Head coaches appointed to lead English senior sides
23rd December 2015
Volleyball England has appointed Simon Loftus and David Goodchild as the senior men’s head coach and senior women’s head coach respectively.
Simon, who has more than 13 years’ experience of coaching top level volleyball, including being part of the coaching team during London 2012, is currently the head coach at the University of East London’s senior academy.
He is looking forward playing a pivotal role in an important year for the men’s senior programme.
He said: “I am delighted to be joining Volleyball England at such a significant time for the sport and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
“In May this year the England men’s team will be competing in the first round of the CEV European Championships qualifications stage - the first time since 2001.
“This is a vital stage for the sport and will bring forward our long term goal of representing Team GB at future Olympic Games and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
David Goodchild will head up the England women’s team, a role he is relishing having been the assistant head coach to the women’s Team GB side for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
With the primary focus looking at rebuilding the team post- 2012, David’s priority will be to lead the women’s team through a programme of training opportunities building toward an international competition during the summer of 2016.
“We’re very much in the process of rebuilding the team post-London 2012,” he said. “While we aren’t looking to qualify for the CEV European Champs this year, we will be looking at an international programme against appropriate opposition which will improve our progress.
“There is a great wealth of talent in the senior team and the junior ranks and I’m looking forward to taking the team back to top flight volleyball.”
David currently heads up the volleyball programme at Northumbria University, a Sport England Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme accredited centre.
Audrey Cooper, technical and talent director at Volleyball England, said: “We are really looking to build on the success of this newly formed young senior programme, maintaining momentum gathered in terms of vision and performance.
“We are providing visibility to the top of our athlete pathway which sends a positive message to athletes, volunteers and the wider volleyball community as we work towards our Strategy 2024.
“Both coaches have a huge amount of experience, especially in their roles in the senior academy programme and I have no doubt that under their influence, the senior teams can start to reach their performance potential and once again make their mark on the international circuit.
“We are delighted that the men’s team will be fighting for their spot in top flight European volleyball and we are putting benchmarks in place to ensure the women’s team will join them in 2017.”
The first big test for the men’s team will be on 19-22 May when they will play Hungary, Norway and Israel, aiming to top their group and make it through to the second round of the CEV European Championships qualifiers.