INTERVIEWS

Owner of Slovakian champions, Miloslav Chmeliar: This is new Tatran

TATRAN Presov won the Velux EHF Champions League Qualifying Group 1 in TATRAN Handball Arena, Presov, Slovakia. The owner of the club Miloslav Chmeliar was very satisfied and delighted that his boys managed to qualify for Group C of the Velux EHF Champions League beating strong Slovenian rivals RK GorenjeVelenje: “We tried to do everything in order to qualify for the Champions League Group Phase. After Champions League Qualifying Group 1 draw in Vienna we used the right to organize Champions League qualification in TATRAN Handball Arena, Presov. It is not a cheap affair at all because after arrival at an airport you have to perfectly take care of 3 foreign teams, EHF delegates and referees. If we had refused to organize this qualification, we would have to play somewhere else. If we had not qualified, we would have regretted we did not do everything to organize the tournament.”

The owner of Slovakian champions Miloslav Chmeliar is convinced that qualifying tournament in Presov was very demanding for all the participating teams: “We could see really tough games in Qualifying Group 1. It was clear for everyone that both Finnish and Luxembourg champions have their qualities. Until they can keep up physically with the favourites, they play equal games against their rivals. In the final game TATRAN – RK Gorenje we played for everything because we fought for the only qualifying place for Champions League Group C. Our entire season depends on participation of TATRAN in the Champions League. The feeling of responsibility was huge not only on our side, but also on the side of GorenjeVelenje. It was not very nice handball because both clubs played for their success in 2016/2017 season. We fulfilled our goals and we can look forward to other Champions League games in Presov. It is another season when Slovakian champions will play in the Champions League Group Phase.”

Miloslav Chmeliar also praises the changes within the team during the last season which proved to be very pragmatic and progressive: “All those envious people, who claimed that TATRAN lost their quality after we finished contracts with 8 players, were wrong. I want to tell them that this is new TATRAN, which everyone has to seriously count with.Changes we made in the club from various reasons were right. We have to keep our fingers crossed for this young team. I will be personally happy when in the near future TATRAN will have more homegrown players in their team.I will have better feeling if our boys from Presov will play and decide the games. Lukas Urban serves as the best example at the present time. He is only 21, but he has a solid position in the starting squad. He belongs to the best players of TATRAN and Slovakian national team.”

At the press conference, after TATRAN beat RK Gorenje, the captain of TATRAN Radovan Pekar appreciated mutual relationship among the players of TATRAN on the court, in the dressing room and outside the court, which significantly contributed to successful qualification of TATRAN into the Champions League Group Phase. The owner of Eastern Slovakian team MiloslavChmeliarconfirms this fact:“Last season there was not good atmosphere in the team. The system of financial rewards in the clubis carefully worked out.The players earn approximately two thirds of their salaries on bonuses.The players, who were only interested in salaries and bonuses of other players, disrupted the atmosphere in the team. Some of the players were fired because they did not create good relationships within the team. Nowadays the atmosphere in TATRAN is much more better, boys keep together, which is positively reflected on the results of the team.”

The owner of TATRAN Presov Miloslav Chmeliar was also pleased by attendance in TATRAN Handball Arena. The fans of TATRAN created home team great sport environment: “Today it was quite complicated to crowd TATRAN Handball Arena because there was a live coverage on TV. It was also unusual playing time because of EHF broadcasting rights.I think the number of spectators will proportionally increase with autumn days. Our boys will attract the fans by their good performances. I would like to invite our great fans not only for Slovakian League games, but especially for Champions League matches and SEHA League games. This Saturday TATRAN encounter Slovenian champions RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko Celje. Our fans can look forward to many amazing and attractive games in TATRAN Handball Arena. I am sure the boys will confirm their good form against Celje and enjoy the support of their fans.”

Expectations of Miloslav Chmeliar from Slovakian champions participation in the Champions League Group Phase are realistic:“I am convinced we will be more successful than we were last season. I hope we will not suffer from many injuries as we did in the Champions League Group Phase last season. I also believe we will not have such a bad luck with close results since we lost two games by one goal difference and one game by two goals last season. We could have easily collected six more points and could have avoided qualification tournament in September 2016. But we managed this tournament and qualified. The players can play in the Champions League Group C freely, they have nothing to lose. We still build a new team. Our play in the Champions League will be based on excellent defence and fast breaks. TATRAN will collect more points in the Champions League this season.”

The owner of TATRAN Presov Miloslav Chmeliar likes the composition of the new TATRAN and mainly shooting awakening of left back Oliver Rabek: “In my opinion Oliver can be considered to be the best Slovakian handball player in last decade. He is an indefensible player.He had an excellent pre-season. At the moment he is in a brilliant shooting form and can score fast goals from big distances. He is our main back leader. On the other side I want to praise AlexejPeskov. If he has a good run, he is also indefensible. He proved that atDoboj tournament and Czech – Slovakian Cup. This first line of backs is led by centre back Lukas Urban. The second line of backs D. Krok – Jankovic – Sadovyi is also very good one. No one can forget the third line Pekar – M. Sarpataky–Tsarapkin. The team is well composed. Apart from our elite wingers Hrstka and Cip, home grown players of TATRAN will be given chance to play on the wings this season. We have young line players. Vucko is excellent in both defence and offence. Pales improved his performances significantly. And we have an amazing couple of Ukrainian national team goalkeepersChupryna and Brazhnyk.Chuprynais a top goalkeeper and Brazhnykis a soul of the team. Brazhnyk can throw perfect balls to our wingers on fast breaks. We are looking forward to this season that will be very demanding and attractive.”

TATRAN Presov owner Miloslav Chmeliar appreciates and respects professional efforts of Rastislav Trtik, coach of TATRAN, who led his team to the Champions League Group Phase: “I would like to thank to Rastislav Trtik who had to undergo a serious operation in Bosnia a week before the Champions League qualification. Two days after severe appendix operation he was transported to Presov to finish preparation of TATRAN for the Champions League qualification. He prepared the team in a great manner. They managed to qualify for the Champions League Group Phase. Hats off to him for all he has done!”

Author: Richard Fech

Photo: Viktor Zamborsky

Text to the photo: MiloslavChmeliar, the owner of TATRAN Presov

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