Julio was a coach 30 years ago and a dt today: a close link between the two teams’ victories in the Junior World Cup
Thirty years later. History repeats itself. Then Julio Velasco had brought Italian volleyball to the top class by focusing on a group of young people who came out of a project (Volley 85, wanted by Gianfranco Briani) which was based on the National jr, silver at the Milan World Cup, with the various Zorzi, Gardini, Tofoli, Cantagalli. Today Velasco is the director of a movement that, for the first time won the Junior World Cup (this time in Cagliari) and which strengthens the Italian image immediately after the European Championship won with Fefé De Giorgi on the bench.
Let’s start with the emotions, not much has been seen in the photos …
“As we get older we are moved more easily. But the victory in Cagliari was very intense. Also for the relationships built in the team, with the boys. The photos? It was right that Angiolino Frigoni was the coach.”
A great success though?
“I don’t think it’s just the victory of the team, but of the whole Italian movement. And I say this with sincerity. If it hadn’t been for that first coach who brought Catania or Michieletto to the gym, if it hadn’t been for that first club that made them play, today we would not have the team we have. When we teach players that team play is fundamental we must also practice it at an adult level. This gold is a gold of all Italian volleyball, not to say, in the facts”.
Did you use the same words with these guys that you used with the historical group?
“The times are different, it is certain, the conditions are very different, but some things are the same. This is why in recent years I have asked some of those players (Bernardi, Gardini) to speak to the team. De Giorgi was very good at communicate to his group some fundamental points of the program that were based on pivotal points “.
What did he say to the boys before the final?
“Some things are not said outside, they remain in the locker room”.
Tell us at least the general points.
“That from today begins a confrontation between these guys in the clubs and foreigners. There will be nothing to do with welfare assistance, nor the compliments received. Every day in the gym they will have to prove that they are better than the foreigners who come here with another idea. Playing in Italy for them is not having a starting position or not, but the difference is playing another chance at life. Now if you ask me if the Italian boys are ready to win this challenge, I say yes. They are. “
Can you draw a parallel between the two groups?
“No, impossible even in light of how the whole context has changed. But I say that this team has everything to get there, on the condition that it wants to continue learning. It seems to me that it wants to do so. I don’t believe in single thought (technically) , I’m fine with the discussion. What must not be missing is to work (a lot), even more than others, one must not become self-referential or presumptuous. The enemy of these victories is to lose humility. I do not think there was a secret of that Italy in the 90s, but looking back at those times and comparing them with today I say that the real difference lies in the trust. The players need to feel that the coach believes in them. Really, not just to put it: I strongly believed in that group, as I believe in this today “.
You don’t like talking about singles, but what if you think back to Michieletto’s summer?
“What more could you want? Nothing. But I like to remember how it was when he arrived. He was a captain and of course he found Rinaldi in his place. Ale didn’t demand anything, I saw him bring ice for everyone. No privileges. He and his family have a lot to do with this. “
Is the future blue then?
“There are all the conditions to answer yes. But beware of the demons that are underground. Ready to re-emerge: humility, work and desire to learn”.
We have seen that the Italian movement is capable of producing talents.
“I would do a division. The female has problems of abundance similar to football. For the male the problem is still recruiting. I have a couple of ideas to throw at the federal council: let’s go look for the children of the poorest people. There are important numbers. and even more interesting prospects “.
October 5, 2021 (change October 5, 2021 | 20:48)
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