By Masoud Hossein

Iran volleyball need a great coach: Ahmad Masajedi

June 29, 2020 - 15:37

TEHRAN – Former Iran national volleyball team player Ahmad Masajedi believes that Iran need a great coach if they want to keep moving forward.

Masajedi, who represented Iran at the 1998 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, worked as Julio Velasco’s assistant in Iran national volleyball team from 2011 to 2014.

The ex-Iran opposite spiker, who currently leads Japanese team Nagano Tridents, says that the Iranian coaches are not of the caliber to help Iran progress.

“I have full respect for all Iranian coaches but I think they cannot help the National Team. Iran have so many talented players and need a great coach,” Masajedi told Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.

“Many times, the players play a key role in our national team and the success of the team has nothing to do with the coach. Iran volleyball federation must appoint an experienced coach who can help the team. The new head coach needs to get help from his assistants. Different views will surely be helpful in a team. Juan Cichello was Velasco’s assistant but sometimes he disagreed with the head coach and there was the argument between them,” he added.

“We have great stars like Mohammad Mousavi, Amir Ghafour, Saeid Marouf and Milad Ebadipour in our team but a big question remains unanswered: How do we want to keep going without the players? The federation has to answer the question,” he added.

“The Iran federation must accept the truth of what exactly happens in the future without our golden generation. The new generation needs to be considered but I am sure the federation has done nothing so far.

Velasco inspired Iran national volleyball team to win two titles at the Asian Men's Volleyball Championship and Masajedi believes that he led Iran volleyball into a new era.

“Velasco changed our volleyball with his knowledge and experience. Iran evolved into one of the most powerful teams in the world under leadership of Velasco. Iran volleyball need a coach on the same level on him. When he left Iran, nobody asked me to continue my job and I found it very difficult to accept. I think Iran volleyball is in danger of making no progress on development of programs at the moment,” he stated.

Japanese Yuji Nishida has stolen the show in the recent years and Masajedi says that he has played a significant role in his success.

“I am happy as a coach who has helped Nishida to progress. The Japanese media have reported that Nishida has been discovered by Ahmad Masajedi. I also helped Masahiro Yanagida to join German club Volleyball Bisons Bühl and he is now the captain of Japan national volleyball team. I also like to help our young players to steal the show since they have the potential to keep moving forward. Why not,” he went on to say.

Asked him if he likes to coach Iran, Masajedi said, “Honestly, I like to work in Iran national team as coach or assistant. I want to help my country since the Olympic Games will be held in Japan and I am familiar with the country’s culture and it can be very helpful for our team. I am ready to come to Iran and don’t care about money since to help the younger players is my priority.”

Iran have been drawn with Japan in Pool A of the Olympic Games and Masajedi believes Iran are a better team and can defeat the hosts.

“We still are a better team than Japan and can beat them because Iran are physically stronger. We have won so many matches based on our players’ ability and it has nothing to do with system or strategy. In my opinion, Iran still are the best team in Asia,” Masajedi concluded.