Robert Petrovicky to coach Slovakia U20
by Martin Merk|11 JUN 2019
Robert Petrovicky becomes the Slovak U20 national team coach after a long career and a world title with the Slovak national team.
photo: Mika Kylmaniemi / HHOF-IIHF Images
Former Slovak national team forward Robert Petrovicky is the new head coach of the Slovak U20 national team that will compete at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. He replaces Ernest Bokros, who has coached the team during the past eight years.

Viliam Cacho and Martin Strbak will join Petrovicky as assistant coaches, Rastislav Stana was named goaltending coach.

Petrovicky was a member of Slovak’s world champion team in 2002. He represented Czechoslovakia at the 1992 World Juniors and was part of the Slovak national team at Olympics and World Championships between 1994 and 2008.

The 45-year-old ended his career in 2016 where it began, at Dukla Trencin, and started as an assistant coach with the club. During the past two seasons he worked as an assistant coach for Slovan Bratislava in the Kontinental Hockey League and of Craig Ramsey at the Slovak men’s national team.

“I spent two quality years with Coach Ramsey,” Petrovicky said in a statement. “We will work primarily on team play, because if we all work on one goal, we can achieve great things.”
Robert Petrovicky was one of Craig Ramsey's assistant coaches at the 2018 and 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.
photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Viliam Cacho moves to the U20 national team after having been the head coach of the U18 national team for the past two years. There he will be replaced by Ivan Fenes while the U18 national team will be centralized for the first time as of the upcoming season.

Martin Strbak returns to Slovakia after having spent the past two years at the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Vierumaki and hopes to bring new inputs from the land of the men’s and U20 world champions to his native country. He was a long-time team mate on the national team with Petrovicky and retired in the same year, 2016.

The team will convene for the first time with the new coaching staff on Sunday for a week-long camp in Namestovo. 34 players were named for the camp.

It will be a fresh start for the team ahead of the World Juniors close to home in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic.

The U20 national team was led from 2011 since last winter by Ernest Bokros. During this period Slovakia won a World Juniors bronze medal in 2015 and finished in a top-8 position in each of the eight years. The team was also centralized to spend part of the season in the top Slovak league – a project that comes to an end with the funding being used for the U18 national team to be centralized all season long.

“As we won’t have the U20 project in place anymore, we will be helped by the clubs’ coaches, from whom we want information,” Petrovicky said. “We need to communicate non-stop with each club.”

In Trinec, which is located about 20 kilometres from the Czech-Slovak border, Slovakia will play the preliminary-round against Finland, Switzerland, Sweden and Kazakhstan in Group A.