Gladiators Trencin had a fantastic season when it won the regular season and also the Sekeras trophy. The Slovak team did not lose any game in the playoffs and became historically the third winner of the EUHL. We were talking about the recently finished season with Gladiators GM Lukáš Frývaldský.
How do you evaluate the last season?
It might sound immodest, but I have to say, our ambition before the season was to finish in the top positions. We wanted to follow our previous successes and confirm our long-term trend, however, it has been interrupted by the pandemic situation. Our team was built on the players who have been playing with us for 2-3 seasons, some of them even longer. We profited from the systematic work of our management, mainly the sports director Roman Moravec. He set the standards and opened the doors for many players. The head coach, Branislav Janos, has a similarly important role for us. He brought the fresh air into our team, and he has been leading it by example for three seasons. We hired Michaela Lobotková to our marketing crew before the beginning of the season and she has been helping us with social media and videos. Our PR manager, Janka Danková, has been doing an amazing job. Her professional approach could be an example for the whole league. I can also say the same about the manager of the team, Peter Uher, who deserves The best team manager award for his work. Everyone in the club, including players, was doing things above their responsibilities. It was the key to our success and this systematic work outperformed the other teams. It is the main reason why we won the competition.
In which factors did you surpass UK Praha in the final series?
I think we were better physically and also, we played at a higher level than our opponent because Praha did not have the full squad. It was a pity that something like that happened in the final. On the other hand, our players trained individually besides the regular training sessions and this attitude was the difference factor. Except for that, there were great people on our team who were connected on and off the ice rink. It led to joint success.
How did you celebrate the win in the EUHL?
I am not rather going to talk about that (laughing). I am happy we also organized BBQ party when we finished the season. There were not only people from our team but also some other friends who have been supporting us during the whole season. Besides that, Jozef Habanik, a rector of the Alexander Dubcek University of Trencin, invited us to the ceremonial lifting of the champions trophy. We met more people there, who helped us to reach this great success.
Are there going to be any changes in your team and staff members before the next season?
We are not planning any big changes. “The winning roster should not be changed,” as we say. In this case, it would be the winning team (laughing). I believe many players will stay with us for the next season.
When is your pre-season going to start?
The training sessions will be problematic because there is starting reconstruction of the ice hockey stadium in Trenčín where we play. We would like to start trainings on the ice at the beginning of September, but it will depend on the decision of the city of Trencin, on whose support we depend. We might try to have trainings in a different stadium during that time. We are going to meet with mayor Rybníček and then we will know more.
What are your goals for the next season?
Defend the title! People must always have the highest goals, so they can be motivated to do their best.
The author of the photos: Facebook Gladiators Trenčín