Jalonen let his assistant lead most of the practice, but with the professor’s strict gaze, he had a clear idea of what he wanted to see from his new assignment.
“It’s still difficult for me to know all the players by name, but I really like the work they do. I want them to have fun too,” explains the coach, why he announced a shooting accuracy competition, for example, and whoever complies, is forgiven for the intensive skating wheel.
“I think it’s good that he’s put an element of playfulness in there. We’ll be on the ice twice a day until Thursday and I think everyone understands that there will be work here, but everyone who likes hockey will enjoy it, said assistant Martin Erat, who happily accepted the new challenge. two years after hockey, I wanted to return to him and the offer from the national team was not turned down. I feel in my body every day that I can no longer play, so a new stage begins. I wanted to do the job and I went to mainly because Kari Jalonen and Libor Zábransk were with the team,” recalls the coach and fellow assistant from Kometa.
Jalonen has not been ahead of the situation. “I don’t want to decide at the first meeting which hockey players who come here can play in the championship. I called Peter Nedvěd, who is on an inspection trip overseas, to discuss the situation on a daily basis,” said Jalonen, who received news from the general manager that he was not counting on New Jersey striker Pavel Zachou for the World Cup. “I accept things- things as they are. We have 63 days until the World Cup final, so there is still enough time to perfect everything,” said the coach.
“I feel very good energy from the players, every day we will hone the system so that everyone takes the way we want to play and knows everything they need to do. Martin also works as a translator, because I think some men are embarrassed to speak English. It’s cooler and everyone understands what we want from the players,” said Jalonen, bringing on the team and compatriot Kalle Kaskinen as video coach. “I’ve known each other for a long time, we worked together in Turku. “A stranger in the hands of a compatriot, but one is enough for me,” the coach laughed.
This was new to the national team, but strangers as substitutes were not uncommon for hockey players. “I’m not going to look for anything special. Even in our country, people who should be there are appointed to various positions, not just in hockey, and nationality doesn’t count. I don’t agree that the Czech team should lead the Czechs. Kari is the type of coach who know what to do and the rest of us in the implementation team can only help him,” said Erat.
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