Sammelvuo – who is 36 and still active playing in Russia for Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK – joined the national team for the first time in 1993 totaling 294 caps with the “Suomis” throughout his long and very successful career. He has signed a contract for two years with an option for two more to join forces with the Finnish Volleyball Association whose main goal is to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“It feels great. I am very happy and proud at the same time for being given this opportunity. I want to thank the Finnish Volleyball Association for their trust as they have made an important decision by appointing me to coach the national team” says Sammelvuo, whose professional career started in France in 1997.
“This comes at the right moment as I can retire from competitive sport while knowing exactly what comes next” he adds. “I always dreamt of becoming a coach and I can fulfill this dream by coaching our national team, so this is just fabulous. This is quite a big step but there are times in anyone’s life where you have to take up a challenge, especially if you are given a chance. I do want to develop the group and myself as a coach at the same time”.
The Finnish Volleyball Association had started its investigations this past autumn after Daniel Castellani had decided to leave the group to focus more on his private life.
“Tuomas has ambition, passion and charisma, i.e. all the qualities you expect a coach to have” stresses the Secretary General of the Finnish Volleyball Association, Hanna Iiskola-Kesonen.
“He has been in international Volleyball for the past 20 years and I think he’s ready to take this cause and contribute to the development of Finnish Volleyball”.
Sammelvuo has played Volleyball in Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Poland and Russia. He speaks six languages, is married and has two kids. He is a double national champion in Finland (1995 and 1996) and France (1999 and 2004), a national cup winner in Finland (1994 and 1995) as well as in Italy (2002), France (2005) and Russia (2010) but his most relevant successes on the international arena are the Champions League trophy from 2005 and the CEV Cup he won in 2002. Sammelvuo has played for Finland four times at the final round of the European Champs (1997, 2007, 2009 and 2011).
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