The third team from Slovakia we are introducing is Philosophers Nitra. This club has been a member of the EUHL since the season 2019/2020 when finished in 5th place in the regular season of the East division. Philosophers reached the semi-finals in the same year.
We were talking about the situation in the club, last season, changes in the team structure, pre-season, and ambitions of Philosophers Nitra with the manager, Martin Uhnak.
The last season was cancelled due to covid. What was going on in your club?
First of all, our club and the league were trying to find a solution on how to start and play the EUHL. We have students/players from more cities, and we had to cancel the training sessions because of online lessons. Except for that, we had to find a replacement for our marketing people, who successfully graduated and found jobs. We are really happy about that, and I want to thank them for everything they have done for us.
How did your pre-season go? (Interview was made on the 11th of October)
Our pre-season was complicated by the fact that there is only one out of three ice rinks available in Nitra, and it is fully occupied. The program in the EUHL is not as intensive as in other youth competitions, so we started with training sessions this week. Trainings will be physically harder due to lack of time, but I hope each player takes it responsibly and our team will be ready for the new season.
How did your team change in comparison to last season?
We are happy that we built a young team in our first season, so we did not have to make a lot of changes. On the other hand, our defensive and offensive leaders left the team. We are going to miss Arvay in the defense, and our captain Vrto with the best scorer Sumichrast in the offense. Sumichrast stays with the team as the assistant of the coach.
Did you change any members of your coaching staff?
Edmund Piacka will replace Peter Szabo as the head coach. Peter did a great job here, he set the right morality and priorities for our project. Edmund could learn from him, and we believe he has enough experience to deal with that successfully also with his new assistant Martin Sumichrast. As I mentioned earlier, we did changes in our marketing sphere too. Michal Podskoc and David Hycik were replaced by a digital agency called Wasper with a responsible person Zuzana Chlepkova.
What are your ambitions for the following season?
We want to be humble and have healthy respect. We want to continue our work from the first season and rise. We would be happy if our players are responsible at school and the team as well while representing our university, project, and themselves in the best way. We want to go step by step so that we can say we did a good job at the end of the season.
Author of the photos: Philosophers Nitra