The last season’s Latvian champions – ZRHK Tenax Dobele. Last season ZRHK Tenax Dobele managed to end the Latvian championship’s season without any lost game. They also won the Latvian Cup. As they themselves say about the BHL season there is some disappointment left: “In the Baltic League, we couldn’t play the whole season, for reasons well known to everyone, so we also weren’t able to play in the decisive games.” But in general we are satisfied with the season: “We are satisfied with the season, because we managed to win both the Latvian Championship and the Latvian Cup. Also in the European Cup we had a quite good season and we played good against HC Neva SPb.” In this season there are small changes in team’s roster – Māris Veršakovs left the team and plays now in Italy, but two expierenced players joined the team – Austris Tuminskis and Uldis Lībergs. Arvis Juzups, manager of ZRHK Tenax Dobele, comments the preparation work for the new season : “The preparation was disjointed and did not go exactly as we planned. Unfortunately, we did not manage to go to the any tournament, but we played friendly games in Latvia with the ASK / LSPA team, which was also valuable. We did not participate in annual tournament in Klaipeda, were we have participated last few years. The good thing for us is that the season starts quite slowly, we played the first game in BHL and now there is a two week break that we can use to work on few things and be ready for season.” There are no doubt there will be a great fight for BHL Champions title, because also ZRHK Tenax Dobele has set the highest goals not only in Latvian championship, but also in BHL: “First of all, I would like to wish to everyone, that we can play the whole season without interruptions and disturbances. In Latvian Championship, we want to defend our champions title, at BHL our goal is to play in the Final 4 and reach the final. In European Cup we want to be able to improve our performance and reach the next round – the quarterfinals or even higher. Most important thing is – progress in performance.”
Key players – On the positive side, we have managed to keep almost last year’s line-up. Māris Veršakovs has left us and plays now in Italy, but all the other players are still part of the team. Austris Tuminiskis has joined, it is no secret, that he is looking for opportunities to play abroad, but until he receives an offer that satisfies him, he will play with us. To our team has joined also well experienced Uldis Lībergs, who brings in additional contribution, especially in defensive. And of course our existing players Nils Kreicbergs, Nils Miķelsons, Oskars Arājs, Egīls Politers, Andris Ērmanis, Ņikita Pančenko, Anton Šuleiko, Emīls Kurzemnieks – they are the foundation of our team, who have been playing for ZRHK Tenax Dobele for several seasons.
How would you describe your team in few words on and off the court – One of our biggest advantages is that a large part of the team has been playing together for a very long time, they understand each other very well on and off the field. We are cohesive. The team has a good atmosphere; we also try to make sure that the new players successfully integrate into the team.
How do you motivate or cheer up your team – For almost every game, the coach gives the task in attack or defensive, such as, he limits the number of goals what opponent can score, or sets how many goals team has to score herself. He also analyzes opponents and gives tasks based on the opponents’ strengths or weaknesses. We have a tradition in the team, which I have seen in many sports teams now, that there is a talisman in the team, which is given to the best player of the game. For us, it’s a sword. Previous game’s best player passes this sword to the best player of the game – he says a small speech.
Prediction game: who will win this season – Of course, we would like us to be the ones who win the title, but if we don’t count us – Põlva Serviti, HC Dragunas Klaipeda and VHC ŠVIESA Vilnius will be among the favorites.
Head coach: Sandris Veršakovs
Coaches: Ivars Lacis
Physio: Agate Adina