Zurich, Switzerland, April 2, 2015 - Volero Zurich coach Dragutin Baltic has parted ways with the Swiss club with immediate effect, just over a month from the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship 2015 which the side will host from May 6 to 10.
Volero missed out on a spot in the Final Four of the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League earlier this month and club president Stav Jacobi and Baltic came to the decision on Thursday.
Avital Selinger will take over the running of the club for the rest of the season.
“Volero did not achieve the goals set for this Champions League season and I take full responsibility for this,” Baltic says. “As a result, I have offered my resignation. I want to clear the way so that the team can make the necessary steps in the coming weeks to get ready to win a medal at the FIVB Club World Championship that Zurich will host once again in early May.”
“Our next major goal is the Championship coming up in May and after missing out on a medal in 2013 and 2014, this time Volero wants to achieve this feat before the home crowd,” added Jacobi. “Since the next edition of this competition will take place only after the Rio Olympics, our next opportunity to achieve this goal would only be in one and a half years. I am confident that the team can make it there and I have to acknowledge that Mr Baltic has played an important role with his work towards the achievement of this goal. We thank Dragutin for his work at Volero especially since he had to take over the team in a difficult moment and with his experience he steered the group in the right direction.”
The last time Selinger and Volero crossed ways was in December 2013 when the former was at the helm of Russia’s Dinamo Krasnodar as they took on Volero at the Top Volley International tournament in Basel. Selinger guided the Russian team to the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup in the same year. Since the spring of 2014, he has been at the helm of Israel men’s national team.
The new coach played for that same squad from 1974 to 1982; after that he switched allegiance to the Netherlands playing as many as 387 matches with the Oranjes and winning a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, adding to his resume bronze from the 1989 and 1991 editions of the European Championship.
In 1996 Selinger worked as an assistant for his father Arie who at the time was coaching Japan’s top team Hisamitsu Springs. He was at the helm of that same team from 1999 to 2003 winning two editions of Japan’s V.League. The team from Kobe will be among those participating in this year’s Women’s Club World Championship. In 2004, Selinger completed a terrific foursome with Spain’s Tenerife Marichal sweeping all domestic competitions – national league, national cup and Supercup – as well as the CEV Volleyball Champions League.
Selinger was coach of the Dutch women’s national team from 2004 through 2011 triggering a terrific development for women’s volleyball in the Netherlands. After implementing a year-round programme around the team of Dela Martinus Amstelveen, he guided the Oranjes to a historic World Grand Prix title in 2007, before winning silver at the 2009 European Championship in Poland.
“Volero is one of the strongest teams in Europe with many top players,” the 56-year old said. “I am very happy to be a part of this group and to take up this challenge. My first goal is to continue the work done so far and to perform well up to the end of our national league. After that, we will be using every single training session to show that if they stick together as a team, the players have the ability to achieve something big in May. The Club World Championship will be a tough fight, but a medal is something which is within our reach. It’s all about reaching the level of the other world-class teams on that specific day.”