Poland boasts a strong Volleyball tradition. The Men's National Team has played an important role among the elite teams since its first appearance in the very first World Championships in 1949 held in Czechoslovakia. Fourth place at the tournament was repeated in France (1956) and again in Brazil (1960).
In the middle of 1970, the Polish squad claimed the top position and dominated the international Volleyball scene for several years.
Poland triumphed at the FIVB World Championships in Mexico in 1974 and succeeded again two years later at the Olympic Games in Montreal, where the team won the Olympic title.
Poland also claimed second place at five consecutive European Championships between 1975 and 1983.
The Polish squad joined the FIVB World League in 1998 and finished 10th in the first year. They were eighth in 1999 and again in 2000. In 2001, Poland hosted the World League Finals for the first time and they finished seventh.
One year later and led by coach Waldemar Wspanialy, Poland took another step forward and advanced to the World League Finals, where they claimed fifth place, re-launching the team into international prominence.
One of the strongest and most innovative sides around on the international stage, Poland have gone from strength to strength in recent years and their quarter-final performance at the 2004 Olympic Games, which included a straight sets win over Serbia and Montenegro, summed up the quality of this side.
Poland finished fourth in the 2005 World League and fifth in the European Championships the same year.
To cap a successful year, Poland together with Russia qualified for the 2006 World Championships in Japan via a Qualification Tournament in their hometown of Rzeszów.
Things were going well for Poland but the feel-good factor disappeared on September 16, 2005, when Arkadiusz Golas, one of the most talented Polish Volleyball players, died in a car accident on the way to Austria during a road trip with Italian side Macerata. He was 24 years old.
Argentine Raul Lozano replaced Stanislaw Gosciniak in December 2005 and big things have been expected since, not least in this year's World League where Serbia, Greece and Argentina will be Group C opponents.
The core group of players, which is based on the successful 1997 World Junior Champion lineup, includes such prominent names as the free scoring Dawid Murek, Pawel Zagumny and Piotr Gruszka, to the twin towers of Piotr Gruszka and Lukasz Kadziewicz, who both stand at 206-cm tall and provide Poland with plenty of attacking artillery.
Poland bounced back from the Golas tragedy and back into the world Volleyball elite by winning the silver medal at 2006 World Championships.
In 2007, Poland hosted the World League Finals in Katowice and claimed fourth place in a super-successful finale that attracted bumper crowds.
This, unfortunately, was followed up with a disappointing 11th at the 2007 European Championships in Moscow.
The Polish will hope to rectify this in the World League.
Raul Lozano was appointed Poland Men’s National Team Head Coach in December 2005. The aim of the appointment was for Lozano to build a team that could win a medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The Argentine, born September 3, 1956 in La Plata, Argentina, is the first foreign coach in the history of Polish Volleyball. He replaced Stanislaw Gosciniak, with whom the team went to the 2004 Olympic Volleyball Tournament quarter-finals.
Many of the players promoted to the Senior National Team by Lozano are gold medallists from the 1997 and 2003 Junior World Championships.
Lozano is one of the best coaches in the world. He has worked with teams in Italy, Greece as well as the Spanish National Team. With his Milanese team he won the World Cup, the CEV Confederation Cup with Lube Banca Macerata and Iveco Palermo and the Italian Championship with Sisley Treviso.
In 2006, Lozano led Poland to the silver medal in the World Championships held in Japan, the biggest success of the last 30 years of Polish Men’s Volleyball.
Lozano, married with one son, is a huge Volleyball fan and his favourite way of resting is to watch Volleyball.
"I try to separate my job from being a fan but this is sometimes very hard," Lozano says.
He prefers technical and very fast Volleyball, as played by who is the best team in his opinion, Brazil.