The new season of the EUHL started last week and it is time to say something more about its participants. The first team we are introducing is UK Praha, the university with the most championship trophies with 4 wins. It is the only representative from the Czech Republic in the current season. This club has been a member of the EUHL since its beginning seven years ago.
We were talking about the situation in the club, last season, changes in the team structure, pre-season, and ambitions of UK Praha with the social media manager, Jitka Holubová.
The last season was cancelled due to covid. How did you take it? What was going on in your club?
I am pretty sure that we were not the only ones who had been having hard times last year as the season was cancelled. We couldn’t train, meet in the school, and not even play any prep games. As one would say that these are the essential things for being successful in any team sports, it was not an easy time whatsoever. All players were in it on their own – having solo training slots in environments of their choice, focusing on individual performances such as physical endurance, precision, and so on. But such improvised training cannot replace the legit team training schedule we had in seasons we became the EUHL champions.
Did you play any games or had any training during this time?
At the end of April, we took part in the second edition of Sekler cup in Romania, where we acquired golden medals. With that, we knew that the team had not lost much of its hunger for winning and actually kept all the potential to become the EUHL champion of next season. Somewhere around that time, the government restrictions were loosened a bit, so players could participate in club training activities again.
When did your pre-season start?
Our pre-season was affected not only by the covid situation but also by the reconstruction of our ice stadium in Slany and we had to improvise and find temporary stadiums. Hopefully, in a few weeks, we will return to Slany and train like we are used to.
How did your team change in comparison to last season?
Not only we had to rebuild our stadium, but also the team itself as there were players who finished their studies at the end of the last “season” and decided to take new paths in life, which we strongly support. Nevertheless, we had traditional tryouts, this year held in the second biggest ice stadium in Prague – Tipsport Arena, where we found new young prospective players who should now take the place of the leaders who left and become members of our UK family.
Can we find any new faces in your coaching staff?
Newbies can be found not only between players, but one old “newbie” will be regularly seen on the bench coaching our players. Our former player and four times EUHL champion Karel Herr is taking on a new and important role in a university hockey environment, but not completely new to him as he is currently the head coach of IHC Písek.
What are your ambitions for the following season?
Goals for the next season are the same as the goals for the previous season. And the previous season. And the one before… We want the title, and we will not give it up only just because of some minor inconvenience. The team has the potential and in combination with a hunger for as many victories as possible, it means we are in it to win it all.
Author of the picture: UK Praha