Iran continuing to enjoy fruits of Cevetkovic’s work
The crowning glory came at the Mexico 2007 U19 Boys' World Championship, when as coach he guided the team to an unprecedented gold medal. He also enjoyed a second-place finish in the 2009 edition and an Asian Youth Championship win in 2008, as well as two lots of silver from other continental competitions.
“Words cannot estimate my work in volleyball of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Jovica Cevetkovic said. “I won a lot of trophies and we had good results in the championships we participated in, so that means my work was at a very high level. As well as the results though, there was the fact that I was able to develop a lot of players is equally important. Of course it wasn’t just me on my own, it was the result of work and co-operation between coaches, players and the Federation.”
Many of the players he worked with are now firm fixtures in the current Iran team and while the Iran’s U19 and U21 teams enjoyed a period of rare success, much of came through initiatives that Cevetkovic introduced. From ensuring his team was at the peak of physical fitness, to introducing nutritional programs and new training techniques.
“I think the benefit of my work in Iranian volleyball is reflected in the number of players who are now playing for the national teams, especially the senior team and the major Iranian clubs. I put all my energy into this work and now you can see the results,” he added.
Cevetkovic has not been involved with Iranian volleyball since stepping down from his position as head coach to the Iranian Boys' U19 national team, but he hasn’t ruled out working back there again in the future.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran and I have created an unbreakable relationship because Iran is really my second country,” he said. “I lived in Iran for more than seven years of my life and of course I would love to return to Iran.”