Lausanne, Switzerland, April 25, 2018 – Gianlorenzo Blengini is counting down the days until he is reunited with his Italy squad ahead of what will be a busy few months.
Italy have a busy summer ahead, first with the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League and then when they play host for the Italy-Bulgaria 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship.
The Italy men’s coach is currently an interested spectator as the Italian SuperLega draws to a conclusion over the best of five final matches between Conad Perugia and Cucine Lube Civitanova which feature a number of his leading players.
“It is a good situation that there are many Italian players who are playing in these matches, and several of them have stood out this season,” Blengini told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “What concerns me most is managing their rest and recuperation because the Volleyball Nations League begins a few days after the season ends.
“Players who played in the Olympics will need to be played each weekend and then we will have to juggle the other players and ensure that they have their rest because there is no doubt that my only priority is to ensure the players arrive at the World Championship in the best shape possible.”
Currently Perugia lead 1-0, and if the final goes to five matches the fifth match will take place on Sunday May 6. That leaves less than a month to prepare for the start of the Volleyball Nations League which Italy begin with matches against Germany, Brazil and Serbia over the weekend of May 25, 26, 27.
The men's Volleyball Nations League Finals will take place in Lille, France from July 4-8, and then minds will turn to the World Championship that runs from September 9-30. Italy will start their campaign in Rome and Florence and the hope is that they will still be in contention when the semifinals and final take place in Turin.
“I think that Italian players in this league understand what awaits them and will be able to handle the pressure, so I think they will be looking forward to the World Championship in a positive way,” Blengini said.
“We have a strong team now and for the next few years. In attack as well as (Ivan) Zaytsev, (Giulio) Sabbi, (Luca) Vettori, (Gabrielle) Nelli there are guys like (Andrea) Argenta.
“The problem is that many of our young players need to play more, because many of them prefer to sit on the bench to starting. We have to change that mind set to make it more competitive for them throughout the year.”