Ivan Petkov, the current head coach of Bulgaria’s most successful female team, Maritza Plovdiv, was just announced as the head coach of Bulgaria’s Women’s national team. He beat Ivan Seferinov and Antonina Zetova for the job, getting 16 out of 22 total votes from the Bulgarian Volleyball Federation (BVF). Petkov’s main goal will be to help the Bulgarian team advance in FIVB’s senior rankings, in which it currently ranks in 17th place, and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Here are his first words after having learned of the news:
“I’m happy to have been chosen as the coach of the women’s national team. This is a huge challenge. To represent your country is a very emotional moment and I can not describe it in words. But one thing is certain, I will do our best to realize the goals that have been set for us. I know they are not small goals and that they are very important for the future of the national team.
Our main objective is win a berth for the Olympic Games in 2020. Of course, this goal goes through the League of Nations standings and a good World Championship performance. These are tasks that are very difficult, but with a proper planning can be accomplished. Myself, I aim even higher, but do not want to burden anyone with my ambitions, it’s just my thoughts as a national coach.
All of this will be hard, but if something is not difficult, it is not sweet. We are in such a situation that whatever happens this summer will be of great importance. Everything needs to be very well organized for these goals to be achieved. There are things I can not yet reveal at this moment, because there are still talks and different things to happen. The idea is to create competition in the national team, to give opportunities to new and young athletes, to give a chance for future athletes. Things should happen side by side – work for present and future goals.”
BVF’s vice-president Lubo Ganev was very adamant in saying that Petkov’s contract and remuneration will be dictated by his performance on the job:
We settled on a one year contract. For the first time, we set a fixed salary and premiums for the coaching job. This is done in order for the staff to have incentives. For the first time, we appointed a coach who has a clear goal to follow, a strategy that we have defended before the Ministry of Sport. For the first time, the coach’s remuneration is tied to his results.
Petkov will lead a core of competent stars in Elitsa Vasileva, Dobriana Rabadzhieva and Gergana Dmitrova in the team’s future competitions.