The Volleyball Federation of Slovenia has announced that Gheorghe Cretu prolonged his contract as a coach of Slovenia’s men’s national team which he will lead toward the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.
Cretu has been coaching at the international and club level for more than 20 years, he claimed the CEV Volleyball European League title in 2016 and 2018 with Estonia’s men’s national team, while his most notable achievement is the 2022 CEV Champions League Volley crown with Polish Grupa Azoty Kedzierzyn-Kozle.
The 54-year-old Romanian Volleyball expert took over the Slovenian team a little more than two weeks ahead of the 2022 FIVB World Championship in Poland and Slovenia and led it all the way to fourth place. At first, it seemed that the European Coach of the Year 2022 and the Volleyball Federation of Slovenia won’t find a common language to extend the contract, but to the satisfaction of all parties, Cretu remains at the helm of the reigning European vice-champions until the end of 2024.
“I am very satisfied that we will continue this journey together. I really feel that we belong together. We have found a common language – I am sure to everyone’s satisfaction. Expectations for this season are high, there are three important competitions ahead of us with the Olympic qualification tournament in Japan as the most important of them. This generation of players has a great opportunity to fulfill their goal and we need to support them in any way possible”, said Metod Ropret, president of the Volleyball Federation of Slovenia.
“Slovenia has high-quality players who, at the same time, are very connected to each other, which is of great importance for each national team. It is a generation that has a lot of experience. The basic goal of the season is to keep players in shape, both physically and psychologically, throughout the five extremely intense months. Every point, every set and every win will matter and could bring us a step further toward Paris. We are all aware of this and we will have to play the entire season with this approach and mentality. The motivation is certainly not in question, because this generation dreams of the Olympic games. I too dream of it and I am really happy that I got this opportunity. I am sure that all of us who are involved in this project in any way will do our best so that Slovenia will play at the Olympic tournament”, said Cretu.
Slovenia’s roster for next gathering will be announced within a few weeks.