Vienna, Austria. Jan De Brandt, whose primary task is to work with the women’s national team, has joined the staff of Team Austria that is currently working in Steinbrunn ahead of the men’s CEV EuroVolley 2021 qualifier coming up in early January in Israel. The 61-year-old Belgian strengthens the staff as assistant coach, since the women’s team will ‘only’ be playing their EuroVolley qualifiers in May of 2021.
“The idea was to bring another experienced trainer into the supervisory staff, and Jan is already part of the Austrian Volleyball family. A short conversation was enough, we agreed in 15 minutes,” says Team Austria head coach Radovan Gacic. “I am very happy that this cooperation is possible and I am sure that his experience will be an important piece of the puzzle on the way to a successful qualification!”
“At first it was a surprise to me when Rado asked me if I could support him and his team in the EuroVolley qualifiers,” De Brandt admits. “But after a few minutes it was clear to me that I am ready and willing to help. After all, I was able to know his team first hand at a joint training camp in June. I would like to try to make my contribution to a successful qualification. I have 30 years of experience as a coach at the top level – not only in the women’s game but with men’s teams as well. Volleyball is my passion. I believe that I can pass on a lot of that!”
From January 12, the qualification tournament for the CEV EuroVolley 2021 against hosts Israel and Bulgaria will take place in Hadera, Israel, with a double round robin lasting until January 17.
Only the group winners will secure qualification to the final stage, with the runners-up due to wait until May to know their destiny following completion of all other pools.
Obviously, the training camp of Team Austria takes place in strict compliance with all government requirements in place to contain the coronavirus pandemic. As early as this past spring, the Austrian Volleyball Federation worked out a national team prevention concept, which, in addition to regular COVID-19 tests, includes daily checks of everyone’s body temperature and keeping a health diary as well.