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NVL Super 8 : IBB Polonia throws down the gauntlet
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2017/8/17 10:40:00 (56 reads)

Top coach renews contract (Men's Super8s - National Volleyball League)
Publicity pressure too
In another press release IBB Polonia London has announced that head coach Piotr Graban has agreed to the extension of his contract for another year and will continue to develop volleyball in Great Britain.

Open in new windowPiotr was born in Gdańsk and is 30 years old. In his first season at the club he won the Super8 title of England as well as the national Cup and also achieved a historic level of success in the CEV (European Volleyball Federation) Challenge Cup. He had spent the previous four years as assistant coach at PGE Atom Trefl Sopot. Piotr studied Physical Education in University of Physical Education in Gdansk and completed his Masters degree in volleyball.

Because of the very high administrative demands of the CEV and the inherent risks in staging and travelling costs, the club has decided to enter one of the five zonal club competitions in the coming season. Teams in the competition will come only from Scandinavian countries and Belgium while it will be much less stressful to have to attract 800 spectators to Brentford Fountain than more than a thousand at somewhere like Crystal Palace.

It's interesting that Piotr reveals that he has had a few propositions from Poland but decided the offer from IBB Polonia London was more attractive because it is a longer term project. He wants to build a very strong team that will compete in Europe. He also wants to be an influence outside IBB Polonia, influencing the sport as a whole in the UK. For that reason, he is very motivated to work hard and to build the team.

After an active summer, he is looking forward to the new season and its challenges.

"There is always room to improve," he says, disclosing that a number of experienced players will not be returning this year due to work commitments or offers from professional clubs. However, he is delighted that the majority of the players will be back for another year. This shows that they enjoyed the steps taken last year and those proposed for this year.

"There is a lot of work in front of us if we want to become a professional club." he concludes adding that he will repeat last year’s goals. The club is likely to be seeing some new potentially very good players who will join us and improve. It is to be seen what outcomes happen as a result. Piotr hopes Polonia can make history once again in England.

At a personal level, Piotr will be organising some coaching clinics and player development courses in England and next year in Poland. He has also started work on two other volleyball projects which will not come as a surprise being loosely based around development of coaches as well as male and female players in the UK and Poland. He will let us know more about them when he is ready.

Asked about the Super8 opposition, Piotr said, "I don't want to guess. All the clubs will be keeping their cards close to their chests. Only once we start pre season friendly matches, will we have some idea about other clubs and allow us to make predictions. We will focus on ourselves; at the end we will see who is the best."

Yet just the issuing of the press releases can teach us all a lot and shows the influence of the club's marketing expert, Bartek Luszcz. Polonia is not content with the announcing of what is to come in the hope of attracting a few people which is what most of us end up doing - yes successful marketing requires a lot more. It's not even content with following up the announcement with a report on the match or activity as Volleyball England encouraged us all to do last season in its push to improve volleyball's profile. IBB Polonia keeps our interest alive with regular features on players, officers, ambitions and activities. I have no doubt we shall be reading a lot about the club in the coming months. It would be great to be reading about a lot more teams as well and to see if the greater profile has an effect on performance.

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