Soto joins Qatar as new volleyball coach

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Camilo Soto, the Argentine who coached the national team to the FIVB World Under-23 Championship in Egypt this year, will guide Qatar’s national team.

The 42-year-old signed the agreement with the QVA in Doha on Saturday, replacing Italian head coach Roberto Piazza.

QVA President Ali Ghanim al Kuwari and QVA Board Member Mubarak Eid were also present on the occasion.

Kuwari said the association gave its nod to Soto as he handled and shaped the young players of his country to the world title.

“There were several candidates for the job. But what we liked about Soto was he worked with the under-23 of Argentina and coached it to the world title. We also have many young players in our national team. We wish good luck to him and hope that he would be able to shape our players well,” commented Kuwari.

The new coach was delighted with the new assignment and commented: “It is an hounour to be the coach of Qatar. Both good talent and infrastructure are available here and we need to focus on the development of the players and game here.”

The former outside hitter from Neuquen had been coached the U23 Argentine team since 2016 when he guided them to the second place in the U22 South American Championship and the title in the Panamerican Cup.

In August earlier this year, Argentina, under his watchful eyes, created history in the FIVB Men’s U23 World Championship final when they knocked out defending champions Russia after six dramatic sets.

This was the first time in history that Argentina won any FIVB world title.

Soto had got inputs from former Qatar coach from Argentina Juan Manuel Cichello and current Qatar beach volleyball coach Mariano Baracetti. He also got details from Police coach Damian Arrendondo before he decided to take up the job for a first time in the Gulf.

Soto is influenced by Julio Velasco, the Argentine-born Italian volleyball team coach. On his lines, he also wishes to create two teams of the probable players. “I have seen the videos of the League and the national team. The level is good and we have to work as a team to get good results. I would like to have two teams and then try to develop them with healthy competition for the places in the main team.”

On Sunday, Soto would return to Argentina and finish his current tenure with the club before returning to Qatar in April.

Talking about the main challenges, he said his first target is the FIVB World Challenger in June. “Talking about the main challenges, he said his first target is the FIVB World Challenger in June. “Though the time is a bit short, we would try to build a strong team for the FIVB World Challenger, which is scheduled to start in the first week of June.”

“This will be followed by the Asian Games. We will review the performance of the team and try to work out a strategy to improve in the areas we lack.

“For the Asian Games, we will have enough time to prepare. Let us hope for the best,” Soto added.