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11-22-2011, 01:56 PM
  #6
slovakiasnextone
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hokejportal.sk gave us the fans the opportunity to ask Otto Sıkora- the general secretary of the Slovak icw-hockey federation and the GM of the NT (so basically pretty much the strongest man in Slovak hockey) questions and today he answered them. First of all, props to him for taking the time and answering all the questions and for his willingness to actually take part in something like this. There has been a lot of stuff said on loads of things whether it was the NT or Extraliga/1.liga, but for this thread I translated the most important points he made on youth/junior hockey:

- when he was approached by SZĽH he firmly believed that most people realize how grave the situation that we find ourselves in is, however he was disappointed to find out that most people are content with the way things work here, he is very disappointed by the work with youth, which is lagging behind the expectations in international comparisons
- his prior ambitions include drawing more kids to the rinks and improving the quality of work with youth
- to create such a league from 1.liga that it will become a league for players who finish playing junior leagues
- stabilizing the U18 and U20 teams in the elite division
- the U20 tournament was a huge disappointment- not only because of results, but also bad play, thus the coach change, Sıkora also talked with the U20 team players personally and "told them a few words about what he expects from them")
- (when asked whether Slovakia couldn´t take inspiration from countries like Sweden who underwent a hockey reform and on possible cooperation with the Nordic countries): the changes in those countries were made because all people from all kinds of sectors understood that a change is needed and worked hard to do it. Here in Slovakia we still pretend that everything is okay, he says they have huge trouble to convince people that work in youth hockey how bad the situation is (Here he says that they should ask themselves when was the last time that a big talent for the NT or NHL was brought up in Slovakia and how many (or little) talents there have been in the last 8-9 years), the changes done by Lener in Czech rep. are so economically demanding that acc. to Sıkora there would be maybe 1 club in Slovakia, who could afford it, when it comes to cooperation with Sweden and Finland, he says that he has good contacts there and is counting on cooperation with them when it comes to education of coaches
- he says that most Slovak coaches can´t speak a foreign language and therefore aren´t able to follow the international trends
- the future of the U20 Púchov project will be decided after the WJC
- currently they´re working on analysing all the youth compeitions in Slovakia, he says he´s glad that Švehla is heading the youth commission and that Švehla sacrifices a lot of his free time for this analysis and talks with experts. He says that some competitions need to be changed seriously. Specifics should be known in January.
- they plan to bring more youth hockey on TV
- he´s disappointed by the performances of the likes of Tatar or Pánik so far, they were expecting more from them

All the questions/answers cna be found here: http://www.hokejportal.net/?q=clanok...a-sykoru/36388

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