The second round of U16 tournaments in the Bauer Elite Cup are scheduled to take place in early October with three teams heading to Miskolc in Hungary, and another three to Újpest in the country’s capital.
In the east of the country, DVTK Jegesmedvék Akadémia are gearing up to welcome EC KAC of Austria, and Slovak side Barani-HSMH Banska Bystrica and fellow Hungarians Budapest Jégkorong Akadémia.
“The Academy has organised many tournaments in the past with a lot of teams or even for national teams, international tournaments, so we have the experience that’s needed. The difference this time is that those tournaments were played either in the off-season or during international breaks, meanwhile this one comes at a time when every age group’s championship has started already and our secondary rink isn’t available, yet. Therefore, creating a schedule that allows us to host all the Elite Cup games, while taking the needs of everyone else around us into consideration, was the biggest challenge,” explained Ádám Nagy, Chief Operating Officer of the DVTK Jegesmedvék Jégkorong Sportakadémia.
“There were other aspects we had to consider as well, for example the journey from Miskolc to Klagenfurt is ten hours long, and as we are talking about 16-year-old players, it was important that they could get home in time. To solve this problem, we agreed with Budapest Jégkorong Akadémia that we would play against each other one week early, 24 September so the remaining five games could fit into the schedule more easily.”
DVTK suffered three defeats in their first tournament in Košice but are nevertheless looking forward to hosting the next round. “As far as expectations go, having great results isn’t the top priority in our Academy’s philosophy. Naturally we would like to play as well in every game as possible, but fundamentally the development of players and providing them with high-quality competition is what we are looking for and that’s why we are happy to participate in the Elite Cup,” added Nagy.
“We constantly aim to give our players a chance to play in an environment where they could reach their maximum potential, achieve great progress, and gain experience they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. This is what’s important to us, and if that results in victories, we will be even happier.”