|06 May 2011|
Basketball In Europe
George Dikeoulakos led Lotos Gdynia to a Polish Cup triumph and into the domestic league play-offs but that's going to be it with the Greek deciding to leave for a new challenge.
With speculation rampant that Dikeoulakos is about to be handed the reins to a leading team in the EuroLeague Women, Gdynia have announced they are now looking for a new coach.
"In sport, it sometimes happens that something begins and then you have to begin to build everything again from scratch," club president Mieczyslaw Krawczyk said.
"We had a vision of cooperation with the Greek coach, but this has been changed.
"Currently we have three names on the shortlist of potential coaches.
"George Dikeoulakos did us a favor with very good recommendations for one of them."
Dikeoulakos took over Lotos Gdynia late in the Qualifying Round of the EuroLeague Women when they had virtually no chance of progressing in the competition.
He sparked the team into life, with the high point the Cup win.
The club president has told fans the new coach will not be a replica of Dikeoulakos.
"It will not be the same because no two are the same coaches, but definitely a team game will continue," the president said.
In the same statement issued by Lotos Gdynia, Dikeoulakos offered comment.
He said: "It is very hard for me to admit that in fact next season I will not be in Poland with the team Lotos Gdynia, but such is the unpleasant part of my job (frequent change of place).
"Despite the fact that my adventure with the Gdynia team only lasted three and a half months, the love that I received from the authorities of the club and the wonderful fans will be in my heart forever."
After serving as an assistant at the EuroBasket Women 2009 in Latvia, Dikeoulakos steered Sony Athinaikos to a Greek Cup, League and EuroCup Women treble.
That Athinaikos team, in fact, didn't lose a game on the domestic front.
He was then appointed coach of Latvia and overcame a tough start to steer the team into this summer's EuroBasket Women in Poland.
One of the players in that Latvia side, Elina Babkina, is on the books of Lotos Gdynia and was named MVP of the Polish Cup.
Dikeoulakos parted with Athinaikos and took over a struggling Lotos Gdynia at the beginning of 2011.
He said he owed a big thanks to Krawczyk and everyone else at Lotos Gdynia.
"I pray, I really very much hope that our paths will cross again in the future," he said.