Interviews

25. 4. 2024 - Pavol Humeník

The Slovak U16 national team gathered at the April camp

In Žilina during the weekend (April 20-21, 2024) it met again for a regular camp national team under 16 years of age.

The preparation of the Slovak national team has its regular monthly cycle, and this time were invited three goalkeepers, ten defenders and 15 forwards to Žilina. About the what stage of preparation the national team is and what the team's management set as the basic goal, we asked the coach Róbert Alföldy.

At what preparation stage is the U16 national team?

We have completed 2/3 of the preparation. There are two more matches ahead of us, where the final decision will be made about which players will go to the world championship in Žilina. There is still a lot of hard work ahead of us, although there is not much time left, I am convinced that our team will be well prepared.

What was your focus on the April national team camp in Žilina?

At the national team camp in Žilina in April, we focused on both fitness and technique preparation. The training units were demanding, they gave the players a hard time, but it can’t be done differently, in this preparation phase. We saw the maximum effort and determination of the players to "fight" for a place in the team and that is for me and my colleagues the most important thing. It was the same at the previous camps as well, after all, the championship in the home country must be a big attraction for every single player whom we call up.

Is the final nomination ready?

The final nomination for the World Championships is not yet known. The core of the team is formed gradually, but we still have the final SHBE U16 extra league tournament and other association tournaments waiting for us, so a chance for every player still continues, to have the same opportunity to fight for a place in the team. Who will received nomination for Championship this will be determined by current form and performance.

What do you primarily focus on in preparation for the World Cup - tactics, playfulness, speed, fitness?

In preparation for the World Championships, it is necessary to take into account many factors. Of course, fitness, speed, tactics are important... but other things are also important. We cannot focus only on one of them, it must be taken into account that success will depend also from how we and the players can combine all the components into one whole. Experiences from last year's championship they showed us that success is determined by details, little things, and therefore we also focus on them in the preparation. We do not want to underestimate really anything, because to experience the World Cup in home country it can only be achieved once in a career, so for success we will do our best.

Which game would you like to present at the championship?

I could simply say that - the best! But seriously now. At this moment I won't reveal all the "trump cards" to you yet. I would hate it if our opponents had a better idea of what to prepare for. Of course we know what kind of game we do want to play at the championship, but on the other hand we realize that in every match we will be faced with a difficult opponent who will want to fulfill his dreams. So the decisive factor will be how we manage to fulfill our ideas exactly in the given moment on the field.

With what goal will the Slovak under-16 national team go to the domestic championship?

Every Slovak national team, regardless of category, must have the highest goals. Just out of respect for the tradition and success of our sport on the international scene. Our U16 team will not be an exception. Just like last year at the championship in Liberec, we will want to fight for medals. I am very aware of what it means to play the World Cup at home, in front of many spectators. We have a difficult task ahead of us, but we will be ready. I believe that with the generous support of our fans we can fulfill expectations.

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