‘Opening of the laboratory’ Tillikainen pursued novelty to the end
It was a lineup worthy of coach Tommy Tilikayinen, who wanted this tournament to be a place of experience. He kept trying new things until the last game.
Before the start of the 2023 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, coach Tommy Tillikainen continued to emphasize ‘experience’. As it is a long-awaited international competition, of course grades are important, but it was his idea that it was more important to try new things and give opportunities to young players.
In fact, coach Tillikainen continued to make various attempts after his championship challenge was frustrated by the defeat against Suntory Sunbirds (Japan). In the upper round Group E match against Bayanghongor (Mongolia), Jeong Jin-hyeok was selected for the first time, and Son Hyeon-jong was appointed as an apogee. In the 5th and 6th place match against Kuwait Sporting Club (Kuwait), Son Hyeon-jong’s position was changed to an outside heater and an aggressive lineup was launched.
Korean Air’s last game of this tournament, which came like that, was the 7th and 8th place match against Bayanghongor, which they met again after two days. As it was the last time, it was possible to operate a proven lineup to reap the beauty of the species, but director Tillikainen opened the laboratory once again. He appointed Kang Seung-il as the starting libero for the first time, and also started Jeong Han-yong, Kwak Seung-seok, and Lee Joon at the same time.
Watching the three outside heaters stand on the court at the same time, the curiosity about ‘who is the apogee’ grew on the field. First of all, ‘on the surface’ Lee Joon was an apogee. While being exempted from receiving, Lee Joon often used attacks from the right side. But he had virtually no fixed apogee. The three players shared their roles almost equally in terms of attack position, possession, and connection participation.
In fact, the advantage of the tactic of using three outside heaters without an apogee was clear. In terms of basic skills such as receiving, defense, and two-tier connection, the sense of stability as a team has increased. This was because players who played in the apositive position could participate in receiving or defending at any time. This naturally led to the diversification of attack patterns. In fact, in the previous match against Kuwait Sporting, Jeong Jin-hyeok, who had been overly dependent on Lim Dong-hyuk, showed a more relaxed and colorful game management.
Of course, in the process he also exposed his weaknesses. Lee Joon revealed his weakness in decision power when Bayanghongor applied man-to-man blocking. He also seemed unaccustomed to attacking from the right. In addition, active jumping sets by wing strikers, one of the characteristics of Korean Air in terms of tactical characteristics, came out more often than usual, but it was regrettable that the success rate was not very high.
When the V-League opens, this tactic is likely to be difficult to see. This is because Lincoln Williams, an apositive foreign player, will rejoin. However, it is also a tactic that Korean Air, which has quality outside hitters, including the ‘Seok-Seok Duo’ Kwak Seung-Seok and Jung Ji-Seok, Jeong Han-Yong, Lee Joon, Son Hyeon-Jong, and Asian Quarter foreign player Mark Espeho, will have a chance to use it once.
Even without actually using this tactic, the opening of the laboratory on this day was meaningful simply because it was an opportunity for young players like Jeong Han-yong and Lee Joon to experience new positions and tactics. In addition, the result of the shutout victory (25-21, 25-23, 25-18) was also obtained at the same time, killing two birds with one stone.먹튀검증
Under coach Tillikainen’s perseverance, Korean Air players were able to gain valuable experience even until the last match. Now it’s time to go back to Korea and turn those experiences into skills.