Ivan Petkov will be leading Bulgaria at the U20 World Championship
Plovdiv, Bulgaria, August 6, 2015 – The Bulgarian Volleyball Federation has appointed Ivan Petkov as the new head coach of the U20 team, ahead of their participation in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship that will take place in Puerto Rico from September 11-19.
The 38-year-old also coaches the Maritza Plovdiv’s women’s team and recently led them to a league and cup double, which means they will be competing in the 2016 CEV Volleyball Cup.
He originally made his breakthrough as an international coach, when he was assistant to the Bulgaria U20 team that reached the final four of the 2009 FIVB Women's Junior Volleyball World Championship in Mexico.
“For us it is a great honour to play at the World Championship in Puerto Rico,” Petkov said. “We have not set a specific goal for our team, but we hope to play well and achieve a good result that we can be proud of.
“Our pool with two Caribbean teams (Puerto Rico and Cuba) and two European teams (Russia and Bulgaria) is not an easy one. We have three hard games ahead of us, but our ambition is to advance further in the tournament. We will fight in every match and we will give our best to complete this young generation’s four-year cycle satisfied with the work we have put in these last few years.”
For the upcoming tournament in Puerto Rico, Petkov will be assisted by Radoslav Bakardzhiev, the head coach of the Levski Sofia women’s team and Maritza’s biggest rival during the past two domestic seasons in Bulgaria.
It is not the first time they have worked together; last summer Petkov and Bakardzhiev were in charge of the Bulgaria women’s team at the 2014 CEV Volleyball European League, as well the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix in Mexico.
A Bulgarian squad of 13 players will start its preparations on August 8 in Plovdiv. Three other players who are currently with the U23 team that will play at the U23 FIVB World Championship in Turkey, will join Petkov’s selection once that tournament has finished.
Before travelling to Puerto Rico, the young Lionesses will take part in the 2015 BVA Junior Women’s Balkan Championship from August 25-29 in Serbia.