Continental Olympic Qualifier Tokyo 2020

  • ^^^ same with Canada, their first game as well.

  • As most guys have the experience at Rio I think this one we will be playing better. My only concern is their health. I hope Tillie doesn’t bother much with VNL and give the younger guys whole playing time this year.

  • so you think USA wanted to get rid of France by losing in purpose in the very first match at the Olympics games? At that point, they had no luxury to do that. They had 3 tough matches coming their ways after that defeat.

    No, im just pointing out that it wasnt the US that we've known. Especially losing 25 - 17 in the 2nd set.

  • France has not played well in a major since 2014. Nobody screwed with them in Rio, they did not advance because they lost on their own.


    Italy had already secured #1 and Piano got injured. They had nothing to play for against Canada. That screwed Brazil but not France.


    France needed to win against Brazil no matter what in order to advance.

  • What’s that gesture for?

    That's a long story but he was treated like a very very bad coach here by media and some so called "experts"


    I know he probably didn't do anything super great with Iran but he wasn't that bad. I totally understand his reaction. some of those bad results weren't really his fault, when he came 3 years ago he was told to change the generation and use younger players without being worried about the results, he did that and used so many under 20 players but then the head of volleyball federation changed and told him to go another path. beside that he was told to completely change his plans for 2018 World Championship and send the A team to the Asian Games only few days before the WCH.


    just to give you a better idea, according to those experts whenever Iran wins, that's because our players are good and whenever we lose, that's because our coach is bad ! the first thing TV commentator said before the final was "we beat Korea yesterday only because of that smart move from Marouf, our coach did nothing"

  • That's a long story but he was treated like a very very bad coach here by media and some so called "experts"


    I know he probably didn't do anything super great with Iran but he wasn't that bad. I totally understand his reaction. some of those bad results weren't really his fault, when he came 3 years ago he was told to change the generation and use younger players without being worried about the results, he did that and used so many under 20 players but then the head of volleyball federation changed and told him to go another path. beside that he was told to completely change his plans for 2018 World Championship and send the A team to the Asian Games only few days before the WCH.


    just to give you a better idea, according to those experts whenever Iran wins, that's because our players are good and whenever we lose, that's because our coach is bad ! the first thing TV commentator said before the final was "we beat Korea yesterday only because of that smart move from Marouf, our coach did nothing"

    Good grace. And you wonder why team Iran is so full of diva attitudes.


    I hope he sends Iran federation a middle finger the day after the Olympic tournament is over. At this point his only reason to stay is to go to the games, after that he can let the entire place rot.

  • Good grace. And you wonder why team Iran is so full of diva attitudes.


    I hope he sends Iran federation a middle finger the day after the Olympic tournament is over. At this point his only reason to stay is to go to the games, after that he can let the entire place rot.


    well they didn't fire him already (specially after the 2018 WCH) only because they don't have the money to pay him and hire another coach. there is no way they want to renew his contract after the Olympics. (unless he pulls of a miracle and win a medal or something) while I said he wasn't bad, he wasn't great either. yes he is a nice guy and apparently players like him but it's not like anybody is going to miss him. he is no Julio Velasco.


    actually Iran had 4 different volleyball federation presidents in past 3 years. almost nobody in charge for a year until couple months ago. I don't know where the current guy stands who is actually the same guy who hired Kolakovic in first place.

  • That's a long story but he was treated like a very very bad coach here by media and some so called "experts"


    I know he probably didn't do anything super great with Iran but he wasn't that bad. I totally understand his reaction. some of those bad results weren't really his fault, when he came 3 years ago he was told to change the generation and use younger players without being worried about the results, he did that and used so many under 20 players but then the head of volleyball federation changed and told him to go another path. beside that he was told to completely change his plans for 2018 World Championship and send the A team to the Asian Games only few days before the WCH.


    just to give you a better idea, according to those experts whenever Iran wins, that's because our players are good and whenever we lose, that's because our coach is bad ! the first thing TV commentator said before the final was "we beat Korea yesterday only because of that smart move from Marouf, our coach did nothing"

    Thanks mosi for the additional context; that's very helpful for understanding the situation hidden from the limelight.


    I wouldn't believe the promise from the authority about focusing on the growth of the new generation and not to worry about the results. The Iranian team has already established themselves as a real force at the international level when Kolakovic came. Even though Iran is not strong enough to be a serious medal contender at world tournaments, unless volleyball is pretty much neglected within the country which is not the case, there's no reason they don't want to maintain the team's standard in the near term. The situation is different from 10 years ago when Velasco was invited to coach the NT. Back then, Iran was gradually progressing but still unknown at the international level. Also, based on what happened to Slobodan Kovac, Kolakovic shouldn't take such a promise seriously. Kovac did bring good achievement in 2014 in his debut year at the Iranian NT, getting the fourth-place finish at WL and going to the final round at WCh. Even though the same result was not replicated the next year, Kovac shouldn't be fired so soon. After all, he didn't get the respect from the arrogant players.


