Czechs woo Vujtek
Czechs woo Vujtek
Successor for Ruzicka found
A one-year contract will be formalized in August.
The 68-year-old Czech was coaching the Slovak national team for the last four years and originally said that he would end his coaching career in his home town of Ostrava when Slovakia played in the city during the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
However, after Vladimir Ruzicka resigned as national team coach, the Czech Ice Hockey Association turned to Vujtek. At a board meeting on Thursday the majority of the members voted for Vujtek as the most suitable candidate and Vujtek confirmed to accept the offer when contacted by President Tomas Kral. The details as well as the naming of the assistant coaches will be worked on in July.
For Vujtek it’s the first time he will coach the men’s national team of his native country although he has been a candidate on two occasions before. Among Vujtek’s biggest accomplishments is Slovakia’s silver medal win at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. He also coached the Czech U20 national team at the 1994 IIHF World Junior Championship and had coached several clubs in the Czech Republic and Russia before taking over the Slovak national team for the 2011/2012 season.
His first tournament with the Czechs will be the Karjala Tournament in November in Finland. At the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, the Czechs will play their preliminary-round games in Moscow where they will face host Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Latvia, Norway, Denmark and Kazakhstan.
Vujtek is only the third coach since 2004 to lead the Czech national team. During the last 11 years Ruzicka and Alois Hadamczik have succeeded each other as national team coaches four times.
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