Overtime Hockey League vice-champion Tipus of Poprad has announced major changes. After more than two years, the “Chamois” ended their cooperation with veteran coach Peter Miccolo and during the national team’s break they have already found his successor.
Podtatranci decided to slightly change his philosophy and style of hockey. Corey Nelson, a Canadian, sat on the bench.
After his arrival, Peter Mikkola dramatically revived the game in Poprad. The team surrounding captain Patrick Svetana quietly scored the highest positions in the previous season, but his path was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, due to the premature end of the competition year in March 2020.
Blue White has continued to do well in the upcoming Covid season. After third place in the base segment, they reached the finals of the playoffs, however, losing Zvolen 1:4 to matches. There was a turning point. Peter Mikola failed to follow up on the successful results, and the team is currently ninth in the table, losing the last six matches.
“We simply knew it. I felt like we were exhausted. It is still just the start of the season, nothing extra has escaped us. We will do everything we can to rise and achieve the ambitions we have,” HK Poprad Director Udovit Guerini spoke at an official press conference, where the Vice Champion introduced the new helmsman.
His assistants will be Josef Skokan and Radoslav Sucho, and Stanislav Salat remained the goalkeeper coach.
But it certainly won’t be just a matter of replacing the implementation team. We can expect a breeze in the cabin in the coming days. “We simply knew it. When we talked about it, we agreed that the change had to be drastic. We negotiated with several coaches from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We had a video call with Corey Nelson over the weekend and were very excited about his technique. He wanted to come to Poprad to solve problems. He considered it a challenge,” HK Poprad Chairman Neklan Herold got up close and personal with the 45-year-old Canadian.
“We were looking for someone with experience from abroad. Korey grew up in Canada, was playing in AHL, was coach of the British national team. He was very involved in her journey among the elite in the world. All these factors decided in his favor. We are convinced that he will be a positive change in the image of our game and that it will achieve the results we want and expect.”
New hockey coach HK Poprad Corey Neilson.
Fight for players from the capitals of Bratislava
“We will definitely communicate with the players, we already have something in progress. There is a new coach, every player has a chance and space to emerge. But we’re not going to keep six squads here, we can’t afford that. It’s up to the boys how they handle it and it’s up to the head coach who keeps him.” Here , “ Udovit Guerini raised a warning finger.
But he noted that the goal is still to build a team that can be proud of the “poprad heart”: “We just knew it. The coach also shows the desire and determination to do something here. We demand the same from the players. If we don’t see that they want to play for the ‘chamois’ and the community, that is the number one factor we will kick them out. Some were already inclined, but it came A new wind. Everything can start again. We will proceed accordingly.”
The first change of staff was the exchange with Bratislava Slav. Talented Alex Shutik traveled to the capital, on the contrary, Peter Kondrick, a pupil, returned under the Tatras. In recent days, the fight for players from the capitals of Bratislava has begun in the transfer market. Strikers David Bock and David Bondra are particularly linked to Poprad.
“First of all, I am very sorry for the whole situation that happened there. It is really a great tragedy. Of course, these covid seasons are distorting the players market and there are not many good hockey players in the market. There was a big battle for players from the capitals of Bratislava. Yes, we also called someone from there, but we are fighting among ourselves. And I am not only talking about teams from the extra league, but practically from all over Europe. We will see what happens. We will do our best to bring quality to the staff, “ Udovit Gorini confirmed.
Hong Kong President Poprad Nicklan Herold, new head coach Corey Nelson and club director Uduvet Gorini.
Game style change
The club contacted Nelson just five days ago, he was already training on Wednesday and was officially introduced on Thursday. He signed a contract with HK Poprad at the end of the season, and if he advances to the play-off finals, his contract will be extended for another year.
“I had minimal time to think, but I studied something about the club and interviews with the management made my decision a lot easier. It baked really fast. I’m glad to be here. I’ve already led the training and it can be seen that there is a lot of talent and quality in the team. The players are ready Well, they also want to learn and work on the details, which makes me very happy. We also understand each other on the implementation team, so I think everything will work out,” He does not hide the enthusiasm of the former professional defender.
Slovak fans can remember Nelson primarily from his work on the British national team, where he was an assistant for years and also helmsman last season. He has led four clubs in Europe so far. His last participation in Manglerod in Norway was unsuccessful, the team is at the bottom of the league table after eighteen rounds without a single win.
“It is not right to talk about the organization I worked for in the past. But the fact is that Manglerod lost the main sponsor before the season, which complicated the situation for us. The players tried but we lacked quality. In the team we had semi-pros who went to train straight from work. We weren’t able to compete,” The most obvious unsuccessful period is a citizen of the small Canadian town of Oromucto.
For years, fans, players and management of Poprad have longed for their team to win the title. The Chamois failed three times in the finals. And although their current form does not suggest it, they would like to attack higher targets again.
“We simply knew that. Every team wants to win and go to the playoffs as much as possible. There is a lot of talent, speed and quality in this team. If the players reach their potential, that will be good,” Corey Nelson thinks positively.
He knows exactly what to work with with his new team: “I like aggressive hockey style, especially when playing without a puck. We have to have good movement in the attack area, but especially to score goals. This team scores the puck so you score in an empty goal. We have to be more clear, and push ourselves.” Towards the goal. It will be important to find a middle ground between the old and new hockey way.”
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