Hoag leads Turkish squad to best-ever Champions League result

 LODZ, Poland (March 18, 2012) – Canadian national team coach Glenn Hoag of Gatineau, Que., completed a successful Champions League season for Izmir, Turkey as it placed fourth overall in Sunday’s final playoff round.

The Champions League is a three-month tournament pitting Europe’s top professional squads in the sport.  This weekend was the Final Four tournament.

Izmir lost the third place match on Sunday to Trentino, Italy 25-20, 25-19, 25-19.  The Izmir squad also included two Canadian players Justin Duff of Winnipeg and Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C.  Both contributed two points on Sunday.

Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., a 200-plus match Canadian national team veteran, is on the Trentino squad.

“I think it was a great experience even though we did not win a game here,” said Hoag about this weekend’s matches. “Today we lined up some young players so that they could also have the chance to experience some high-class volleyball and play against some of the best in the world. Trentino pressured us a lot with their service.’’

In the championship final, Kazan, Russia defeated Belchatow, Poland in a five-match thriller 25-15, 16-25, 22-25, 26-24, 17-15.

Several Canadian national team players played this past winter in overseas pro leagues.  Canada will look to qualify for the Olympics at a qualifying tournament May 7-13 in Long Beach, California

Canada is also back in the FIVB World League this season and the opening stop is set for Toronto May 18-20.

Men: http://www.cev.lu/Competition-Area/competition.aspx?ID=548&PID=1117