|01 October 2013|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2015
|Maros Kovacik is taking over as head coach of the Slovak national team|
The meteoric rise of young Good Angels Kosice play-caller Maros Kovacik continues after being announced as the replacement for Ivan Vojtko at the helm of the Slovak national team.
Having spent three summers coaching the Slovakian team at the U20 European Championship Women, Kovacik has been promoted to the top job and his first and primary aim will be to get the Slovak Republic through qualification next summer and safely into EuroBasket Women 2015.
After two years, Vojtko leaves the post having achieved his objectives of getting the team to EuroBasket Women 2013 in France and also into the second phase of the competition, where they eventually finished in 11th place.
Kovacik guided Good Angels to a tenth Slovak Republic Championship title last season, but his biggest accomplishment during a stunning rookie campaign, was to propel his team into the semi-finals of the EuroLeagueWomen Final Eight in Ekaterinburg.
His efforts were widely recognised and praised by his peers, especially by both Final Eight title game coaches Roberto Iniquez of Fenerbahce and Olaf Lange of UMMC Ekaterinburg.
They both identified Kovacik as being their unofficial EuroLeague Women Coach of the Year.
Speaking to Basket.sk, the coach confirmed that negotiations had been ongoing since the summer.
He explained, "The first contact with the Slovak Basketball Association occurred when we returned, dare I say, from a successful U20 European Championship Women, where we finished seventh.
"Later we discussed about my ideas and opportunities.
"We found common ground nearly three weeks ago."
As well as focusing on EuroBasket Women 2015, the coach also admitted that the dream of a potential spot at the Olympics in Rio a year later was also part of the thought process in accepting the role.
"There are different points. The main approach is EuroBasket Women and then attempt to press for the Olympics," said Kovacik.
"Of course the Olympics attract me. This objective is currently in my dreams.
"However, when there is such a possibility, it would be nonsense not to attempt it.
"We need to go step by step," added the play-caller.
Before Kovacik turns his attention to national team matters, he will firstly concentrate on somehow repeating his terrific first year in EuroLeagueWomen with Good Angels Kosice.
And, he will be hoping for strong performances from some of his young players such as Barbora Balintova, Zsofia Hruscakova and Martina Kissova, a trio who could form the backbone of an exciting new page for the national team.