The first surprise of the Volleyball Championship came when the Vantaa Ducks, led by Juho Rajala, advanced to the top four after a 17-year break. The team’s goal for the spring is clear: “Let’s put metal around my neck”
Volleyball spring so far a very bang pounded last weekend when the Vantaa Ducks advanced to the semifinals of the men’s Champions League to the surprise of many.
For several years, for example, they got used to the fact that they first circled hard in different parts of Finland and finally in the final series Vammala Volleyball and Hurricane-Loimaa met.
It, too, has been familiar that in the league, defending the fame of the metropolitan area, the Ducks will struggle in the spring to either take their place in the league or pop out of medal games in the quarterfinals.
Now these events do not recur. Hurricane-Loimaa, one of the league’s longest winners, is already focusing on the Spring Holiday, as it lost in the semifinals just for Ducks. VaLePa, who defends the championship, is again in the medal games and a solid favorite as the number one in the league.
Head coach Juho Rajalan the Ducks defeated Hurricane-Loimaa 2–1. The Ducks lost their opening match but then won at home and decisively once away.
In a period ravaged by a corona pandemic, all playoffs are played on the best of three system. The chance of a surprise increases when the sequel comes off with two wins.
However, the Ducks shouldn’t take anything away: it rose from the bridge against a big favorite and showed that hard and conscientious training is reflected in the matches and takes individual players and teams forward.
Rajala, 35, coaches Ducks through another. He has recycled his players, shared responsibilities and raised the bar.
“You have to be careful with quality. Training time must also be respected, because we cannot compete on quantity. ”
At Ducks, the amount of training is limited. Head coach Rajala also presses for a long day on digital advertising, and many players on the team go to day jobs or study.
“The basics are in good shape. I have made it clear that every time you will be training, there will be develop with the individual and as a team. “
Last during the season the Ducks had a more experienced crew than now. A year ago, however, the skills did not reach their final climax, as the season was interrupted like many other ball sports.
During the current season, Rajala has noticed many things that have brought joy to everyday life.
“The breeders in their area have been ready to work and move forward,” says Rajala. He refers to multiplayer players, for example Kalle and To Ville Katteluse and Marko Määttänen as well as passari Joona Väänäs.
To succeed, every team also needs iron solvers. Ducks succeeded when it got into its ranks Joonas Jokelan. Now the 22-year-old top chipper has made a convincing mark.
Absolute support pillars also include an experienced multiplayer Atte Kyrölä and the middle reporter Tommy Carmody.
Jokela, who belongs to the elite of ball-killers, is excited when the semi-finals start on Wednesday night at the Vantaa Energy Arena.
“The season has really been different. We had a long break from the beginning of December to the end of January. Before that, we got our game into a good model. When the break came, we practiced hard in December, and this took our game forward. ”
Jokelan believes that many teammates have emerged as new bearers of responsibility.
“Joona Väänänen and Esko Vuorinen have taken amazing steppes, ”he characterizes the team’s Passaria and Libero.
According to Jokela, the semifinals against Hurricane-Loimaa were “hard twists and turns, also mentally”.
“Savo Volley is a degree tougher opponent. However, we have nothing to lose. We can go enjoy. The longer we keep the game smooth, the more it rains on our laurels. ”
Jokela reminds that Ducks’ strength is in combat and defense work.
“You have to crawl to get the balls on the surface of the field. It is useless to start attacking Savo Volley. ”
Jokela already has Finnish Championship silver from domestic league courts.
“The journey is still in progress. Now let’s start fighting to put metal around my neck at the end of the season. ”
Ducks in the semifinals after 17 years: “This is the best thing that has happened in club work”
Vantaa The Ducks have taken their place in the men’s volleyball championship league, but with great success it has not been able to celebrate. The only league medal of Korson Vedo’s representative team so far is from the spring of 2004, and then came the Finnish Championship bronze.
Now, after a long period, the team is back in medal games, and with that, the club president Ari Koskenoja is pleased.
“This is the best thing that has happened in club work this season. It’s just a pity that future matches will have to be played in empty stands. ”
Coronary pandemic has also severely disciplined volleyball. All Champions League clubs (10 men and 10 women) received grants totaling just over € 418,000 when home match revenue was lost. According to Koskenoja, Ducks’ share of this was about 17,000 euros.
“When the crowd was allowed to take in a limited number of people, we could have taken about 250 spectators. However, people quickly did not come. ”
According to Koskenoja, approximately 50,000–60,000 euros of income from match events has been lost during the period.
“Players have been paid according to the contracts. No layoffs have been made, but bonus arrangements were changed as the season shortened. The regular season was only played twice. ”
Aggravated in addition to the pandemic situation, economic reasons significantly contributed to all playoffs being played on the best three system. Travel is avoided and the season is to be played to the end.
In addition to the Ducks, Vammala Volleyball, Savo Volley and Kokkola Tigers, who are defending the championship, will play in the medals this spring. On Wednesday, the Ducks will meet Savo Volley, and VaLePa will travel first as a guest of the Tigers.
VaLePa and Savo Volley are the biggest favorites for the final.
The entry of the tigers into the top four was not a big surprise in the end. It received significant help as it recovered from its ailments Antti Ropponen joined the team. We will soon see what the electric chipper is doing now.
#Volleyball #miracle #happening #Korso #Vantaa #Ducks #players #holiday #point #spring