It ended with Olympic qualification being wasted when a season of missed opportunities for the women’s national volleyball team seemed within reach. Net of Nations League that David Mazzanti He gave space to all the second rows – and here also there is a discussion about the long vacations given to some members of the Senate – fourth place in the European Championship and the lack of an Olympic ticket makes the summer insufficient and They open a great glimpse into the future. In all likelihood, Italy will still head to Paris 2024 by seeding (it would be enough to get a decent Nations League next year), but the whole process of preparing for the most important event of the four-year period will be both troublesome and special. Because of performance anxiety which definitely doesn’t help.
What happened to women’s volleyball?
Moreover, the national team that had the potential to be among the strongest in the world suddenly discovered itself to be very fragile, between the excellent exclusions and the management of Paola Ejono that, on the contrary, did not bear fruit. Thus, the revolution seems closer than ever before. It seems It is very difficult that Mazzanti will be able to lead this group again next yearAlthough there is a contract until the end of next summer. However, choosing an alternative is difficult at the moment and the most likely name today seems to be one Julio Velasco Who returns this year to the women’s team (coached by Ueba Busto Arsizio), after 25 years of leading the Italian team for a little more than a year at the end of the victorious cycle with the generation of phenomena.
Last year’s World Cup, which ended in third place, was a turning point in the Italian environment
. After the failure of the Tokyo Olympics, winning the 2021 European Championship and the 2022 Nations League gave new life and masked the problems, but the first international mistake reopened everything. Problems with management Paula Egonu, one of the strongest female athletes in the worldBut she’s also an athlete struggling to recognize herself in the group’s rules, and her anger at the racist insults she receives and her farewell (which later becomes a farewell) to the national team lift the lid on the problems in the locker room. «“The team is no longer in my hands.” The coach admitted a year later. It was decided to stick with him and run a wall to wall strategy with Egonu. Hence the decision not to summon Monica Di Gennaro, but also Caterina Posetti and Cristina Chiricella. The “Star” will move to an assistant role behind Kate Antropova, a 20-year-old with a bright future, who was naturalized at the last minute before the continental championship and her first real international experience. After accepting, Ejono did not understand the role, so a foreign object appeared in the locker room, and he abandoned the call-up to prepare for the Olympics.
Where Italy went even without their starter Alicia OroHe was injured against the Netherlands in the third place final in Brussels. And in the two decisive events. Italy collapsed in the head and in the technique. Especially against Poland, who managed to win a match without even knowing how (the number of mistakes made by Lavarini’s team is impressive).
Mazzanti, what happens now?
After the European Championship, Fed President Giuseppe Manfredi He had said that he would meet Mazzanti in October and November and evaluate the season with him starting from the results. Results that testify to failure and are worth considering.
The change in the technical manual seems obvious, but here too a complex scenario emerges. The top coaches you can imagine a tournament also eyeing for the Los Angeles Games are all under contract: Santarelli with Türkiye, Guideti with Serbia, Lavarini with Poland. Then there is the problem of the dual role of national clubs, which FIFA does not take into account, which is the common denominator among all the coaches mentioned. at the moment, The most widely adopted solution is that of Julio Velasco Which, apparently, has a clause in his contract with Busto to free himself in case he is called up by the Azzurri at the end of this season. The coach who launched the “Generation of Phenomena” and who in recent years has led youth national teams to the top of Europe and the world, will have all the authority necessary to restore order to the blue powder keg, play in his fourth Olympiad as a 72-year-old coach (next year) and then perhaps hand over the baton. A reliable alternative could be Massimo Barbolini, who led the Italians from 2006 to 2012 (with two European Championship victories), but now coaches Scandicci. Or a name that comes from the masculine, since the two worlds keep getting closer and closer (and “Master of the Century” Lorenzo Bernardi is coaching Novara this year).
The confirmation comes directly from the Federal President’s memorandum ManfrediIt was issued a while ago: “There is great bitterness at not taking advantage of the opportunity to directly qualify for the Olympic Games. theThere is no doubt that the women’s national team’s seasonal budget is negative We must take this into account. It is undeniable that many things did not work out this year and mistakes were made.” Then the number one of Italian volleyball sets the course for the future: “From the next few days, in cooperation with the Federal Council, we will analyze in detail what happened and we will work with the aim of quickly finding the best solution to overcome this.” It’s a complicated moment. Qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics is within our reach and FIBAF’s goal for the new season It will certainly be to reprogram all Italy’s activities on new and meticulous foundations“To allow the women’s national team to return to the top of world volleyball.”
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