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05/12/2018 09:00
‘No tipping in the front of own kids’ – The golden rule set by Sammelvuo and Nikolov
2019 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Rovaniemi, Finland, December 5, 2018. In addition to four Finnish national championship titles and as many as eight national league medals, Perungan Pojat ROVANIEMI have made a name for themselves in the European Cups as well. Top teams like Lube Banca Marche MACERATA, PGE Skra BELCHATOW, Belogorie BELGOROD, Lokomotiv-Izumrud EKATERINBURG and Zarechie ODINTSOVO have all left the Santasport Arena with surprise setbacks.

The team from the hometown of Santa Claus has now a great opportunity to add another chapter to that success story. Perungan Pojat beat Levski SOFIA 3-1 last week and they need to take another two sets ‘only’ to secure their spot in the 8th Finals of the 2019 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men.

Levski SOFIA are travelling to the Arctic Circle captained by the legendary Vladimir Nikolov (41). Finnish national team head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo has warm memories of Vladimir Nikolov and the years they spent together in France. “Vlado was a great player. As the match was higher in importance and there was more at stake, he would always raise his level and shape accordingly. The most memorable evening was of course in 2005 in Thessaloniki, Greece when we won the CEV Volleyball Champions League,” Sammelvuo recalls.

Moreover, their families are very close too. “We got our first-born kids in France within a month and are still very close friends. In Tours, we had a deal for when our families were watching on the stand: “No tipping in the front of our own kids”. We were afraid that they would get the wrong kind of example! Nowadays at least my thoughts about Volleyball are a little bit different,” Sammelvuo continues.

How about Nikolov then? The fans will see him on Thursday when Levski SOFIA will be visiting Perungan Pojat in Rovaniemi, Finland. Nikolov’s 15-year-old son Aleksandar, who was born in November 2003 in France, will be on Levski’s roster as well.

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