The week has been an emotional roller coaster for Italian coach Marcello Abbondaza. His marriage to former Fehnerbaçe team managem Damla Albayrak was heavily promoted in Pomi Casalmaggiore’s official website (she even rode into the wedding on a car sponsored by the team) and Instagram page:
Then, only three days later, and only six months after having rescinded his contract with Fenerbaçe and signing a three year deal with Pomi, he was fired from the team due to the its surprisingly bad start of the season in Italy’s Serie A1. This was also promoted on the team’s website, just a mere items away from the marriage congratulations.
After going on a deep championship run last season, which saw the team fall just short, getting dropped in the semifinals by Team USA’s Lauren Gibbenmeyer’s eventual champions Novara Agil Volley, Pomi has started its 2017-2018 run in 10th place (out of 12 teams) in the standings through its first five games under coach Abbondaza. Needless to say, that was not the start team sponsors expected after investing heavily into its new roster.
The team has already announced one of Abbondanzza’s assistants, Cristiano Lucchi, as its new head coach. Prior to this, Lucchi was the head coach of Seria A2 Club Italia and served as an assistant in the Italian female national team. Here is hat he had to say after his promotion:
“We have to start from scratch. I first met with my coaching staff to make it clear to them that at this moment we need, first and foremost, maximum coherence and cohesion between us when trying to convey to the team what was talked in my meeting with the club’s president. First, we will not focus on the standings, but in our technical growth, individual performance, dialogue, fun, team preparation, and performance. Only then we will begin to think about the standings and goals that this team has set itself since the beginning of the season. I have full confidence in this group.”
Although things went very badly in Abbondaza’s short time in Pomi, as he also had to deal with some unlucky situations, the Italian coach has a history of excellence in volleyball, being one of the sport’s most successful coaches:
Titles won with Fenerbahçe:
- Women’s Cev Cup (2013-14)
- Turkish Supercup (2015)
- Two Turkish Championships (2014-15, 2016-17)
- Two Turkish Cups (2014-15, 2016-17)
Titles won with Villa Cortese:
- Two Italian Cups (2009-10, 2010-11)
Titles won with Rabita Baku:
- Azeri Championship (2012-13).
Titles won with Pesaro:
- Women’s Cev Cup (2005-06)
He also coached the Bulgarian national team for three years (2011-14) and is the current head coach of the Canadian female national team, which probably had something to do with Sarah Pavan’s and Megan Cyr signing with Pomi.