Serniotti opens new Trentino chapter at Club World Champs
Trentino Diatec will be treading a different path in Betim, Brazil, since significant changes were made in their formidable starting six and the departure of coach Radostin Stoychev, who led Trentino to all their four victories at the Club World Championship. Stoychev’s assistant coach in the last three seasons, Roberto Serniotti, takes over after Stoychev’s transfer to Halkbank Ankara.
“For the first time, we are going to play the World Club Championship not as the favourite team – it is Brazilian club Sada Cruzeiro (last edition’s runners-up),” Serniotti humbly admitted. “Our aim is to get through the preliminary round and try to play our best game. It will not be easy.”
Serniotti has a tough responsibility to fill in the positions left by key players Matey Kaziyski, Ozmany Juantorena, Mitar Duric and Jan Stokr. Serniotti, however, remains hopeful about the reformation of his team this season.
“We have changed a lot compared to the previous seasons and it has not been a simple turnover,” Seniotti said. “We have new players that need to know each other and a team that has not yet gauged its potential.”
The team has a new captain in Italian international Emanuele Birarelli, one of the team members that won the title in Doha in 2012. Setter Giacomo Sintini, another returning member, will join Birarelli.
This season also marks the return of Bulgarian power hitter Tsvetan Sokolov to Trentino. Sokolov has been touted as the next big thing due to his recent stellar performances in the Italian League and Bulgarian national team. Rounding up the familiar names that will reinforce Serniotti’s side are American setter Donald Suxho and the young middle blocker from Argentina, Sebastian Sole.
Serniotti will also rely on the core of young players such as the talented Portuguese spiker Alexandre Ferreira and Italians Filippo Lanza, Michele Fedrizzi and Matteo Burgsthaler.
The combination of these talented players may not be one of coach Serniotti’s biggest concerns, but rather how the team will be able to level up in competition.
“In the roster, we have already some established and experienced players like Birareli, Sintini, Suxho and Sokolov,” Serniotti said. “If we could raise our level, I am sure we could play a leading role in every competition.”