won the World Cup, with Lube Banca Macerata and Iveco Palermo, the CEV Confederation Cup, and with Sisley Treviso, the Italian Championships.
In 2006 Raul Lozano won the silver medal with the Polish Men’s team in the World Championships held in Japan. That was the biggest success of the last 30 years of Polish men’s volleyball.
R. Lozano is the greatest volleyball fan and his favourite way of resting is... to watch volleyball games. “I try to separate my job from being a fan but this is sometimes very hard”.
He prefers technical and very fast volleyball, like the best (in his opinion) Team – Brazil.
Born : September 3, 1956 in La Plata, Argentina
Star sign : Virgo
Married with one son
Nationality: Argentinean and Italian