JJ8_Ferdinando de giorgi

Four unforgettable days

by Cesare Barbieri

Lube Macerata, trained by the setter who won countless championships in the Nineties, won the National and the Champions League, which has been conquered again by an Italian team been after eight years 

Jacopo Volpi, a TV volley commentator, referred to the team which won three World Cups, the Olympic silver medal and World Leagues as a “Generation of Champions”. At the end of their career, these champions gave up the tournaments but didn’t give up the winning attitude. Today Fefè De Giorgi, former setter of the national team, is the most appreciated coach in Europe: within four days, Lube Macerata – the team trained by him – won the National and the Champions League.

  • Those four days must be unforgettable …
    They will always remain in my mind as well as in players’ minds. We had lost two sets in Perugia, we managed to perform a come back and win the championship. However, our party didn’t last long, and the next morning we were training for the final in Berlin against Zenit-Kazan.
  • Let’s start with the National League: your comeback had been amazing!
    We had lost the first two sets, but in the second one, we scored 22 points and played well. Of course, we were all aware of the fact that we had lost 3-0 the two previous matches in the final series played in Umbria.
  • Then what happened?
    There are no magic words: if they existed, all the coaches would use them! I stared at the players and said: «Let’s focus on the next ball». It may sound trivial, but it is not: every point scored requires hours of training and workouts, where even the smallest detail is taken into account. We started the third set with the right approach, maybe the opposing team didn’t expect such a strong reaction. That’s how we performed a great come back.
  • What does manic training rely on?
    It requires hours of training in the gym to improve the technical aspects, such as the players’ position under predictable circumstances, such as high smashes and sets. Sometimes, it is a matter of a few centimetres. During the training and the matches, we always place a camera on the short side to identify any mistake and possibly correct it.
  • Fefè De Giorgi, has your past experience as a volleyball player helped you now as a coach? If so, to what extent?
    It’s not enough to ensure success, because being a coach means being able to make plans and joining forces with your 15 players to help them achieve their best results.
  • But, in this regard, you are surely able to better manage the game and the possible difficulties…
    There is no fixed rule. I trained teams that went to pieces after an ace or pass errors; in other cases, I had to call a time-out whenever they made attack errors.
  • Do you know the number of titles that you have won?
    As a player or as a coach?

No, there is no need to count the titles. Fefè De Giorgi and the “Generation of Champions” are true winners, especially because they were great and exciting. This is the most important thing!


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