December 9, 2021

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Woman volleyball coach Imani makes dream come true

TEHRAN – Samira Imani Fouladi is now the first Iranian women’s volleyball coach to work in Europe, as she has been appointed as coach of Portuguese women’s volleyball team AJM FC Porto.

Imani has signed a contract as Portugal’s champions assistant coach.

“It feels like a dream,” said the former Iran women’s national team player in her exclusive interview with Tehran Times.

“I always had the dream of working in Europe as a player or as a coach. After finishing my career as a player, I sought to improve my coaching knowledge to achieve this goal. So, I participated in coaching courses to obtain the necessary certificates to be able to achieve my dream,” said Imani.

Imani has won eight championships in the Iranian Volleyball Super League as a player. She also has played in the national volleyball team for 12 years and acted as a coach in different Iranian teams.

“Since no Iranian woman had not worked in European countries as a coach, I was determined to break this barrier. My agent helped me a lot in this regard and connected me with AJM FC Porto. They reviewed my career record at the club and international level and offered me the coaching job.

“I had some other offers as well, but I was ambitious to work in a high-level team like Porto. They are the champions of the 2021 Portuguese League, Cup, and Super Cup, and now they are competing in European Volleyball Champions League,” she stated.

“I’m supposed to work as a coach in Porto’s senior team and at the same time help the U21 team,” the 37-year-old coach added.

When asked about the current condition of the Iranian women’s volleyball, the former middle blocker of the Iran national team said: “First of all, I should say that I am representing Iran’s women volleyball in Europe at the moment. I hope I can show Iranian women’s capacity in European leagues. Since Mr. Davarzani was appointed as the president of the Iran volleyball federation, Iranian women’s volleyball has made significant progress because the federation has had special support for women’s volleyball. Now, we have foreign-based players both as players and coaches in other countries. Our national team also has had good training camps. So, in general, Iran’s women volleyball has a bright future ahead,” concluded Samira Imani.

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