Guidetti parts ways with The Netherlands to spend time with daughter


Giovanni Guidetti leaves The Netherlands to spend more time with his family.

Lausanne, Switzerland, December 26, 2016 - After two short years and some incredible achievements with the women's National Team of The Netherlands, Giovanni Guidetti is departing the programme to spend more time with his family, the Dutch Volleyball Federation NeVoBo announced today.

The 44-year-old Italian coach, who is married to Turkish international and VakifBank Istanbul middle blocker Bahar Toksoy, became a father last September.

"In the end I didn't choose what was best for me, but what is best for my family," said Guidetti in announcing his decision. "I had the choice to be with my daughter Alison twelve months a year instead of six. This changed everything."

Baby Alison taking her first flight to meet the Italian side of her family.

After leading Germany to a bronze medal at the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix and a couple of silver at the 2011 and 2013 European Championships, Guidetti took charge of the Dutch National team and immediately led the side to a silver at the 2015 European Championship followed by a bronze at the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix and an amazing fourth-place finish at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"This was the hardest decision I had to make in my entire life," he said. "I'm leaving a great team with great players and great staff in the middle of a successful journey. The last two years were an incredible experience for me. The synergy between myself, the staff, the players, the fans, the federation, the sponsors, the people at the national training centre Papendal and the media was perfect. Everybody gave me the feeling I was the luckiest coach in the world."

Guidetti and Dutch National Team staff erupt with joy after beating Korea in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games quarterfinals.

Guidetti has been living in Istanbul since 2008, when he took the helm of VakifBank, leading the club to two gold at the 2013 FIVB Club World Championship in Zurich, in addition to two European Champions Leagues and numerous domestic titles. He has also led VakifBank to silver in 2011 in Doha followed by a bronze in 2013 in Manila at the FIVB Club World Championships.

Although after Rio 2016 NeVoBo and Guidetti renewed their cooperation leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the birth of his daughter changed the coache's priorities and he requested the Dutch Federation to terminate his contract.

"I am sure this team is strong and mature enough to continue their journey. It is a great group of players which will keep being successful. I will never forget all the special moments I experienced with this team," added Guidetti.

Guidetti is expected to take over the Turkish National Team, which will allow him work out of Istanbul. The Dutch Federation is currently searching for a new head coach for their women's team.

Meanwhile there's already been reaction to Guidetti's departure from The Netherlands. "I am very surprised and disappointed with his choice," said National Team captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues. "Together we started a journey towards Tokyo two years ago, unfortunately we have to go on without him. I am grateful towards Giovanni for everything that he has done for the team, and I wish him all the best in his career."

And former Dutch men's National Team coach Joop Alberda, who led The Netherlands to the gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, tweeted: "@Gio1315. Guidetti was an absolute success. Thanks!"

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