Andrea Giani, the quiet strength of the French team

He is the new asset of the Blues. Italian Andrea Giani has been leading the French volleyball team since March. He took over from the short successor of Laurent Tillie, the Brazilian Bernardinho, who resigned to everyone’s surprise due to family reasons, seven months after taking his post. A new good catch for the tricolor clan, which has managed to attract a world-class discipline in its ranks. with Andrea Giani, 52 years old, is an Italian volleyball legend.

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His track record is great. Former center of the Nazionale, he was part of the golden age of Italian volleyball between the 1990s and the beginning of 2000. In the national team, he dtwice silver medalist in the Olympic Games, triple world champion, quadruple European champion, and winner of seven world leagues. With Modena, the only club with Parma where he played, the native of Naples also won two Champions Leagues. The only thing missing is the Olympic title.

To raise it “unique challenge” what is the coaching of France in his words, the ex-player with an impressive build (1m96) and natural aura should leave the German team, which he trained since 2016 and where he has been until the end of year. An arrival that delighted the French players. “It is a source of pride to see that our team, its style and its identity are popular. It shows that the French team has passed a milestone, and that famous coaches want to join us”, confirms Jean Patry, voted best in the last League of Nations.

Having only joined the French team six months ago, Andrea Giani is already united. “He’s a great manager of men, assured Loïc Geiler, his deputy. He has a great experience as a player and a coach [il a aussi entraîné l’équipe nationale de Slovénie entre 2015 et 2016]. He is used to coaching stars like our current players. He has all the weapons to handle this position. ”

“He is a calm coach, who brings peace, while knowing very well where he wants to take the team and the points to improve”, said Jean Patry. “It’s a silent force”, confirmed by Laurent Tillie, former coach of the Blues, and a very close friend of Giani.

“Above all, he gives us confidence, which is important for the players. He doesn’t put pressure on a player or the team. He’s a lot about listening, talking and sharing.”

Jean Patry, sharp in the French team

in franceinfo: sport

Listening and communication are key words in Giani’s philosophy. He explained this himself in the columns of The groupApril 12, 2022. “It’s important that the players know what’s on my mind, how the week is going, what I expect from them…”

Andrea Giani, coach of the French men's volleyball team since March, stocks his players, during training at the Arena Futuroscope, near Poitiers (Vienne), May 24, 2022. (MAXPPP)

Along with this peace that is admired by all, he is also convinced of his strictness to the land and his vision. “From a technical point of view, we do a lot of video analysis and statistics that allow us to see the points of our game to improve. The Italian coaches use it”, Focused on Jean Patry, who has been playing in Milan since the summer of 2020.

But his great strength is to be able to tame this French team, with its state of mind and its atypical game. He positioned himself to continue Laurent Tillie. “He is very open, and he allows the group to express this touch of madness that characterizes us on the pitch, Jean Patry was happy. It’s important to a group like us, that we keep this freedom, this little madness that makes us who we are. He knows how to respect that. ” A particularity that he understood when he took office. And for good reason, most of the French players have been working with him since they played or have played in the Italian championship.

“He understands the group. He is not one who imposes, but accompanies and manages. We share the same vision.”

Laurent Tillie, former Blues coach

in franceinfo: sport

“A lot Coaches want to impose their tactical and technical vision. But with this French team, you don’t have to impose. You have to guide and Andrea does it very well”, supported by Laurent Tillie, “proud of a job well done” to his friend. “It was never easy to get. But he found his speech, his method, and the players followed him”, Laurent Tillie confessed again.

To use his method, Andrea Giani can rely on his right arm, Roberto Ciamarra, who is his assistant in Modena where he also trains. “Their duet is very interesting, slips Loïc Geiler, his second French deputy. Andrea is the master of practice. He likes to touch balls, put players in situations. Behind, Roberto is a theoretical, tactical and technical bible, and that has a real balance.”

In less than six months, the “Giani method” has already borne fruit. The French team won the third Nations League (then called the World League) on July 24 by defeating the United States. Next goal: to win gold at the world championship, the only title the tricolor clan has lost. Before projecting himself to a greater search, that of the Olympic double in Paris in two years. Which is an achievement. Only the USSR (1964, 1968) and the United States (1984, 1988) have achieved such a feat. The mission is launched.

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