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23/05/2017 11:59
Finland set sights on qualification to next year’s World Championship
2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Men

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, May 23, 2017. Finland want to make it a habit to be in the Final Round of the men’s World Championship. Their next chance of achieving this goal will be this week at Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic when they contest one of six second-round European qualifiers to next year’s World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria.

“Our main goal is to be always the best we can. We are focusing on quality and we do this every day. We believe that this is the right path to success,” said head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo when asked about the goals of Team Finland in Karlovy Vary.

“Of course, we want to achieve the maximum result from this tournament and this is a place in the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship finals. When we play, we want to show that we deserve a place in that tournament.”

Finland will meet in Pool F hosts Czech Republic, as well as the national teams of Northern Ireland, Sweden, Spain and Cyprus. The winners will make it straight to the World Championship whereas the runners-up will progress to the third and last stage of the qualification process scheduled for mid-July.

“We do not underestimate any of our opponents. We are not the kind of team, which will let this happen. We have a wide roster and we will do everything to build up our game and keep the level of energy high until the last game of this tournament,” Sammelvuo continued.

Finland has appeared seven times in the final stage of the World Championship, i.e. in 1952, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1978, 1982 and 2014. Their best result came in 2014 in Poland when they finished the tournament in ninth place.

After the World Championship qualifier in the Czech Republic, Finland will participate for the thirteenth straight season in the FIVB World League with the highlight coming with a home round at Helsinki Arena on June 8-10; at the same time, the Finnish capital will play host to the 2017 edition of the world’s largest youth Volleyball tournament, the Power Cup.

After the World League, Finland will start preparing for the EUROVOLLEY POLAND 2017, scheduled for later this summer – where the Finns will play hosts Poland, Serbia and Estonia in Gdansk. Again, thousands of Suomi fans will be heading to Poland to support their heroes.

The roster of Team Finland

Setters: Eemi Tervaportti (Espadon SZCZECIN, Poland), Mikko Esko (VaLePa SASTAMALA, Finland)
Middle blockers: Tommi Siirilä (GFC AJACCIO, France), Sauli Sinkkonen (Precura Volley ANTWERPEN, Belgium), Markus Kaurto (Etta OULU, Finland), Miki Jauhiainen (BYU, USA)
Outside hitters: Antti Siltala (Maliye Milly Piyango ANKARA, Turkey), Niklas Seppänen (TOURS VB, France), Elviss Krastins (Precura Volley ANTWERPEN, Belgium), Jan Helenius (Leka Volley KUOPIO, Finland)
Opposite hitters: Olli-Pekka Ojansivu (Kuzbass KEMEROVO, Russia), Urpo Sivula (VaLePa SASTAMALA, Finland), Antti Ropponen (Tiikerit KOKKOLA, Finland)
Liberos: Lauri Kerminen (Kuzbass KEMEROVO, Russia), Eetu Pennanen (Etta OULU, Finland)
Head coach: Tuomas Sammelvuo
Assistant coach: Claudio Rifelli
Scoutmen: Kamil Soloducha, Mikko Häyrinen

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