09.06.2014 | Pavel Hrdina

ESF Men’s Championship: Czech team reveal 17-man squad

The coaching staff of the Czech softball national team has published the final roster for the 2014 XII European Championship Men, which will be held 14thto 19thJuly in Pardubice and Havlíčkův Brod. Most of the nominated players have been members of the national team for several years, but there are also two players with little international experience. “All the players we were interested in are coming. With this roster, we would like to defend the European title in front of Czech fans,“ said Tomáš Kusý, the head coach of the Czech team.


This spring, the broader roster of the national team went through a series of training sessions. The last cuts that gave birth to the team were made after the friendly tournament against the national team of Denmark, which was held in mid-July in Pardubice. “It took us about ten hours to come up with the final version of the roster. It wasn’t easy because there are a lot of high-quality players that we had to choose from,“ said Kusý, who coached most of the players also at the ISF World Championship in New Zealand last year.

The catcher David Mertl remains team captain, but it is yet unclear who will take the position of the number one pitcher at the tournament. “There are several outstanding pitchers on our team and it will all depend on their shape and performance at the time of the tournament, and on the scouting we’ll do on the other teams. At this point, I have no clear idea who would pitch the final game,“ said the head coach. He can be happy about the health state of his players, as well as about their eagerness to represent their country. Not a single player turned down their nomination, and, fortunately, everyone is healthy. Aleš Jetmar, the pitcher who is currently playing in the USA, will fly back home just to take part in the tournament. Pavel Just of Havlíčkův Brod and Bartoloměj Řízek of Eagles Prague are the only „rookies“ on the team, and they will have the opportunity to collect invaluable international experience at this tournament.

With the exception of Jetmar, all other players currently play in the Czech top competition (Extraliga), which ranks among the best leagues in Europe. The highest number of players (7) for the national team were supplied by Spectrum Prague, who played the final series in the past 3 years, winning two titles (2011, 2012). Three players on the roster play for the Havlíčkův Brod Hippos, on whose field most of the games of the European Championship will be played. “We will definitely play our best in front of a full stadium. But we cannot think that just because the majority of fans will be on our side we’ve already won the tournament. I think that this year’s championship will be tougher than the one in Holland two years ago. There is certainly some great softball to look forward to,“ said Karel Kadečka of the Hippos.

The European Championship is the most important European softballevent in terms of men’s national teams this season. During the summer break in the Czech Extraliga, eight national teams will come to Pardubice and Havlíčkův Brod to compete for the title of European Champion during the span of six days. The home team, who are the defending champions from 2012, seem to be the most serious contender for gold and this is reflected in the team’s ambitions as well. “It is definitely our goal to defend our title from two years ago,“ said the head coach clearly. And what is on the schedule for the Czech team before the tournament opens on 14th July? “In three weeks, we’ll be going to the Zeister Slot tournament in Holland, where we’ll face the Dutch and the Danish. On 30th June we’ll start our final two-week intensive preparation program and then we’re ready for the European Cup.“

Players nominated for XII European Championship Men in Pardubice and Havlíčkův Brod, 14th – 19th July 2014

Name	Team
Benda Tomáš	Eagles Praha
Breník Jaroslav	Radotínský SK
Jelínek Tomáš	Hroši Havlíčkův Brod
Jetmar Aleš	Spectrum Praha / Aurora Dolan&Murphy (Illinois, USA)
Just Pavel	Hroši Havlíčkův Brod
Kadečka Karel	Hroši Havlíčkův Brod
Klein Tomáš	Spectrum Praha
Kolkus Patrik	Spectrum Praha
Mach Jonáš	Eagles Praha
Mertl David	Spectrum Praha
Müller Jaroslav	Hroši Havlíčkův Brod
Nezbeda Jiří	Beavers Chomutov
Petr Tomáš	Spectrum Praha
Řízek Bartoloměj	Eagles Praha
Svoboda Václav	Beavers Chomutov
Vácha Petr	Spectrum Praha
Voborník Tomáš	Spectrum Praha
 Coaching staff:
HeadCoach	Kusý Tomáš
AssistantCoach	Novák Petr
Scout	Allen Lawrence
Scout	Korčák Jaroslav
MassageTherapist	Kout Miroslav

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