The second team we are introducing is Sapientia U23. It is the only representative from Romania in the current season. This club has been a member of the EUHL since 2019. This team finished its first season in the league in the quarterfinal.
We were talking about the situation in the club, last season, changes in the team structure, pre-season, and ambitions of Sapientia U23 with the social media manager, Pap Zsolt.
The last season was cancelled due to covid. What was going on in your club?
Our team also plays in the Romanian professional championship in addition to the EUHL. Last season was very chaotic in this league, but we managed to play all our matches, which is a big advantage compared to other teams. This was important because it is very difficult for a player to stay in shape without matches. During the pandemic, we had a short period when we had strength and conditioning trainings online instead of regular team trainings. Last season the coaching staff made an effort to organize each training session in a special way. They came up with different games and competitions to keep the guys motivated. In early May, we organized the 2nd Sekler Cup. This was a great honor for us.
When did your pre-season start?
Our first ice training session was on the 3rd of August. Before that, we had weeks of strength training and off-ice training.
You played some games during the pre-season. Tell me more about it.
On 27-29 August, we organized a tournament called Székelyföld Kupa with 4 teams. Among them there were participants from the Romanian league (Steaua București, Háromszéki Ágyúsok), but also a team from the Erste League (Csíkszeredai Sportklub). It was an excellent opportunity to practice. Players had the chance to prove themselves against professional teams.
How did your team change in comparison to last season?
The team has undergone a major transformation. A new professional team has been formed in Szeklerland, which currently employs 10 players who used to play for us. We filled the squad with younger, U18 players. On the other hand, I have to say that a lot of good and motivated players joined the team. Many of last year’s leaders left us, but there is a chance for other guys to fill those roles.
Did you change any members of your coaching staff?
Our head coach, Jens Brändström, extended his contract during the previous season. His assistant will also be the same person, Antal Zsombor. However, there will be a new name in our coaching staff. Farkas Tamás, who is a highly experienced professional, became the goalie coach. He is also currently working with the Hungarian senior national team.
What are your ambitions for the following season?
We are preparing for this season with the same attitude as in the past. It is a great pleasure and pride for us to be in the EUHL. Our primary goal is to provide our players with development opportunities. Of course, we want to perform as well as possible and play good matches.
Sapientia U23 will use special jerseys this season to support a good thing. Can you tell us more about it?
Since last year, the team has been wearing a special-themed jersey. As we do not display the logos of various companies, noble causes are given a place on the kit. For the first time, there were pine trees on the jersey. We wanted to emphasize that we all have to do something to protect our environment. This season we are taking a stand against violence against children.
Author of the photos: Sapientia U23