Brazilian coach looks to make history with PH women’s volleyball team
MANILA, Philippines — Jorge Edson Souza de Brito is no stranger to winning.
The Brazilian coach, who has vast experience as player and coach, aims to bring his winning pedigree to the Philippines when he handles the women’s national team.
“I could be the fatherly-type, but I want to push myself and the team, work hard to achieve goals,” said Souza de Brito, who was recently assigned by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) to help work on the national women’s team program.
“I’m very happy to have this chance to come to the Philippines, it’s an honor,” he said. “I love volleyball and I love the passion Filipinos have for volleyball. They love the sport so much—and there are a lot of fans.”
As a player, Souza de Brito won a gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He won another gold as assistant coach of Brazil’s women’s team in the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
“It was amazing, I can feel my body shaking, it’s a very special moment for all athletes,” he said about his golden moment. “It was the best emotion in my life.”
“I want to repeat that feeling again—in the Philippines, in the SEA Games,” he added.
As per the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon “Tats” Suzara, the first day of Souza de Brito’s his two-year contract as Philippine team coach will be on July 1.
“Coach Jorge has to have time to transition from his family and from his job as coach of Brazilian club Clube Duque de Caxias, which he has been mentoring since February last year,” Suzara said.
The 54-year-old Souza de Brito will work with veteran coach Odjie Mamon and his assistants Tai Bundit and Grace Antigua.
“I will do my best to help Philippine volleyball and I expect to see good players getting involved in the project,” he said. “We will try to get the best from what we can do and make a new page in history.”
Among the first order of business for the Souza de Brito and his crew is to prepare the team for the Asian Women’s Championship that the PNVF is expected to host and the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in November.
“It’s too early to make a change for the Asian championship, but for November, it would be different,” said Souze de Brito, who also had coaching stints in Japan and Korea. “Four months is actually not enough a time, but we’ll do our best, some changes will happen.”
The PH women’s team hasn’t made the SEA Games podium since its bronze medal finish in 2005.
“We build a new one, a new order,” he said, adding he would be adjusting his plans to suit Philippine, Southeast Asian and Asian volleyball.
“Each country or continent has its own way of playing volleyball and it’s impossible to change everything,” he said. “But I’m looking forward to make the team stronger and make the athletes understand the sport better. We all have to work altogether so we can see what kind of volleyball we can produce.”