Asian Club Championship final 7th place… Director Tillikainen “There is a harvest”
Korean Air, who participated in the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship as a representative of Korea, finished the tournament in 7th place.
On the 21st (local time),메이저놀이터 in the 7th and 8th place match of the tournament held at Issa Sports City Stadium in Manama, Bahrain, Korean Air showed off its superior power even in a non-main match lineup, defeating Bayanhongor, Mongolia with a set score of 3-0 (25- 21 25-23 25-18). They finished 7th with 4 wins and 3 losses in 7 matches.
Korean Air did not participate in this competition as a whole. Captain and starting setter Han Seon-su and middle blocker Kim Gyu-min accompanied him, but did not play due to injury and rehabilitation. Foreign main gun Lincoln Williams could not join due to non-issuance of an International Transfer Agreement (ITC). Korean Air coach Tommy Tilikhainen focused on testing the potential of young players and gaining experience in international competitions.
It started with a victory over Australia’s Canberra Heat, which was the first match of the group stage. They defeated the home team, Bahrain Al-Ahli, who were favorites to win this tournament. However, it was difficult to endure with imperfect power in the forced march of 7 games in 8 days. It was hit in Bayankar, Jakarta, Indonesia. After going up with one loss in the quarterfinals, they failed to advance to the quarterfinals. Even before advancing to the 5th and 6th places, he failed to stop Iranian national team Apogee spiker Saber Kazemi (Kuwait Sporting Club) and lost.
It was a bit disappointing, but it definitely paid off. Setter Jeong Jin-hyuk, outside hitter Lee Jun, and middle blocker Jin Ji-wi, who did not get a chance in the V-League, were given a lot of playing time. Apposite spiker Lim Dong-hyuk, who took on the main gun role instead of Lincoln, also showed off his offensive instincts. Libero Kang Seung-il, born in 2005 and the youngest member of the team, made his professional debut in this tournament.
Coach Tillikainen said, “I made the goal clear before the start of the tournament, but I felt mixed emotions during the tournament. There were many times when the prepared play did not come out well. After he returned from vacation, he clearly knew what he needed to improve on,” he said.
Im Dong-hyuk and Lee Joon were picked as the biggest gains. He said, “Lim Dong-hyuk showed his attack power well, no matter who his opponent was. His attitude and behavior on the court were also very good,” he praised, saying, “Lee Joon also showed his skills and potential.”
The Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship is held every year. Hosting in Japan in 2024 is being discussed. Coach Tillikainen said, “It is by no means an easy tournament to watch. Other teams are working with sincerity enough to even join short-term contract players just for this event,” he said. For the development of Korean volleyball, we have to participate in various international competitions.”
The Korean Air team will enjoy vacation until June 26 after returning home. Coach Tillikainen revealed his plan, saying, “After returning from vacation, I will train by reflecting what I felt at this tournament.”