Coach Tommy’s eyes are looking beyond the V-League to the world. “I want to grow into a world-class club.”
I want our team to become a team that can grow into a world-class club.”
Coach Tommy Tillikainen안전놀이터 who was appointed to Korean Air in the 2021-2022 season, infused his volleyball philosophy, ‘fast and smart volleyball’, and put the team at the top in both seasons. He achieved a combined championship in the first season and a treble in the second season.
On the 19th at the Korean Air training center located in Yongin, coach Tommy, who met <The Spike>, recalled the moment when he defeated Hyundai Capital and confirmed the victory in the championship match. “I was really happy when I won. Compared to last season, the players improved more, so we were able to get good results.”
Coach Tommy, who returned to Korea on the 17th after a short vacation in Guam after the season, is already having a busy schedule. This is because Korean Air will participate in the 2023 AVC (Asian Volleyball Confederation) Club Championship held in Manama, Bahrain from May 14th.
Korean Air was placed in Group A along with Al Khali (Bahrain), Canberra (Australia) and Jakarta (Indonesia). A total of 16 clubs will participate in this tournament, and only the top teams in each group will advance to the semifinals. In addition, the final winning team will be given the right to participate in the 2023 FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) Men’s Volleyball Club World Championship to be held in India from December 6 to 10 this year.
Coach Tommy said, “I want to go to the Club Championship and gain international experience. This tournament is intended to give young players a chance.”
Coach Tommy prefers to play as many matches as possible with foreign teams, including this tournament. “If you play against a foreign team, you can experience and see a new volleyball. Also, meeting new opponents through international competitions or practice matches is a really important experience. Especially when going abroad to participate in international competitions, there are difficult moments in everyday life or games. You have to learn to endure it,” he explained.
“I want our team to become a team that can grow into a world-class club. And I think this tournament is an opportunity for not only Korean Air but also Korean volleyball to develop,” said coach Tommy.
Korean Air and coach Tommy, who won the V-League by winning the combined championship for three consecutive years and achieving the club’s first treble, will depart for Bahrain, where the club championship will be held on the 11th of next month.
Korea will participate in the AVC Club Championship for the first time in 8 years since joining the Armed Forces Sports Corps (Sangmu) in 2015. Let’s see if Korean Air, representing Korea, can win the championship and lift the trophy for the first time in 22 years since Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance (1999, 2000, 2001).