Jan De Brandt to steer new era of Hungary women’s national team
His appointment follows on plans of the Hungarian Federation to explore new ways by appointing a foreign coach whose main task will be to make sure Hungary will qualify for the Final Round of the European Championship.
De Brandt is a former Volleyball player whose career spanned from 1978 through to 1991; he was at the helm of the women’s national team of his home country from 2005 to 2007, supervising the junior as well as the senior team. Under his guidance, the senior national team made it to the third qualification round of the 2006 World Championship and ended in seventh place at the European Championship that Belgium co-hosted with Luxembourg in 2007.
He did an excellent job nurturing the talented players that were coming up at that time and after leaving his position with the national team, he moved to Spain to work with CV Tenerife. He later transferred to Istanbul and steered the team of Fenerbahce on their way to win the national league, Turkey’s Supercup as well as a silver medal in the Final Four tournament of the 2010 CEV Volleyball Champions League (Fenerbahce lost a dramatic final game to Italy’s Volley BERGAMO). The following season De Brandt was at the helm of Igtisadchi BAKU, celebrating a third place in the national league as well as in the CEV Challenge Cup. He is married, has one son and one daughter, both being active Volleyball players. The 55-year old De Brandt is a polyglot who is fluent in Dutch, French, German, English, and Spanish.
“It is a very nice opportunity when you are given the task to manage and coach a national team, this is something I already got to experience by the time I was coaching the Belgian national team,” he explains. “To be appointed head coach of a foreign national team is a great recognition. I think that any coach is interested in long-term challenges and our duty will be to set the tone for the generations to come. It will not be easy to make the Final Round of the 2015 European Championship,” he continues, “because we will be playing in France and Israel. At this stage I can’t say that we are going to live up to the expectations of the Federation. I have been given a list of 24 players and I do not know all of them yet. My first responsibility will be to select a group that I will be working with and to draft a professional programme for these players. They will have to work together for a while before we understand the potential of this group. They all have obligations with their respective clubs and you never know how much time you will be given to work with them but we will be trying our best to come up with good results.”
“Jan has come to Hungary with some plans and programmes ready to use,” stresses the President of the Hungarian Volleyball Federation, Csaba Poór. “He is full of energy and has got some innovative programmes and ideas he wants to implement with our team. The goal of the Federation is to provide our national teams with the best conditions to start their work. The government is supporting us and this will help stabilize the situation of our Federation and of our teams. We are very committed to an extensive development of our sport and will do this with the help of our government and of the Hungarian Olympic Committee. They are trying to revive the sport of Volleyball in our country and since last year both the Federation and the clubs have been receiving some great financial support from our authorities. We are grateful for this.”