Hellenic Ball Hockey Association (HBHA)
Greece Ball Hockey Profile:
The Hellenic Ball Hockey Association will be competing in its 3rd World Championships. Having won the Gold Medal in 2009 (B Pool) they moved up to the A pool in 2011. The team wanted to show it belonged there and played a very good tournament only giving up 2 goals even strength in 7 games. Discipline however was there weakness as too many penalties decided the outcome of their games.
The 2013 men's team is even younger and eager to make the next step towards the podium.
The team consists of young veterans as well as rookies making their first appearance at a World Level. With ball hockey legend Gus Kourousis hanging up the shoes and finally stepping behind the bench, the team will have a great hockey mind and motivator leading the way.
Adding to that knowledge as an Assistant coach is former HBHA player and current St.Michael's coach Alex Bovoletis. (Alex was also the head coach for Portugal in the 2011 World Championships). Along with Timothy Acheson, John Kontitsis and Alkie Zisidis the team has a great staff committed to preparing and fielding the best team ever.
The World Championships are a unique and amazing experience. Everyone attending should be honored and glad that they can travel the world to represent their country and heritage and play the sport they love at the same time. We are looking forward in competing with our fellow nations and making St.John's the Best World Ball Hockey Championships ever.
Greece about their preparation for ISBHF World Championships in St. John´s:
John Kontitsis - representative of Greece's Men's National Team, did the following interview about teams preparation for upcoming ISBHF World Championships on June 2-9, 2013 in St. John´s, Newfoundland.
- 1. At what stage of preparation is your team with regards to next year’s the world championships in St. John’s?
At this point our team is usually finalized. However this year has been more of a challenge as new players are always trying to get a spot on the team, thus making it more difficult for the coaching staff to finalize the roster. Our final camp is actually taking place on the weekend of November 10th+ 11Th. Within a few days later our full roster will be announced on our website www.hbha.gr
- 2. How will the preparation continue in the next months?
In the next few months the team will try and practice as much as possible. It’s not easy because our players all live in different cities. We will also be holding fundraisers such as poker tournament, dances, in order to lower the costs of attending the WC. Booking hotel, flights as well as ordering uniforms etc. takes time and a lot of work. We basically have to put all the finishing touches.
- 3. Can you already tell the names of some players of your team?
We have actually done something different this year and already named 9 players after the 1st camp we had this past June. The rest will be named in November. The players are: Five Forwards: Stefanos Govas , Tasso Bozinakis, Jimmy Nistas (will be attending their 3rd WC) , George Nistas (2nd WC), and rookie Kevin Kuczmarski. Four Defenseman: Josh Barbas, Joey Barbas, Danny Novis (all returning for their 2nd WC) as well as newcomer John Adamou
- 4. What are the expectations you have for St. John's?
In Bratislava 2011 we wanted to be competitive in the A division and turn some heads. I believe we did so. This time we have high expectations and we will be aiming for the gold.
- 5. Who will become world champion 2013, and why?
This is very tough to predict. The Czech Republic are the 2 time defending Champions, and until someone beats them I think they have to be considered the overall favourites. Canada will probably have their strongest team ever since they are hosting and it’s easier to get your best players to play when it’s at home and expenses are less. Slovakia is always in the mix. If India is back they will be hungrier then ever. Portugal is always a dark horse and you can never count them out. But I know we will have our best team ever and we will become the champions!
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