Argentina has renewed Julio Velasco as the head coach of the Men’s National Team until the 2020 Olympics.
Announced in a press conference last Tuesday at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buenos Aires, Velasco was appointed for his second cycle at the head of the program. The Argentine Federation, FeVA, is pleased with Velasco’s work over the last quadrennial, both from a results and a development perspective.
Velasco has lofty goals, beginning with qualifying for the next World Championships and the World League final. Argentinais one of 12 teams that play in the top tier of the World League, and they’ll have to finish in the top half of those teams to qualify for the 6-team (5 teams plus the yet-unnamed hosts) final. Brazil has already confirmed 1 of the 2 South American places at the 2018 World Championships, with a qualifier next year left to determine the other.
If Argentina is to qualify for the World League Final, they’ll have the benefit of a home crowd. In the same press conference, the FeVA announced that they will host one pool of the World League from June 16th-18th. That won’t be an easy pool to advance from, however: the group includes the Olympic Champions Brazil, Bulgaria, and defending World League champions Serbia.
“The first objective for the first four years is not to give up and to have that decisive mentality.” Velasco said. “We aspire to reach the World League final, qualify for the World Cup and try to beat Brazil in South American competitions.”
“Today is a day of great emotion because it’s been very nice things that motivate us and commit to continue working for the Argentine Volleyball,” National Ministry of Sports secretary Carlos MacAllister said. “We are pleased that Julius work with us, a person who regardless of their ability and track record, has a great commitment to Argentina.”
“Everything that we have been able to do was done with effort, conviction and humility,” Velasco said. “If we lose our humility and do not grow our conviction, we will only take a step back and we will not be able to reach where we want to be, which is to be among the best in the world.”
Argentina won the 2015 Pan American Games gold medal, ahead of teams from Brazil and the United States among others; and came away 5th at the 2016 Olympic Games. That Olympic finish was the same as they placed in their prior 2 Olympic appearances in 2004 and 2012.