Athanasopoulos named coach of Czech women's national volleyball team

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PRAGUE, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Ioannis Athanasopoulos, a 40-year-old Greek coach, will be at the helm of the Czech women's national volleyball team for the next two years, the Czech Volleyball Federation announced here Tuesday.

"I am very honored that the Czech Volleyball Federation has chosen me," said Athanasopoulos, who helped Germany's Stuttgart make to the quarterfinals of the CEV Champions League, thus becoming the first women's team from Germany to achieve this feat.

The post of the Czech women's volleyball coach has been vacant since February when former coach Zdenek Pommer left after the team failed to qualify for the European championship for the first time in 14 years.

"Over the next two years, we will work hard to improve the level of the Czech national team and, hopefully, to become one of the best European teams, with the biggest aim being to qualify for the European Championship in 2021," said Athanasopoulos.

In May and June, the Czech team will participate in the 2019 edition of the CEV European Golden League. In addition, the Czechs will contest a qualifying tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics later this summer. This event will take place in China in August, where the Czech Republic will play Turkey, Germany, and Olympic champions China.

Athanasopoulos knows the Czech Republic, their culture and many players from his time in the coaching staff of VK Prostejov, his last season before he moved to Stuttgart, said the Federation. Enditem

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