Sparta coach Josef Jandač (pictured on March 26, 2022).
Prague – The former coach of the national hockey team, Josef Jandač, expressed his support for the current coach of the national team, Karim Jalonen. In his opinion, the experienced Finn should continue with the team until next year's domestic championship in accordance with his current contract. Jandač stated this in an interview with ČTK, although he himself is a supporter of the fact that one of the domestic coaches should be on the national team substitute.
Already during the World Championships in Finland and Latvia, which ended with the Czechs losing to the USA in the quarter-finals, Jandač appealed for Jalonen to be given peace and space for his work and not have to deal with questions about his future with the team. Despite the unsuccessful journey to defend the bronze and the historically worst result in the form of eighth place, he did not change his opinion. According to them, it is necessary to deal with the situation with a cool head.
“I certainly wouldn't defenestrate a coach just because he lost in the quarter-finals and at the home championship we must have a Czech coach at all costs. If you consider that we would now put a coach there who has no experience with this and the native has not trained yet, the factor of the home championship, which will certainly bring with it even more pressure, would be a mistake in my opinion,” said Jandač.
“Let Kari, who lives here, be an absolute professional, he has no problem in the cabin with the players, he devotes a lot of time to it, goes around the stadiums and players, and continues. Let's keep the contract and then when he wins the gold for us in Prague, then we can say goodbye and the time will come to put one of the domestic coaches back there again. I am not changing the opinion that there should be a Czech again in the future. In my opinion, the Czech national team should be led by a Czech coach. But for now I would leave it as it is, Jandač added.
He believes that it would be fair in a way, also considering the circumstances under which Jalonen took over the team after the dismissed Filip Pešán last March. “Not many people were fighting about it at the time, as I recall. No one wanted to stick their head in a noose. It's a hot seat after all, and there was a lot of long-term failures and waiting for a medal,” Jandač recalled.
“If we were in a situation where no one rushed into it and we reached for an expert from abroad, then we should keep what we offered him. For the first time in history, a foreign coach led the team and regardless of the fact that last year's from my point of view, the medal was a little easier due to the non-participation of Russia and Belarus, so he ended the wait for the precious metal and succeeded,” Jandač said.
He emphasized that he recognizes Jalonen. “I also had the opportunity to meet Karim. He is an excellent guy. And an inspiring good coach. Kari is an expert who has a lot of experience. And there are results behind him,” stated Jandač.
According to him, it is necessary evaluate well why the WC Czechs did not succeed. “Of course, in the past, either I or Filip Pešán got a lot of trouble when we lost in the quarterfinals. I'm not saying that Kari should take it the same way, but it will be good to analyze the cause of the failure with a cool head, learn from it and prepare well to the home championship,” Jandač said.
From his point of view, the team reached its maximum given the circumstances. “There are some objective reasons why it didn't work out this time,” he recalled the injuries to key forwards Filip Chytil and Lukáš Sedlák. “It's a tournament. And you, as a coach, often depend on how you manage to put the team together. This team was certainly not bad, sometimes everything fits together and fits together, sometimes it doesn't. For example, in Germany (World Cup 2010) it it worked out then, but we also went over the edge and there was not much left for everything to turn out completely differently,” Jandač mentioned the last world championship title, for which he was Vladimír Růžička's assistant.
It bothers him that the position of coach of the national the team does not have a long-term concept. “Why don't we choose a coach in advance who would go there in order to somehow prepare for it? We have an adept – Radim Rulík – and he is not at all invited to the tournament as the coach of the 20s? After all, he should be there regardless of whether the senior he will get representation or not,” believes Jandač.
“I know how wide the implementation team the top teams have. Why on earth can't we have one more person there too? It's saving money and it's about money, or what's the reason? Why didn't President Hadamczik invite Radim to be part of the implementation team ? After all, I worked as an assistant for three years before I moved to the position of head coach. And it was extremely beneficial for me. After all, Kari Jalonen was also in his twenties – which I think is absolutely correct – why wasn't it the other way around? Then we will to search for someone eagerly again, without being prepared for the situation for a long time,” said Jandač.
He also believes that the position of general manager should also be taken seriously. “There are always positions and functions or involvement of ex-players, but then we have two general managers… Yes, let's involve ex-players. Those guys have had great careers, but it takes a lot of dedication, an awful lot of time . And nobody wants that. I don't know if they can give it the thousand percent that the position requires,” said Jandač.