Ľubomír Sekeráš is one of the co-founders of the EUHL, Branislav Jánoš coaches the team from Trenčín, with which he won the last two seasons. Jozef Kováčik is added to the imaginary list of former players who moved to university hockey. The former defender of Nitra, Slovan Bratislava and Kometa Brno became the head coach of Philosophers Nitra.
The Philosophers Nitra university hockey team, which is under the umbrella of the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, is active in the EUHL for the fourth season. He entered the current one with the new coach Jozef Kováčik. „Cooperation with the team was created thanks to my former teammate, longtime friend Martin Uhnák, who approached me. He gave me time to think. I admit that I originally wanted to take a little break from hockey. However, since there are not as many training sessions and matches in the EUHL as in professional hockey, I started to do it. Today I can say that I am very glad that I accepted this offer,“ said Kováčik.
He spent his active playing career mainly in HK Nitra, HC Slovan Bratislava and HC Kometa Brno. After its completion, he worked as a coach in the mentioned Kometa and also in HC Topoľčany. „I try to be a coach who does not take into account whether he is coaching a team operating in the highest league, whether in Slovakia or the Czech Republic, or in one of the youth categories. Although each one is something different. But these are grown-up guys and because I have already trained some of them, they know what I am like and what I expect. If they listen well, it can work,“ said Kováčik, „since it is not a professional competition, we can put more fun into it. It is important for us that everyone is happy with it.“
Since the EUHL started the new season only a short time ago, the Philosophers have played only one game. As part of it, they welcomed a newcomer from Hungary – ETO Hockey Club Győr on their home ice and immediately enjoyed the first three points. „I admit, we didn’t have time for many training sessions before the first match. The ice in Nitra has been exploited to the maximum and the side ice surface is not working yet. However, the players approached the match responsibly and played a high-quality match, which the spectators must have liked,“ he said, „after the match I heard that two former national team players and also six players from the Erste League played for the Hungarian team. I appreciate our victory all the more. We played against a team that had already been on the ice for 6 weeks,“ he added at the end. In the mentioned match against Győr, Nitra won 5:3, when they took care of a nice turnaround from 1:3. Timur Král scored twice and Maroš Svitač, Michal Novodomský and Branislav Kováč added goals after one accurate shot.
photo: Kania FotoSport