Preparing the national squads for the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Sri Lanka in August and the Asian Games in Doha in December will be the topmost priorities for the newly appointed national volleyball coach — Hyderabad-based Dronacharya awardee M. Syamsundar Rao. India's qualification for the Olympics would also be high on Rao's agenda as also the women's team campaign in the Princess Cup at Ramkhambaeng University in Thailand from June 6 to 12.

The coach said his role would be to coordinate with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) and chalk out the training programme for all National teams. He said he would be consulted in the selection of teams and coaches for various age groups.

Rao was chosen for the job of guiding the national squads at a recent meeting of the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) in Chennai, but his name was ratified by SAI only later.

A. Joseph Antony