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Roberto Piazza to coach Dutch men’s team

Roberto Piazza has been appointed to coach the Dutch men's team
Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 11, 2019 - Roberto Piazza has been appointed as the new head coach of the Dutch men’s volleyball team. The 51-year-old Italian has signed a contract for two years, up to and including the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Currently, Piazza is active as club coach for reigning Polish champions PGE Skra Belchatow. He will start with the Dutch programme in May.

Roberto Piazza played professionally in the Italian league from 1987 – 1990 for Parma and Piacenza, before starting his career as a coach.

After working as an assistant coach for years, the Italian was appointed head coach of Sisley Treviso in 2009. In that year the Dutch players Robert Horstink and Rob Bontje were part of the famous squad. Several years later, when the club name was changed to Sisley Belluno, Piazza welcomed Nimir Abdelaziz to his team. And when Piazza moved to Cuneo in the 2012-2013 season, he took Abdelaziz with him.

After Sisley and Cuneo, Piazza worked for Jastrzębski Węgiel (Poland), Olympiakos (Greece), the national team of Qatar and Modena (Italy). Since the 2017-2018 season, Piazza is under contract with Skra Belchatow in Poland. In his first season there he immediately won the league title. The national team of Poland won gold in the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championships of 2014 and 2018, and the Polish league is one of the strongest in Europe. Next week, Piazza’s Belchatow is playing in the CEV Champions League quarterfinal versus Zenit Saint Petersburg from Russia.

The new head coach can look forward to a great programme with the Dutch squad in 2019 including an Olympic qualification tournament in the Netherlands from August 9 to 11, the European Golden League from May 25 to June 23, and the European Championships from September 12 to 29.

With the appointment of Piazza, the staff of the Dutch team is almost complete. Henk-Jan Held is returning as assistant-coach. Patrick de Reus will be the new team manager, while Willem de Wit will take care of the video scouting. Max Giaccardi (Italy) is the new strength and conditioning coach. Rob Vesters (doctor) and Arne Hendriks (embedded scientist) remain part of the staff.

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Dutch Volleyball Federation (Nevobo) technical director Joop Alberda said: “As Nevobo, we are very pleased that we have managed to find a top coach that fits our philosophy. His experience as a top trainer gives us confidence that he can make the next step with the team. His knowledge of international top volleyball is an added value for this special summer with the Olympic qualification tournament and the European Championship in our own country.”

Roberto Piazza said: "I am very honoured to be able to train and coach the Dutch men's team. This team has a great history, and in the past I had the pleasure to work with legends like Peter Blangé and Ron Zwerver. I have seen all the matches of the Dutch team at the last World Championship and I was impressed by their performances in Bulgaria and Italy. This team has everything in its hands to take the next step. My dream is to bring The Netherlands to the top 10 of the world. From my compatriot Giovanni Guidetti I understand that Papendal is one of the three best training locations in the world. I have had the opportunity to coach a national team before, but this was the first time my head, heart and stomach said: this is something special, I have to do this. I am very motivated to start in May."

Nimir Abdelaziz, captain Dutch men’s team: "When I started playing with Sisley in Italy at the age of 19, Roberto became my coach. A year later I also followed him to Cuneo. He really lives for volleyball and is present at the club from early in the morning until late at night. I learned a lot from him and we have always kept in touch. A foreign top coach was our wish as a team, and we are very happy that the Nevobo has managed to sign Piazza.”

Read more:
Gido Vermeulen resigns as head coach of the Netherlands
Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament hosts announced


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