15. 07. 2019

VNL F6 M: Heynen leaves national team prior to bronze medal match, Polish Federation not happy about it

Source: polsatsport.pl; Photo: volleyball.world

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Vital Heynen, the head coach of Poland Men’s Volleyball national team, left his players four hours before the bronze medal match in the Final Six of the 2019 FIVB Nations League in Chicago, USA. His employers, the Polish Federation (PZPS), did not like it, Polsat Sport reported.

 

Allegedly, Heynen planned to leave Chicago after the pool stage to return to Poland national team training camp in the city of Zakopane and work with the group that is preparing for the Qualifications for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but his players surprised him by advancing to the 2019 VNL semifinals as they won both games in the pool. That’s when Heynen promised to stay in Chicago as long as they are winning and fulfilled his promise. So, a defeat to Russia in the semifinals was a sign to the Belgian expert to return to Poland. He was replaced by his assistant Jakub Bednaruk in the bronze medal match against Brazil, which Poland won.

But, it seems that his departure from Chicago was done without permission of the Polish Volleyball Federation (PZPS).

“He (Heynen) didn’t talk to me personally. As far as I know, he talked with the director of the training and sports department, he also talked with the manager of the team. On July 17, I'll go to Zakopane to discuss this matter with him... I’m very surprised by his decision because he was supposed to stay until the end (of the Final Six). I’ll speak openly with him and say it straight to his eyes, that he didn't treat players, who played in Chicago, seriously,” the PZPS President Jacek Kasprzyk said to Polsat Sport and added:

“I wouldn’t call it a job abandonment, because he didn’t go on holiday, but went to a group that trains in Poland. The most important tournament for us this year is the Olympic Qualifications.”

Heynen turned to the supporters on his Twitter account after this.

“I love Poland, the most passionate Volleyball country in the world. It is great that you all have opinions. But, is it possible that for every tweet you write about me, you write 2 about the players? They are, like always, the real heroes of the story.”

 

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