September 25, 2023

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Generational change takes time to bear fruit, volleyball player says

TEHRAN – Ehsan Daneshdoust, Iran national volleyball team outside hitter, believes that the main reason for the team’s poor performance in the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) is the change of generation.

Iranian volleyball team had their worst performance in VNL’s history as they lost 10 out of 12 matches and came in 14th place in the tournament.

“The team’s performance and results were unacceptable, and that cannot be denied,” said Daneshdoust in his exclusive interview with Tehran Times.

“The national team’s poor results should be evaluated while considering the most significant issue – a generation change of players.

“Look at the Japan national team as a model. They began switching out players five or six years ago, gradually introducing new talents. Consequently, they now have a completely new generation of players who are excelling at the highest level of volleyball in the world.

“But Iran made major changes in less than two years, leading to the departure of top players like Saeid Marouf, Amir Ghafour, and Farhad Ghaemi, who had been significant parts of the national team for several years,” added the outside hitter.

Daneshdoust believes that the national team’s current players need support and time to excel and lift the team’s level.

“A generational change can’t happen overnight. It takes time and requires patience. The prior players who shone with the national team played for 14 to 15 years together and faced some difficulties at the beginning of their journey.

“Our current team mostly consists of players who won the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship in 2019, including myself, Esfandiar, Hazratpour, and Sharifi. This means that our squad have the potential to achieve great things on big stages,” said the 24-year-old player.

Rumors suggest that some vital players of the Iranian national team, who played a significant role in the VNL, are going to leave the team.

Commenting on the issue, Daneshdoust emphasized that: “Players have the right to make their own decision regarding participation in the national team. Regardless of personal decisions, I have faith that the national team will continue to work hard and stay united in their pursuit of excellence.

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