The Iranian federation announced a list of 31 players to join the men’s national team for the first training camp ahead of the 2023 season, set to start on Sunday, April 16. Head coach Behrouz Ataei’s extended roster marks the return of some of Iran’s experienced national team stars like Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, Amir Ghafour or Masoud Gholami, who were not part of the team in 2022.
As many as 12 of the 14 players, who represented Iran at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Poland and Slovenia where the team finished in 13th place, are part of this year’s selection, with opposite Saber Kazemi and young middle blocker Amir Hossein Toukhteh the only ones who are absent from the list.
Training will start next week at the federation hall in the Iranian capital Tehran.
“We will start the national team’s training on April 16. Apart from the legionnaires, who will join the national team after the end of their club seasons, and some players of Shahdab Yazd, who will compete in the Asian Club Championship, the rest of the players will be present at the first camp,” coach Ataei told volleyball.ir.
Before the start of Volleyball Nations League 2023, Iran will welcome the national team of Serbia for joint training and friendly matches.
Iran, currently in number 10 of the FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Ranking, will look to improve further on the seventh place they took in VNL 2022 as they take on the 2023 edition in June and July. Their Preliminary Phase campaign starts on June 6 and includes matches in Nagoya (Japan), Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Anaheim (USA). If they qualify for the VNL Finals, they will travel to Gdansk, Poland for the event from July 19 through 23.
Later in the season, Iran will try to defend their continental title as they host the 2023 Asian Championship in Tehran from August 19 through 26. They will start the tournament in a pool with Hong Kong and Iraq.
From September 19 to September 26 in Hangzhou, China, Iran will try to conquer their third consecutive Asian Games crown.
Finally, coach Behrouz Ataei’s squad will join the qualifying battles for tickets to Paris 2024 as they travel to South America from September 30 through October 8 to take on Cuba, Czechia, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Ukraine and hosts Brazil for two spots at the Olympic Games next year.
“We will try to use all our capacities properly, because we have a very difficult year ahead of us,” Ataei added. “It is important that we can be in the best form, with the best conditions, and have the best performance in the upcoming competitions to achieve good results.”
Iran men’s national team full roster:
Setters: Ali Ramezani, Javad Karimisouchelmaei, Mohammad Taher Vadi
Opposites: Ali Hajipour, Amin Esmaeilnezhad, Amir Ghafour, Amir Golzadeh, Bardia Saadat
Outside hitters: Amirhossein Esfandiar, Armin Afshin Far, Ehsan Daneshdoust, Esmaeil Mosaferdashliboroun, Meisam Salehi, Milad Ebadipour, Mobin Nasri, Mohammadjavad Manavinezhad, Morteza Sharifi, Poriya Hossein Khanzadeh, Salim Chaparli, Shahrooz Homayonfarmanesh
Middle blockers: Aliasghar Mojarad, Amir Reza Sarlak, Mahdi Jelveh, Masoud Gholami, Mehrab Malakisorkhi, Mohammad Fallah Zarchoub, Mohammad Valizadeh, Seyed Mohammad Mousavi
Liberos:ArmanSalehi, MohammadrezaHazratpourtalatappeh, MohammadrezaMoazzen