Nepali volleyball needs overhaul, says Movahedi

Kathmandu, January 10

Iranian coach Hamid Movahedi said Nepali volleyball was languishing two decades behind and it would take at least one year to build a team that can win medals in South Asia.

“Nepal volleyball is two decades behind, we need to upgrade it if we are to win medals in the South Asian Games,” said Movahedi, who has been hired by Nepal Volleyball Association to prepare for the regional games to be held in India from February 6-16.

Movahedi said the one-month training was not enough for the players to win medals. “We need at least a year to develop a good team. Nepali players are playing traditional volleyball, while the rest of the world has already adapted modern techniques. We also need to upgrade the playing style of the team for better results,” he added.

Despite being the most popular sport of the country, volleyball has not been able to win accolades in international arena. The men’s team is yet to win medal in South Asian Games, while the women’s volleyball has won two bronze medals.

Nepal finished third in the eighth SAF Games in Kathmandu when the women’s volleyball was introduced in the regional games and won another bronze in the 10th edition in Colombo.

In its bid to win medal in the regional games, the Nepal Volleyball Association hired an experienced coach in Movahedi, who had earlier coached Iran national team, senior team, junior team and beach team.

He also looked after Germany, Denmark, Lebanon and United Arab Emirates teams in many tournaments.

But the coach has ruled out possibility of winning medals in next month’s Games in India. Movahedi said the Nepali players had potential but they were way behind in modern techniques. “Nepali players need to improve a lot and this one-month time is not enough for them.

These players also lack experience and they need to play more friendly matches frequently,” Movahedi added.

Movahedi and his assistant Jagadish Bhatta have been training the men’s team twice a day. “The training is hard for them as they have to learn modern volleyball along with new techniques and tactics. The players have improved lot in a week.

I will not say this team will win medal in the South Asian Games but the team will be read to give tough fight,” Movahedi said. “Nepal must have good facility to develop the game.

They do not have good foam, floor and covered hall which are basic requirements for volleyball,” he added.

“We need to have good budget to develop the game. Government, association along with Olympic committee must provide budget to develop the game,” he added.

Member of Nepal Volleyball Association Lekhnath Sharma Parajuli said they were not aware of the faulty playing style of Nepali players.

“We were totally unaware of the modern techniques of volleyball as we have been solely dependent on local coaches in the past,” Parajuli said. “We are planning to keep Movahedi for some time and ask him to train coaches as well.”