Jarkko Pokkinen has been named as the coach of Finland's men's goalball team ©IBSA

Jarkko Pokkinen has been unveiled as the Finnish men’s goalball national team head coach by the Finnish Sport Organisation for Persons with Disabilities (VAU).

Pokkinen takes up the role having spent the past 31 years working as a basketball coach, leading several Finnish youth teams to national titles.

He replaces Timo Laitinen, who has coached the goalball team for a decade.

The deal will see Pokkinen lead the team for two years, with an option of a further two-year extension after this period.

"They contacted me from VAU and asked if I was interested in taking the job," said Pokkinen, who has never previously worked in the sport.

"I took some time to consider but eventually decided to take this interesting challenge.

"I’ve never really taken any pressure on succeeding.

"My mentality is that success will come as a result of a top level daily work."

Finland won goalball gold at London 2012 but suffered an early exit at Rio 2016 ©IBSA
Finland won goalball gold at London 2012 but suffered an early exit at Rio 2016 ©IBSA

He will meet the players for the first time in the national team’s training camp in February, with the coach set to take time to learn the sport.

He will take charge of the team at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball European Championships in Pajulahti, with Finland holding the event from September 15 to 23.

Pokkinen will hope to build the team in the next couple of months, as Finland look to respond to a poor showing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where they only earned one victory.

The result saw them miss out on the quarter-finals, just four-years after they claimed gold at London 2012.