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Welcome on Eurovolley 2011 web site

Finland’s Turbo Twins

Many teams would be happy to have just one Oivanen in their ranks. Finland has two of them: Matti and Mikko Oivanen are probably the most renowned twins on the volleyball courts in Europe and they want to help their team to deliver a similarly good performance at the EuroVolley 2011 as in the CEV European Championship 2007, when Finland finished fourth.

This has to be the Finish sense of humour: “How you can tell us apart? It’s easy – we look differently“, explained Mikko Oivanen once in an interview. Of course, it is not so easy because at the first glace the two resemble each other like two volleyballs. However, if both are on the court the difference is obvious: Mikko acts as wing spiker while Matti’s role is that of the middleblocker.

For a long time the career of the two developed very similarl: inspired by their mother, the two brothers who grew up in the small town Huttinen in the South of Finland, abandoned track and field athletics in 1995 at the age of nine and started to play
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Frank Depestele - Belgium’s Alpha Male

With Frank Depestele Belgium’s national team has one of the best setters in the CEV Champions League in their ranks. The upcoming EuroVolley 2011 will be the second European Championship for the 33-year-old. In 2007 Belgium finished tenth and Depestele wants to throw in all his experience for the underdog team to top this result. The list of his titles is long: two-times Belgium champion, Greek champion, several times winner of national cup competitions, contracts with top teams like Panathinaikos Athens or Lokomotive Belgorod – without any doubt Frank Depestele is the leading force of the Belgian team who hope to be successful in pool C against Italy, France and Finland.

Depestele has never been insecure about his role as alpha male in the team: “I always wanted to be the leading force”, explains the West-Fleming who started his career in his hometown Lennik. Until the age of 14 he also played football but abandoned this sport in favour of volleyball. At the age of 17 he already play
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Jakub Jarosz - Poland’s Big Name


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As a child, though, the man from Nysa, a town located in the vicinity of the Polish-Slovakian border, seemed to have chosen the wrong sport in the beginning – until he found out the “truth” about swimming. “Swim training was not really my kind of training. We had to get up before 7 o’clock in the morning and jump into the cold water to swim lane after lane”, he remembers. Not really the right thing for someone who describes himself as “sleepyhead who likes to stay in bed until late in the morning”.

In addition, volleyball is the sport that is in a way genetically anchored in his family: already his grandfather and father Maciej were volleyball players. The latter even won Olympic gold in 1980 in Moscow, at a time when Poland dominated the sport. "I am proud that my last name is Jarosz but at the same time it is a burden", says the 1.96m tall Jakub.
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Jochen Schöps - Germany’s Figurehead

With Jochen Schöps Germany’s national team has a world-class diagonal spiker. The 27-year-old Swabian, who for years has been delivering excellent performances in the Russian league, will probably be one of the key figures also in the EuroVolley 2011.

He was once called “soft killer” – a player who can do without big gestures and loud shouting on the court. Schöps puts all his energy into his attacks and his spikes are not limited to shots with brute force, he also has the technical skills to surprise his opponents with cunning variations.

Originally Schöps was about to become a professional swimmer. He had the best assets with his long arms and legs. However, a wise coach fished the then 12-year-old out of the water and thus started the career of the best-paid German volleyball player.

In the beginning he was overlooked by some coaches due to his slow physical development, but from his 16th birthday onwards his steep career could not be stopped anymore. After studying at the volleyball
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Tomas Kmet - A Captain for All Seasons

Tomas Kmet is and has always been considered as stabilizing element in his team, someone who does not stick out through show but through performance. The big assets of the 2.02m-giant who is able to give a game the decisive spin, are his powerful attack, hard work, ambition and an uncompromising will to win.

When Tomas Kmet was 12 years old he started to play volleyball for a very simple reason: Like so many Slovakian children at his age he loved ice hockey, but his parents did not have enough money to buy all the equipment necessary for playing ice hockey. Thus Tomas had to choose a different sport – and eventually seized the opportunity that lay before him.

After intensive education and training at a volleyball boarding school, he gained his first experience as player for Petrochema Dubova. In 2001 he won the Slovakian championship for the first time. In 2003 he went to play in the Polish top league to play for Gwardia Wroclaw. He also wore the team jersey of Kedzierzyn until 2
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