The EUHL has been extended by three new teams this season. HK Opole is one of two new representatives from Poland that joined the competition. This country did not have any participants in the league since the season 2016/17 when there was the club Academy 1928 KTH Krynica.
We were talking about the situation in the club, the team structure, pre-season, and ambitions of Opole HK in its first season in the EUHL with the general manager, Joseph Kolodziej.
How was the situation in Poland last year? Could you play any matches?
For Opole HK last season, it was business as usual. A shorter season, but no missed games, and no interruption. We played a regular-season schedule of 22 games and several friendly games as well.
When did your pre-season start and how has it been going?
We began training in August. We are doing well. Making some changes and dealing with international students presents challenges but nothing we cannot overcome.
Tell me more about the friendly games you have played.
We have played 9 matches so far and our record is 5-3-1. The defense has been challenging because all of our players are not in Opole yet. But we expect everyone here next week.
What about changes in your team and coaching staff?
We have 7 players from the last season on this year’s team. Alex Rummo is our new head coach, and he brings a lot of experience. We think he is one of the top coaches in all of Europe and we are very happy to have him in our structures.
What are your ambitions for the following season?
Opole HK hopes to challenge in a championship while preparing our players for the next level in their development. Promoting them to professional clubs before they finish their academic careers.
Opole HK took inspiration from the USA. Can you tell us more details?
Opole HK is modelled after the United States national development program. It is intense athletically and academically. As we grow the program, we plan on players leaving for higher levels and that is how we measure success.
Author of the photo: Facebook Opole Hokej Klub