    It's such a shame that the volleyball federation changed their mind suddenly and forced him to use the full squad for the Asian Games. That completely disrupted what's originally planned for such a long and important WCh tournament. No wonder they were so out of shape at WCh, after a decent performance that summer.


    Anyhow, although I'm not a fan of Kolakovic with his coaching achievement, he seemed to bring Iran on the right track. The team has been aging during the Rio Olympic cycle. The team is now a good mix of young and experienced players, and the depth has improved. Such credit should really go to Kolakovic.

  • Forgive me if I sound exceedingly negative but I disagree that Iran established itself as a major power. On the contrary, I think it's the biggest case of wasted potential of this generation.


    Iran has been one of the top teams for the last 6-8 years but they won extraordinarily little compared to their quality of play. If I recall correctly, a 5th place at the world championships, a 4th at the world league, Olympic quarterfinals, some success at the Asian championships which are to be completely honest the weakest after Africa.


    Germany with far less talent, national support and media coverage won a world championships bronze, a silver medal at the European championships and an Olympic quarterfinals after beating teams way stronger than them (Cuba and Serbia).

  • well unfortunately mismanagement is a common thing in Iran. (obviously not only in sports) they get hot and cold about things. once they use exactly the same team for so many years and then all of a sudden they decide to change the whole team ! both are stupid. because changes should happen slowly and all the time.


    and you are right that coaches should not believe such promises . when Zoran Gajic came to Iran in 2007 they told him the same, he completely changed the team, if I'm not wrong he invited only 2 players from 2006 WCH squad and instead tried to invite new players like young Marouf and Mousavi. at the time Iran was 3rd/4th team in Asia but then with all those changes Iran had to battle Thailand and Indonesia for 6th/7th place ! and they fired him !


    after the Rio Olympics the general idea was this group of players can't achieve more and if Iran wants to go one level higher we need some revolutionary changes !! turned out to be a terrible idea. yes it's easy to improve when you are weak, but when you reach certain level, improving from there is really hard and won't happen overnight.


    and you are exactly right about Slobodan Kovac, replacing him was a mistake (another reason why they don't replace Kolakovic now and few months before the Olympics) but the same group of "experts" said exactly the same thing about him and somehow lowered his position in eyes of the players. and then when Kovac won the Euro with Serbia they were like "see, Kovac is doing great but we have this shit guy" and it's more like whoever is NOT coaching Iran is better than our current coach. they were even criticizing Velasco when he had the job. they consider him a great coach now because he is gone.


    and it's kind of amazing Kolakovic still has the respect of his players after all this. or maybe these players are also getting matured !?

  • Forgive me if I sound exceedingly negative but I disagree that Iran established itself as a major power. On the contrary, I think it's the biggest case of wasted potential of this generation.


    Iran has been one of the top teams for the last 6-8 years but they won extraordinarily little compared to their quality of play. If I recall correctly, a 5th place at the world championships, a 4th at the world league, Olympic quarterfinals, some success at the Asian championships which are to be completely honest the weakest after Africa.


    Germany with far less talent, national support and media coverage won a world championships bronze, a silver medal at the European championships and an Olympic quarterfinals after beating teams way stronger than them (Cuba and Serbia).

    I'm not sure about that. My point is that compared with where Iran was a decade ago (a nobody at world stage), they have established to be a well-known, competitive team. I don't quite get the impression that Iran has far more talents than Germany, but never mind.


    Iran's achievements "are to be completely honest the weakest after Africa" sounds like a joke to me. There are many decent teams from Europe and America that achieved on par with or less than what mentioned about Iran NT.

  • I don't recall Zoran Gajic once coached Iran! It sounds like Iran's volleyball federation has an affinity to Serbian coaches :-)

  • I'm not sure about that. My point is that compared with where Iran was a decade ago (a nobody at world stage), they have established to be a well-known, competitive team. I don't quite get the impression that Iran has far more talents than Germany, but never mind.


    Iran's achievements "are to be completely honest the weakest after Africa" sounds like a joke to me. There are many decent teams from Europe and America that achieved on par with or less than what mentioned about Iran NT.

    I said the Asian championships are the weakest in the world after the African ones, which is correct. Iran won nothing outside its continental championships.