Korean men’s volleyball that Tillikainen dreams of… Increase international competitiveness

Korean Air, a professional volleyball men’s team led by coach Tommy Tilikhainen, advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, where Asia’s top clubs compete. Head coach Tillikainen insists that Korean men’s volleyball should not remain a frog in a well, and must face strong players head-on in order to gain international competitiveness.

Korean Air has been participating in this competition held in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, since the 14th. Originally, this time is when the leaders need to rest and heal their injuries after finishing the fierce 2022-2023 season. Nonetheless, coach Tillikainen decided to participate in this tournament at the end of the season according to his will.

Upon hearing the news of participating in the tournament, Korean Air players were dubious. There were voices of concern that if you go on an overseas expedition forcibly during a period of rest, you may get injured while tired and ruin the 2023-2024 season.

Nonetheless, coach Tillikainen insisted on participating in the tournament. Coach Tillikainen has experience in this tournament. Six years ago, in 2017, he made his debut through the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship after taking charge of the Japanese professional volleyball league team, Toyota Gosei (now Wolfdogs Nagoya’s predecessor). At that time, the team reached the final, but lost to Iranian volleyball team Sarmaye Banque Tehran and stayed in second place. Through this experience, director Tilly Kainen deepened his understanding of the Asian stage.

Head coach Tillikainen, who returned to the same stage after six years, tries to stimulate the players. The Korean Air team, which achieved the achievement of three consecutive combined championships, could fall into conceit. Coach Tillikainen confided to the players that he wanted to get away from the Korean stage and show the team and players playing volleyball at a higher level.

Director Tillikainen’s plan worked. The Korean Air players were inspired by meeting players who had commanded the world, such as Dmitri Mushalski (Russia) and Saeed Marouf (Iran), as well as players whose physique and strength exceeded the level of the V-League, both at the dorm and at the stadium.

The efforts of Asian top volleyball teams for this tournament also stimulated the desire of Korean Air players to compete. Bahraini team Al Ahli offered Yosbani $10,000 (approximately 13 million won) for two weeks to win the tournament. An additional $10,000 will be awarded as a winning bonus.

It is a blind spot that there is no prize money for winning the tournament, but the thoughts of coach Tillikainen and the club are that it is still worth participating in this tournament.

As the Asian Quarter Tryout system was created in the V-League, this tournament emerged as a stage to check Asian talent in advance. In this tournament, Korean Air also discovered Farhan Halim, an outside hitter from the Indonesian League Serve King. In the 3rd match of the group stage, Korean Air had difficulties with Farhan’s skills in air and defense, such as a strong serve. Locally, there was a prospect that Farhan would be the first choice if he applied for the Asian Quarter Tryout.

Furthermore, this tournament has its own meaning for Korean Air, which is aiming to create a new dynasty beyond the past Samsung Fire & Marine Dynasty. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, which dominated Korean volleyball in the 1990s and 2000s, won the championship in 2000 and 2001. In particular, in 2001, Shin Jin-sik was selected as the best player by winning the unsilenced set.

Korean Air, which is trying to set an unprecedented record of 4 consecutive championships in Korean professional volleyball beyond Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, needs to prove that it is qualified to build a new dynasty through this tournament.먹튀검증

Coach Tillikainen’s plan to upgrade Korean Air does not end here. Coach Tilly Kainen is preparing in advance for a new impetus to give to his players ahead of the 2023-2024 season.

The national volleyball team is flying to Korea from Finland, the home country of coach Tillikainen. The Finnish national team will set up a base camp in Korea for the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers to be held in Japan from late September to early October. Finland plans to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers by holding a practice match against Korean Air.

The practice match against Finland is expected to be a great stimulus for Korean Air players. South Korea’s men’s volleyball world ranking is 34th. As a result, Korea is unable to participate in the Olympic qualifiers where the top 24 countries participate. The clash with the Finnish players can be an opportunity for Korean Air players to experience the world level. Furthermore, athletes are expected to have a goal of experiencing the best stage of the Olympics.

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