Tampere, Finland, May 22, 2015 - After finishing ninth at the FIVB Volleyball World Championship Poland 2014, Finland's men are targeting a first appearance in an FIVB Volleyball World League Final Four tournament. The Finns take begin their World League campaign against Belgium this weekend and will also take on Portugal and the Netherlands in Group 2 Pool E.
This weekend's matches mark Finland's eleventh participation in the FIVB Volleyball World League, with ten consecutive participations since 2006, a 45-81 win-loss ratio and a best seventh place finish in 2007.
As the Finns open their campaign this weekend, Tuomas Sammelvuo´s men will take on Belgium in Tampere. Finland and Belgium have met in the FIVB Volleyball World League four times, all last summer. Finland won three matches and lost one. Both games played in Tampere were won by Finland 3-2. All-time wins against Belgium are 26-19 to Finland and 7-2 when playing on Finnish soil.
"Belgium are a really tough team. They play a similar style to us: never giving up a ball. They play really fast attack. Many of their players have been playing in big clubs in a big role," said head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo. Sammelvuo is now leading Finland for the third time in the World League.
”We are hoping for a good start to our campaign. Games against Iran have given us lot of good answers. We have good self-confidence to start. Just waiting to have a great audience at the Tampere Icefall to cheer us on," added Sammelvuo.
Finland have prepared for the World League by playing three matches against Iran. The Finns won the first two matches 3-0 and 3-1, but lost the third 0-3.