Italian NT 2021

  • Has Piano retired from Nt?

    I don't think there was any declaration besides Colaci or Juantorena, but also I don't think there's any point of playing at ECH with Piano or Vettori. Probably an opposite is the only position where De Giorgi can return to some experienced players next year if Pinali or Romano underperform, and that's likely even though Romano was good against Belgium (Pinali got hurt a bit, but I don't think it was serious).

    Although it's not a solution, because Italy needs to find decent OPP long-term, Michieletto will be special and Lavia can be good, so they're fine on OH position, they have Galassi on middle and amazing depth with setters, Balaso is world-class libero as well. I wouldn't be suprised if Michieletto gets switched to OPP after some time, so these talented OHs (Rinaldi, Porro, MAYBE Bottolo, Recine or Orioli) will get a shot, but it's not a given. Romano was playing really well against Belgium, but he's a 24yo guy from Serie A2, Pinali was mediocre in Ravenna, although showed some flashes of decency in VNL.

  • I also think in the next future Michieletto (or another OH) will be moved to play as Opp on NT, maybe still keeping reception duties on some rotation. The pool of potentially good/useful OH is very deep at the moment (other than those already mentioned Gardini aswell is finishing college next year and seems to be doing quite well over there) while options for opposite are lacking. I don't think Romanò doesn't even have the level to be starter in Superlega, he was fine in A2 but honestly not spectacular, I feel like in these last games with Belgium his good performances were at least partially due to the fact the opponents didn't know him and weren't prepared but he's hardly unstoppable. I have more hopes on Stefani but it doesn't seem like he's been improving much these past few years, but I think this season he's going to have more playing time considering Sabbi is very imjury prone and has often physical issues, we'll see if he's up to part. I just hope he doesn't end up as Nelli who was still called a "young promising kid" up until 26 lol

  • Yup, there's a group of OPPs that have some chances to improve to good, let's say Superliga-level (Pinali, Romano, Cantagalli, Gamba, Stefani, Schiro, Bovolenta), but in every case it is unlikely (or there are quite big chances that they won't), the biggest talent that Italy has is Tommaso Barotto (2005), he's 16 and is already 208cm tall, he was the MVP of Italian U17 Championship (and Italy has great '04 players, so outplaying them was quite impressive, and Barotto was crushing everything that came in front of him at that event), but he's a kid, and we're talking about 2027/2028 at best, let's be serious.

    So Michieletto in Anderson-like role seems quite likely to happen, but we'll obviously see.