Rome, Italy, August 19, 2020 – Italy women’s coach Davide Mazzanti will be on the road in September as he travels around the country to meet Italy’s volleyball community.
Italy were expected to be among the favourites to win a medal at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and FIVB Volleyball Nations League having won silver at the Japan 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship and bronze at the 2019 CEV European Championship.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that Mazzanti has had to put his Olympic and VNL ambitions on hold for 12 months, but he has stayed in touch with his staff and players and is now ready to meet them in the flesh.
“The idea was to be more present in volleyball and to be there in person,” Mazzanti told Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I was very-interested in planning a trip. While I go around coaching and visiting clubs, I will have the opportunity to compare myself with other volleyball coaches, and other people from Italian sport who can compare their experiences with mine.”
Mazzanti will share his experiences on his journey with sports fans on a podcast. He will also work with two initiatives that have been organised by the Italian Volleyball Federation.
The first is called “You Are Italy,” which is a way of unifying the Italian volleyball community more closely by coaching regional teams.
The second is called “Put Your Talent Into Play,” which will make the selection process of regional teams universal.
“I think that my presence and the comparison with the grassroots clubs can give an extra boost to an already very fertile ground such as that of volleyball,” Mazzanti said.
Italy have been placed in Pool B at Tokyo 2020 and will face Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic champions China, who also won bronze at the Japan 2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championship and the 2018 and 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
They also take on Rio 2016 bronze medallists USA, who won the VNL in 2018 and 2019, and Turkey who won silver at the 2018 VNL and 2019 CEV European Championship. Russia and Argentina complete the six-team pool.
Mazzanti will be keeping his Tokyo 2020 ambitions in mind during his trip when he visits the Club Italia team in Rome.
The team which gives young players a chance to sample top-level volleyball has already proven to be fertile with Anna Danesi, Paola Egonu, Ofelia Malinov and Alessia Orro progressing from Club Italia into the Italy team.
“A player participating in Club Italia is equivalent to doing a Masters, I think the same thing is for a coach,” Mazzanti said. “The amount of information we are gathering on the players is an incredible asset, these girls of the two-year period 2003 and 2004 will now form the new U20 national team.
“Club Italia is becoming even more of a scientific laboratory, and we have stored the data of Paola Egonu and Alessia Orro. All this to make a leap forward.”