There will be a coaching change in the Czech Men’s national floorball team. The current coach Petri Kettunen, who led the team at the championships in 2018 and 2021, will not continue. His position on the men’s national team will be taken over by Jaroslav Berka, who will also become the national team’s sports manager.
The duel for bronze was Kettunen’s last match in Czech colors. “We had been discussing more possibilities. Petri knew in advance that he would not continue on the bench for the men’s national team after the end of the World Championships. At the same time, we agreed not to present the matter publicly and allow the entire team to focus fully on the performance in Helsinki. We thank Petri very much for his services and we wish him good luck in the future,” says the president of Czech floorball Daniel Novák.
Negotiations have taken place since the spring with several selected candidates, which the National team Commission has considered to lead the national team. In the end, Jaroslav Berka, a successful coach of junior team, was selected. In the role of assistant coach, he participated in the bronze medal in 2017 and historical gold from Halifax two years later. As the head coach, he led the junior team to defend the title of world champions at this year’s home championship in Brno.
“We decided on a conceptual and long-term solution with a successful Czech coach. Jaroslav Berka led a lot of players in the current team and knows them well, at the same time he knows what the demands are on the game and team leadership on the international scene. He is a young and promising coach who fully meets our ideas and expectations towards this position,” says the chairman of the National team Committee, Václav Culka.
Berka will be joined in the coaching team by colleagues from the junior national team – Joonas Naava and Marek Vojta. The “newcomer” will be Pavel Brus, who worked in the men’s national team in 2019.
“I being a national team coach as a huge commitment and I feel motivated to build a successful team with the absolute greatest ambitions, which, however, must be based on the real skills and hard work of everyone in and around the team. I am proud of the opportunity to be a national team coach, it is a great honor and at the same time a responsibility,” the new senior coach does not hide his ambitions.
Berk’s contract is long-term, and he should work with the team for the next five years. “We have confidence in it, it is not a temporary solution. We want to give him the opportunity to work with the team in the longer term. We believe that he will build on the success of the junior national team and Petri’s work,” said Novák.
In addition to leading the men’s team, Berka will act as the team’s sports manager. “This means that it will protect the functioning of the national team in terms of sports concept and will contribute to improving the training process of national teams with regard to current trends and needs,” says Novák, adding: “One of the concrete actions will be further growth and preparation for a career in the senior team. A pilot development project that Berka will lead will be used for this.”
This is a completely new challenge for the 34-year-old coach. Until now, in addition to his junior selection, he also worked in Prague’s Sparta floorball team, where he held the position of sports director. He will end his tenure in the club he has been building for a long time and devote himself fully to his roles in Czech floorball. He will gradually hand over his club agenda by the end of the current season. However, due to the new function, it will no longer interfere with the running of the super league team.
“My work for Czech floorball will start in January. At the same time, there is an agreement that I will gradually hand over all my agenda that I was in charge of by the end of the current season. Although this is not an easy step, I am convinced that over the years, a strong club has been built, run by quality people who will build on the current work and, conversely, will continue to develop the club,” Berka explained.
Matej Klucho, who successfully trains junior teams in Liberec and has led the national teams under the age of seventeen, will take over Berka’s post at the junior national team. He will be able to build on his previous work. “Our vision is to build floorball from youth selections. Therefore, when looking for a new coach for juniors, we approached Matěj, who successfully worked with the young players,” explained the president of Czech floorball.