Pakistan backed to become one of top teams in Asian volleyball

Pakistan is brimming with talent, according to coach Issanaye Ramires Ferraz

April 06, 2024
Pakistan volleyball team. - AVC

LAHORE: Claiming that Pakistan’s volleyball is on the path of progress, the country’s outgoing Brazilian volleyball coach Issanaye Ramires Ferraz says if everything is put in place and a big effort, backed by massive support from all cordons, is made then Pakistan can enter into top two in Asia in eight years.

“Volleyball in Pakistan is on the path of development. To be in top two in Asia we need big investment: money, coaching courses, better facilities and working on Under-16, Under-18 and Under-20 teams frequently,” Issanaye told ‘The News’ in an interview from Islamabad.

“And it would be equally important to make the players play more international friendly matches and to be more ready for the official tournaments,” Issanaye was quick to add. Issanaye has entered into a lucrative contract with Korea and he will join Korea’s team later this month.

“It’s a long-term goal and if everything works as I explained, so may be, it will take minimum eight years,” said Issanaye who last year guided Pakistan to an impressive fifth-place finish in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

He said that Pakistan is brimming with talent. “The talent of volleyball is everywhere in Pakistan. We need to promote more national tournaments at the Under-16, Under-18 and Under-20 levels besides starting professional league and giving players the opportunities to develop themselves,” Issanaye said.

He was happy with the way he spent time in Pakistan. “It was an amazing experience. The players are amazing. My assistant coaches are hard workers also. Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob is a volleyball lover. The national team is his life,” Issanaye said.

He said that Yaqoob is capable of developing the sport. 

“Yaqoob is the one who can do that. He needs support and investment from government and sponsors. Volleyball is one of the sports that made Pakistani people proud. Pakistan volleyball is in the best moment of its history in my opinion,” Issanaye said.

“So many players are performing in an amazing way in foreign leagues. They need support,” he said. 

Asked whether he had been given full authority in selection, Issanaye replied in affirmative. “I had autonomy in my decisions. The PVF chief gave me free hand to do my job,” he said. He thanked the PVF and its chairman for giving him an opportunity to serve as Pakistan’s coach.

“I have only great things to speak about Yaqoob. I am so grateful to him for giving me with the opportunity to serve as Pakistan’s coach,” Issanaye said. 

Asked why Pakistan’s seasoned spiker and former Pakistan captain Aimal Khan was not in the national senior men’s team during his era as Pakistan coach, Issanaye said he loves him.

“I have great relationship and big respect for Aimal Khan. When I arrived here, he was out of the players list by performance. He also didn’t have a great performance at the national tournament. His performance has improved and now he is with us,” Issanaye said. He said that he is leaving Pakistan’s coaching job with a heavy heart. “I am leaving with broken heart. I would also like to serve the nation again if I am given such an opportunity in future by the PVF chief Chaudhry Yaqoob,” Issanaye said.

Alam Zeb Safi is a senior reporter for The News