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Ilves strengthens the organisation with development coach Mika Marttila

Ilves Hockey Oy

Ilves-Hockey Oy and Ilves ry have appointed Mika Marttila, 56, as the development coach of the club. The current head coach of the Finland men’s national under-18 team starts his work for Ilves on 16th May 2022. Marttila’s contract covers the next two years and includes an option for a third year.

Mika Marttila has nearly 30 years coaching experience, which includes 15 seasons as a coach for the Finnish junior national teams. He has led the Finnish U18 national team to a silver medal and two bronze medals at the IIHF U18 World Championships. This season the U18 national team won gold at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) ice hockey tournament. The IIHF U18 World Championships 2022 tournament takes place in Kaufbeuren and Landshut, Germany April 21 – May 1.

Marttila started his coaching career in 1992. He worked nearly 20 years as head of coaching, assistant coach and head coach for the junior organisations of the Espoo based clubs Kiekko-Espoo, Espoo Blues and Espoo Jäähonka. Marttila was the assistant coach of the Espoo Blues Liiga team in 1999–2001 and the head coach of the U20 team in 2001–2004. His most recent role at the club level was in 2015–2016, when he was the head coach of the Jokerit U20 team, who won the regular season. As a teacher at the Haukilahti general upper secondary school Marttila was in charge of the ice hockey programme in 1999–2015.

Marttila will work as a foreman for the coaches of Ilves U16, U18 and U20 teams. The development coach leads and coordinates the junior team operations and reports to the persons in charge at Ilves-Hockey Oy and Ilves ry.

Marttila is also the club representative who leads the cooperation between Ilves and Tampere Sports Academy. He takes part in the morning training sessions and team coaching of the Ilves U20, U18 and U16 age groups and leads the planning and execution of the training of the Ilves players who belong to the Tampere Sports Academy.

Marttila’s role as the development coach also includes coaching the players belonging to the clubs internal national team and top player groups and coordinating and planning their development plans. He plans and executes the Ilves U16 ”Little Academy” activities in cooperation with the U16 head coach and develops the coaching of the U15 and U14 ”Little Academy” in cooperation with the club’s skills coach.

– It feels great to join a top organisation and a club with great traditions and history. The profile of Ilves is excellent at the moment – the Liiga team is top of the league and the club is generating strong interest. Joining a new work environment and getting new challenges at club and junior operations level is exciting. This future role of mine allows me to have a major influence in developing the players and coaches and the game itself. I find it a nice combination and a role that allows me to use my strengths and utilize my previous experience, comments Mika Marttila.

Ilves sports director Timo Koskela finds the role of the development coach very important and responsible.

– Adding Mika Marttila as the development coach is a major signing for the club. We were looking for a person with comprehensive know-how and who is ready to control a large entirety and offer his knowledge and support to our young players and coaches of our junior teams, says Koskela.

– Mika has huge experience in international ice hockey. He has seen the trends and development of the sport from near. His own work and methods will surely bring a lot of new knowledge to our junior teams that we constantly want to develop and rise to the next level. Mika will start his work at Ilves after the IIFH U18 World Championships. We are extremely happy we are getting the excact person we wanted in the role.

The president of the Ilves ry ice sports division Sami Karjalainen says the know-how Marttila brings with him will strengthen the clubs work in the competitive and top-level sports phase which is important for the junior players development.

– This investment Ilves-Hockey Oy and Ilves ry made in cooperation is very important, responds to a growing need and supports the continuing development of the clubs operations. We have been able to grow the number of members in our ice hockey division and have thus strengthened our junior activities. The comprehensive know-how Mika Marttila brings to our club allows us to further advance and continue the development of our junior age groups in the competitive and top-level sports phase in the coming years, says Karjalainen.

Ilves vahvistaa organisaatiotaan – Mika Marttila seuran kehitysvalmentajaksi
Tuomas Salmela – Tornion terästä Ilveksen puolustuksessa