Lille, France, June 29, 2018 - The 2018 Volleyball Nations League Finals in Lille will give hosts France an opportunity to shine in front of their home fans, according to national team coach Laurent Tillie. Speaking to media ahead of the VNL Finals, which begin on Wednesday July 4, Tillie said that the chance to play a major final on French soil presented a great occasion to showcase volleyball.
“This is a momentous event for France to organise, it is a fantastic stadium and there is a lot of media interested, which is a great new experience! We are used to playing Finals abroad, but for this to happen in France is good, not only for our history but also for our future.”
Stade Pierre Mauroy will be the venue for five intense days of world class volleyball action as the VNL comes to an end after five weeks of incredible round-robin play. The Final Six will be France, the USA, Russia, Brazil, Serbia and Poland. Though automatically qualified as hosts, France finished top of the standings, and coach Tillie praised his players’ attitude.
“We qualified on the court and that was really important for us. That was the main goal for us as a team, and we are very proud to have finished top of the league and earn our place in the Finals. We are now ready for the big fight – there are six big teams meeting in Lille, but we are prepared and excited to shine.”
France captain Benjamin Toniutti
Talismanic wing spiker Earvin Ngapeth spoke of the importance the home crowd will play for the morale of the French team.
“We are all extremely happy that France gets to host a major volleyball event like the VNL Finals, and the crowd’s support is like having another player on the court! We have the chance to inspire all of France to play volleyball – it is a gift for us.”
Kevin Tillie answers questions ahead of the VNL Men's Finals in Lille
“It is so exciting for us to host an event like this,” Kevin Tillie added. “We are proud to play in the Finals, against the five best teams in the VNL. Any team can win but our home fans can give us that extra boost.”
The inaugural VNL Finals in Lille take place from July 4-8. Click here to buy your tickets.
Barthelemy Chinenyeze answers questions from the press
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2018
FIVB.com - Volleyball