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Stéphane Antiga appointed new Poland men’s coach

Stéphane Antiga, who was part of France's bronze medal winning team at the 2002 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship in Argentina, will continue to play for Polish club PGE Skra Belchatow until the end of the season

Warsaw, Poland, October 28, 2013 -  The Poland Volleyball Federation announced former French international Stéphane Antiga as the new coach of its men’s national team for the three next years on Saturday.

The declaration comes less than one year before the Poland Volleyball Federation hosts the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2014, which will run from September 3 to 21.

Antiga was unveiled as Italian Andrea Anastasi's replacement at a press conference held at the Volley Bajka restaurant in Poland’s capital city.

"I feel very honored to be given the opportunity to work with the Polish national team," Antiga, 37, said. "This role is something new for me and even though I assume that this appointment is a major surprise for all of you, I am very pleased. We have a lot of hard work to do to qualify for the Final Round of the 2015 European Championship first and then to perform well at the FIVB Men's World Championship. This event taking place here in Poland is approaching very fast. I will try to put together a very solid group including all players who will be available for the national team. The most important things I will insist on are mutual respect, trust, communication, and – above all – hard work."

"I did not expect that the appointment of our head coach would spark so much interest amongst the media," Poland Volleyball Federation President Miroslaw Przedpelski said. "I think this is a good way to start with what I have nicknamed the "Antiga plan". His appointment as head coach of our national team is a very good idea that is going to be beneficial for the players, the clubs, and everyone who is working for the good of volleyball. With this change we will make sure that we can achieve the best possible result at next year’s FIVB Volleyball World Championship here in Poland.

"We have signed a contract for three years and already discussed the key items of our cooperation. Now we only need to discuss a few minor details, something that we will complete in the next couple of days," added Mr Przedpelski, who presented Antiga with a special jersey of the national team featuring the words "Antiga coach". 

Antiga will continue to play for Poland’s multiple champions PGE Skra Belchatow up to the end of the current season and so will cross paths with many players he will mentor in the national team. "It will be an unusual situation but I think this will add some extra motivation to the players," Antiga said. "As for my current colleagues at PGE Skra, this appointment was a huge surprise."

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