|Erin Phillips will have an important role to play in filling the hole left by the departure of Miljana Bojovic|
Last Season: While successfully defending their Slovakian and Middle European titles, Good Angels found it difficult to repeat their run to the EuroLeague Women Final Eight during 2013 after what turned out to be an injury-ravaged campaign. Their cause wasn't helped by being pitched into the toughest group and while they still made the play-offs, they were beaten by Bourges and failed to make the Final Eight. They did however light it up off the court, with some brilliant and record-breaking crowds for various regular season games at the Steel Arena.
Significant Summer Departures: Veteran forward Plenette Pierson and playmaker Miljana Bojovic have been the cornerstones of the backcourt and frontcourt during recent seasons, but both have now moved on and this leaves big shoes to fill. Farhiya Abdi, Lynetta Kizer, Irina Osipova and Jia Perkins are also no longer present.
Roster Review: Injuries have been just as much of a talking point in recent years than the club's rise to prominence. Even during the off-season, they appeared to have lost highly rated Slovakian guard Barbora Balintova to a suspected ACL injury but thankfully she has now recovered. They then brought Crystal Langhorne back to the club and she has since gone down without so much as bouncing a ball in anger. So, returning from last season is the often underrated but highly effective and efficient Tijana Krivacevic, the fabulously talented Slovakian rising star Zofia Hruscakova, Polish swingman Magdalena Zietara and Slovakian legend Zuzana Zirkova. Replacing Langhorne will be veteran and former EuroLeague Women MVP Asjha Jones, while the acquisition of former WNBA champion and highly decorated Opals' guard Erin Phillps could prove vital. Slovenian Teja Oblak also joins having played with CCC Polkowice in the competition last year, while the addition of debutantes and German national team leaders Romy Bar and Katharina Fikiel are particularly intriguing.
Headline Writer: The combo capabilities and vast experience of Phillips will be vital as Kosice turn the page for the first time in many years in a backcourt that won't have the ever-present influence of Bojovic. There is little doubt that if she has a big season and imposes her positive influence on the younger players, the team will have an opportunity to pose a real headache during the regular season and have a reasonable shot at the play-offs.
‘X-Factor': You would be hard pushed to find a EuroLeague Women club which has had to cope with the sustained number of injuries as Kosice have during the last couple of years and so every positive superstition in the book will be undertaken as Maros Kovacik pleads with fate to deal him a better hand. Therefore the biggest factor with arguably a less deep squad will be managing to stay generally healthy.
Sliding Onto The Radar: Last year Zietara threatened to slide onto the radar, but it didn't quite happen in a way she would have hoped. With a year's experience now under her belt at the elite level and some impressive pre-season displays behind her including a nice 20-point contribution against Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje in the UMMC Cup, she could realise her potential and become a very handy scorer for Coach Kovacik and slide more centrally onto the radar.
In Just Ten Words: Final Four format hurts chances of reaching season climax, so play-offs.
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