THE Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PVNF) announced on Monday that Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito will be joining the women's volleyball team as part of the FIVB’s development project platform.
Jorge, without a doubt, will be a big boost to the national team given his credentials. The 54-year old won an Olympic gold medal as a player and a second gold as coach of Brazil's women's team in the 2008 Beijing Games.
But the announcement of his appointment created a little confusion, since the newly created PVNF had just months earlier appointed a head coach for the women's national team in Odjie Mamon, with Tai Bundit and Grace Antigua in his staff.
So will Jorge be taking over the job?
PNVF president Tats Suzara has yet to reply to questions at posting time but the head of the association's National Teams Commission, Tony Boy Liao, shed light on the situation, when sought for comment by SPIN.ph.
Once he arrives in June or July, the first order of business for Jorge is to sit down with PNVF officials and Mamon's staff to define their roles, beginning with the team's participation in the coming Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
“When the Brazilian coach arrives, he will first sit down with Coach Odjie and his coaching staff and discuss in what would be the roles of each one,” Liao said.
Liao said the former Brazil national team middle blocker-turned-women’s coach is likely to sit as an active consultant first considering that the SEA Games will be held just months after his scheduled arrival.
But Liao said Souza de Brito will definitely take over the coaching reins of the national team by 2022.
“Maybe because of the very short time frame to the SEA games, we don’t know if the Brazilian coach will accept the coaching job right away or be a consultant first,” Liao said. “But definitely by 2022, he will be the head coach.”
PNVF hired the 54-year-old coach to develop the Philippine women’s volleyball program, which has not finished in the podium in the SEA for the past 16 years. His two-year stay in the country will be subsidized by FIVB.
Regardless of what his role will be for the national team come the Asian Senior Women’s Championship in August and SEA Games in November, Liao believes the Brazilian coach will make a huge impact in his two-year tenure.
If the decision is his to make, Liao said he would like to see Jorge oversee the PVNF's grassroots development program.
“Actually he could be a good coach but it will all depend on the materials that he will have. If I could have my way, I will recommend that he starts and develop the young players that tried out,” he said.
“Maybe add some more players that he can discover when he lives here by watching the UAAP and NCAA games. He might also discover tall and young players from high school.”