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NVL Super 8 : Simon Loftus to coach IBB Polonia
Posted by Media Team on 2018/7/12 14:40:00 (35 reads)

Men's Super division - National Volleyball League
Club announces new appointment
Open in new windowLondon's top men's side last season, IBB Polonia announced yesterday (11th July) the appointment of Simon Loftus as head coach for the upcoming season. Simon is a Scottish volleyball coach with international experience that includes Olympic Games and it’s a return to English league volleyball, and time to lead the ambitious London based club.

He is originally from Glasgow, but lived in England for eleven years when he came to build the volleyball programme at Leeds Metropolitan University. He left after five years and remembers beating Polonia in the English Cup Final in his last game for them in 2012. Later he coached in Sweden, USA and was an assistant coach at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Currently he is the head coach of England Men's National Team, teaches at Kingston University and will coach IBB Polonia from the autumn.

When invited to describe his proudest coaching achievement he felt he was lucky to be able to contest championships with a number of teams. He thought the time he spent in Sweden when the coaching staff did very well with an inexperienced team was particularly enjoyable confident he did a good job developing those players. He added, "Also, being able to participate in the Olympics and work alongside the world's best players is something I will never forget".

Asked about his coaching philosophy Simon said he thinks it is very important for players to express themselves and to create a show for people who are watching. It needs to be understood that current volleyball is an entertainment business. He likes his players to play expressive, expansive volleyball, where they can take risks particularly admiring the Brazilian style: fast, technically good and with great passion.

He went on to explain the post from the perspective of English Head Coach saying, "When after the Olympics the whole funding was cut to the GB programme, a lot of players retired or got involved in other projects. So, it took us a while until we managed to send England to the European Championships – but when we did, I think we competed quite well and a lot of guys got quite excited about the prospect. So, for me the plan is to compete is as many European and World qualifications and in the new European League as England needs to compete at this level to grow and to give the sport the presence it deserves".

We know that IBB Polonia London is working hard on its image and in getting a lot of fans following and Simon is looking forward to coaching in such an atmosphere. He finds it an amazing opportunity to play in front of the crowd as it’s great for players to be able to express themselves and be a part of something that’s revolutionising the game in England. To play in semi-pro, pro setup players had to travel abroad now they have an opportunity to do it in the UK and really be at the forefront of developing the sport in the UK. He thinks that one thing we are lacking here are sport role-models that can inspire the younger generations – now we will have it here – so IBB Polonia with him as a leader can develop the game further.

When asked how he will be preparing to start his new job with a new club, Simon replied, " Now it’s time to identify old and new players, watch some videos and start to formulate the squad. Once this is done we will start planning the pre-season and then move onto the season that starts in early October. I am really looking forward to the season and I am very grateful for the opportunity to get back to the league coaching after the three years.

Material kindly provided by Katarzyna Strag
Picture, Katarzyna Strag

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