After more than 100 days, the basketball players of Piešťany Čajok met in the Diplomat arena. Already with the label of champion of Slovakia and participant in the group stage of the European Cup (Women’s Eurocup), they started preparations for the 2022/2023 season. The tandem consisting of Peter Jankovič and Tomáš Kačmarik initially had more than half of the team at their disposal.
After initial medical examinations, he embarked on a nearly two-month training process on the recently renovated deck of the Diplomat arena. In the beginning, assistant coach Tomáš Kačmarik will lead the team together with conditioning coach Marek Mikletič, as Peter Jankovič will still fulfill his duties with the under-16 national girls team for the next few days. “We have a complete team, but 7 players participated in the first training session, which was also supplemented by some players from Stara Tura’s U23 team. The rest participate in the summer training session and Dominika Rusiňáková is in ‘external’ mode because she is still rehabilitating after knee arthroscopy I firmly believe he will join the team as soon as possible and participate in the preparation Some names will be released in the coming days but we have the gro has already been introduced. We have been able to fill in what we wanted. In that respect we are satisfied”, coach Čajok revealed at the start.
The champion of the Nike Extraliga Women has made several changes to the teams in recent weeks. The names of Vanda Kozáková, Matey Tadičová, Sarah Boothová, Alexandra Hašková, Martina Dovčíková, Nina Gavláková and Veera Pirttinenová appear in the departure column. Natália Martišková, Terézia Kraislová, Dominika Rusiňáková and Alica Moravčíková move on from the championship team. There are two new faces so far – Božica Mujovičová and Anna Jurčenková. Youth representative Magdaléna Valová of MBK Stará Turá also gets a chance in the A-team. A change also took place in the performance team, when physiotherapist Michael Bujňák was replaced by the masseuse of the SR women’s national team, Erika Šerfőzőová.
“First of all, I am happy that we were able to catch up with Anka Jurčenkova, who should replace Sarah Booth. These are typologically the same players. Anka will certainly bring a lot of experience, because she played a large number of matches in the Euroleague and Eurocup. I had the honor to work with her in Košice, so I know what I’m getting into and she knows me, so it’s a very good “buy” and I’m satisfied with it.Instead of Tadičová, we engaged the representative of Montenegro Božica Mujovičová She is a player who has already played in Europe and I have been following her for a long time He comes from a strong Hungarian league, at an ideal age, and I am convinced that he will show his potential, experience and poise in the passing game in Piešťany We have not looked for a replacement for Veera Pirttinenová as we want to include Terézia Vandlíková more in the rotation She will have to fight for more playing time but I believe she has some is necessary to get the space and give us what we want from her,” Jankovič explained the changes in the squad.
In addition to the aforementioned players, the club management also managed to keep a few with serious injuries for most of the season, but in the end they were key figures in the play-offs en route to the first-ever league title. We are, of course, talking about Gabriela Andělova and Ke’Shunan James. “Both said after signing the contract that they had never experienced how the club looked after them and that they wanted to give it back in a certain way. I believe it was not just about that, but that they felt good here and saw the potential of this club I’m just happy they showed tremendous potential and quality we all hope they will always be healthy and can play all season which they promised me (smile) so we will be even stronger and continue the work we started last year,” coach Čajok told them.
The club’s management announced more space for young Slovakian players who have been part of the team for a long time – Kraislová, Vandlíková and more recently Valová. “Since we managed to reach the group stage of the Eurocup, I think that the key players, who should wear it all season, will be especially stressed in these encounters. I think young Slovakian players will spend minutes in the league But they have to give everything and I will push them to perform at their best. Of course they will have a different rating, as it will be with foreign players, but I would like them during the two years of experience in the A- transforming the team and giving something back to the club over time. I firmly believe they have the potential,” said Jankovič.
In addition to defending the championship title in the Nike Extraliga Women, fans can also look forward to an international showdown. In the Eurocup, the Seagulls will appear in the C group, they will face Poland’s InvestInTheWest Enea Górzow, Turkey’s Galatasaray Istanbul and one of the Slávia Banská Bystrica/Eleftheria Moschato pair. Piešťany thus avoided qualifying, which they do not have the best memories of after last year. “It’s a huge difference. The postponement of the start of the Eurocup because of the Women’s World Cup gives us enough time. I’m glad we avoided qualifying and will definitely participate in the group stage. I’m happy with the draw of the opponents in the group and I think we will be competitive,” said the experienced coach.
Jankovič also outlined the program for the coming weeks: “In August it will be about conditioning, working on game concepts in defense and attack.” From September 2, we have preparatory meetings, every weekend we play 2 matches in tournaments. At the start of the competition, which starts on October 1, we should play 8 preparatory meetings. The Eurocup starts at the end of October, so there is plenty of time to prepare.”
His charges will defend the league title for the first time in the club’s history. In addition to the traditional pair of Ružomberok and Košice, the field will most likely also include Banská Bystrica. “It will certainly be different, they will want to withdraw us. I think Piešťany is already used to it, because they have been fighting for the top of the extra league for a long time. As I said after winning the title, the change that we are the reigning champions. We will do everything we can to defend the title, but as they say, winning is easier than defending. It would not be reasonable to set smaller goals,” helmsman Piešťan added. end to.
The current squad of the Piešťany Seagulls:
point guards: Božica Mujovičová, Gabriela Andělová, Natalia Martišková, Terézia Kraislová, Magdalena Valová
Wings: Ke’Shunan Jamesová, Dominika Rusiňáková, Tereza Vandlíková
pivot points: Anna Jurčenková, Alica Moravčíková
Friendly matches schedule:
2. – 03.09.2022 Tournament in Miškovec (DVTK Miskolc, Žabiny Brno, Piešťanské Čajky)
09.- 10.09.2022 Tournament in Brno (Žabiny Brno, Levhartice Chomutov, Arka Gdyňa, Piešťanské Čajky)
16.– 17.09.2022 Tournament in Piešťany Diplomat Cup 2022 (Piešťanské Čajky, BC Polkowice, Žabiny Brno, Ludovika Csata Basketball)
22/09/2022 Piešťanské Gulls – SBŠ Ostrava
24/09/2022 Piešťanske Čajky – KP Brno
Source: Press release – Piešťanské Seagulls