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Volleyroos recruit Santilli ahead of Rio 2016

Roberto Santilli assisted Germany Head Coach Vital Heynen during the 2014 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World League
Canberra, Australia, February 23, 2015 - Volleyball Australia is excited to announce it has signed one of Europe’s most successful coaches to lead the men’s national team, the ‘Volleyroos’, in its bid to qualify for Rio 2016.

Italian Roberto Santilli, who was an Italian Federation coach for four years, takes over at the helm of the Volleyroos on the eve of the team’s most challenging season ever.

In 2015 the team will play in the top level of the prestigious World League, where they will take on world number one, Brazil, and powerhouses Italy and Serbia in home-and-away fixtures.

And the team will also compete in the Asian Championships, in Iran, and the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup, in Japan, important qualifying tournaments for next year’s Olympics.

“I have watched with great interest the development of the Australian team players and have coached several of them in teams I have coached in Europe,” Santilli said.

“Their commitment, physical quality and skill have always impressed me, and I am convinced that the current group has the opportunity to be at the top of the sport internationally for several Olympic cycles.

“I am thrilled to be entrusted with the task of guiding them in their achievable ambition of, first, stepping up to the inner circle of the best teams in the world, and secondly, qualifying for and being successful at the Rio Olympic Games.”

49-year-old Santilli takes over from Argentinian Jon Uriarte, who helped guide Australia to two Olympic Games and to the top level of the World League.

“Jon Uriarte took Australia to two World Championships and two Olympic Games over the last decade, and has developed our still very young team to the stage where they will now compete at the highest level of world volleyball,” Volleyball Australia President, Craig Carracher, said.

“His passion and skill as a developer of young athletes and his drive and enthusiasm for Australian volleyball has us forever in his debt, and we thank him deeply for his commitment.   

“This was a very difficult decision for Volleyball Australia, and I one day expect Aussie Jon Uriarte will return to Australian volleyball.  It’s now time to take the next step up to be a repeat podium contender in the top events that we will face in 2015 and 2016, and we are convinced that Roberto Santilli is the right man to lift the team to this level in the short time available.”

Santilli comes to Australian volleyball after successful stints as head coach of top level club teams in Poland and Russia. He also played a leading role in guiding Germany to a bronze medal at last year’s World Championships.

He will start his new role as Volleyroos head coach this month, working with senior squad members who are playing in the European season.

“We are excited to have a coach of Santilli’s experience, technical and tactical ability, and with the vision of what is needed to mould a winning team for this task,” Carracher said.   

“He has impressed us with his knowledge of our players, nearly all of whom play their professional volleyball in Europe, and with his analysis of the individual and team improvements which will be needed to compete and to succeed over the longer term.”

Roberto Santilli
- Born 1965 in Rome, Italy
- Volleyball player until 1985 when injury ended his playing career and he turned to coaching
- Bachelor of Physical Education with Honours
- Head Coach of several Italian professional clubs from 1995 to 2007.  Several playoffs in A1 league, Final 4 of Italian Cup, Winner of A2 League and Cup.
- Italian Federation Coach from 2001-2004: Head Coach of Junior National Team and Technical Staff Member of Senior National Team at European and World Championship. Winner of European Junior Championships and World Military Championships, 4th place in Junior World Championship.
- Head Coach of Jastrzebski Wegiel Club in Poland from 2007 to 2010, Cup winner, silver and bronze medals in National Super League and silver medal in European Challenge Cup
- Head Coach of Iskra Odintsovo in Russia from 2010 to 2013, bronze medals in National League and Cup
- Consultant and Assistant to German National Team, World Championships 2014, Bronze Medal

Volleyroos Competition Programme 2015
May 15-16: Test matches v China in Brisbane
May 29-July 5: World League Group 1 v Italy, Brazil and Serbia, home and away
July 31-August 8: Asian Championship in Teheran, Iran
September 8-23: World Cup in Japan


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