Piazza takes over as Qatar coach
Doha, Qatar, March 1, 2016 – Roberto Piazza is the new coach of the Qatar volleyball team after the Italian signed a one-year contract with the Gulf state.
The 48-year-old will lead Qatar into their first appearance in the FIVB Volleyball World League and he will take over from Argentinian Juan Manuel Cichello, who will soon begin as Iran coach.
Piazza brings two decades of coaching experience with him, most recently a stint as assistant coach to the German team that won gold at the Azerbaijan 2015, European Games. Currently he is coaching Greek side Olimpiacos and will finish his duties there in May.
“It’s pleasure to be here,” Piazza said. “I’ve seen Qatar’s matches against Australia, China and India (during the Asian championships). I have seen the local competition (QVA League) matches. The level of players is good. There is a big potential to improve.
“I know that Cichello had done a great job with the national team. I would like to extend his good work. My main aim would be to maintain the current level.”
During his playing days Piazza played for Parma and Piacenza in the Italian league and won two European Cup-Winners Cups. He then began his coaching career with Parma, who he helped to Italian titles and two Italian Cups.
He also led Treviso to three Champions League titles, seven Italian titles and seven Italian Cups. Piazza also coached Dinamo Moscow for two seasons, where he won one Russian league and one Russian Cup.
Qatar are set to compete in Group 3 of the World League, where Qatar will come up against his former team, Germany. They will also take part in the AVC Asia Cup in India, where the aim is to improve on their fourth place finish in the 2015 edition.
“The World League is our first step,” Piazza said. “There are strong teams in the Group 3 like Germany and Slovenia. Germany are the European Games champions and Slovenia finished runners-up, so our aim would be to prepare the team to be competitive and play good volleyball against such difficult rivals.
“This will also be a good chance for our players to test themselves against quality opponents. I may call a lot more players and after 10 days, we will focus on 15 players who will take part in Qatar’s first participation in the World League.
“A coach really needs more than a season to prove himself. I’ve seen in the past that Qatar is improving fast. During the Emir Cup, I’ll get an ideal opportunity to see the national team players against some important players of the world. That is the right time for them to learn something.
“My dream is to learn and improve something every day. I’ll try my best to better what has been achieved so far. We’ve to go one step at a time. We can talk about the real assessment of the work only at the end of the season or next year.”