Slovakia has currently the most representatives in the EUHL (4). The first team we are introducing is UMB Hockey Team Banska Bystrica. This club has been a member of the EUHL since its beginning seven years ago. The current titleholder belongs to the favourites also this year.
We were talking about the situation in the club, last season, changes in the team structure, pre-season, and ambitions of UMB Hockey Team Banska Bystrica with the social media manager, Nikola Pivarčeková.
The last season was cancelled due to covid. What was going on in your club?
It was a tough year for everyone. We could not train nor play any games. We were working on some things we could work on despite the pandemic situation. This situation gave us plenty of time to focus on our ideas on how to improve our club and everything around it.
Did you play any games or had any training during this time?
Unfortunately, we did not play any games. However, we had trainings until it was possible depending on the pandemic situation. I have to say, it was really difficult to have regular training while keeping all the restrictions. We were happy we could normally train before the current season.
When did your pre-season start?
Our pre-season started in September when we were able to train in the reconstructed stadium in Banska Bystrica.
How did it go? (Interview was made on the 12th of October).
Our training process usually started on Sunday and lasted until Thursday. Sometimes it changed depending on the day of the match. We tried to keep the format with at least five trainings on the ice during the week if there was no match.
You played one game during the pre-season. Tell me more about it.
It was a friendly game against HC UNIZA Zilina where we tied 3:3 in the regular time and won in the following penalty shootout. In my opinion, the match was at a high level. We could see that our players did not play for a year, but on the other hand, we noticed they were really missing ice hockey.
How did your team change in comparison to last season?
There were plenty of changes. Many new players joined the team, and we need to see them in action. After the first match, I can say we will surely keep our quality.
Did you change any members of your coaching staff?
There was only one change in our coaching team that was expanded by two of our former players. They get new experience from the coach’s point of view. Our vision is sequentially to teach them everything about this sphere and we would be happy to let them manage our coaching staff in the future.
What are your ambitions for the following season?
The club that won the title two times in a row can have the only ambition for the new season – to win it for the third time.
If you want to get to know more about UMB Hockey Team Banska Bystrica and its seasons in the EUHL, you can watch a short documentary about it on this link: https://bit.ly/3CwdiLS
Author of the photo: UMB Hockey Team Banska Bystrica