Prešov welcome new year with new coachArticle
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Rašić sacked, Lamač appointed at the Slovakian champions and EHF Cup Group Phase participants.

Prešov welcome new year with new coach

Slovak champion and EHF Cup Group Phase participant Tatran Prešov have started the new year with a suprising change on the position of head coach. Đorđe Rašić did not arrive to Prešov on Thursday, and was immediately released from his function by the club officials. Replacement comes in person of former Tatran player Roman Lamač. Ivan Pompoš remains his assistant coach for now, with Lamač already taking over Thursday training session.

Tatran Prešov failed to battle through the qualifying rounds of the VELUX EHF Champions League for the second consecutive time. Although Rašić led the team into the Group Phase of EHF Cup, bad results at the end of the year suggested possible changes through the winter break. Prešov dropped points in their last three SEHA League games, only to find themelves on the 7th place of the table, drew two matches in the Slovakian TIPSPORT liga and atmosphere in the club became tense.

Owner of the Prešov club Miloslav Chmeliar surprised everyone with the explanation of Rašić dismissal. "We did not fire Rašić because of the results. If this was the reason, we would do it earlier. Team was supposed to start with the preparations for the second half of the season on Thursday, however Rašić did not appear. He sent us a text message, saying he will arrive to Prešov next week. This is unacceptable for us,“ Chmeliar said for local media.

Serbian took charge of Tatran in July 2011, winning the Slovakian title in 2011/2012, Slovakian Cup, gaining valuable 4th place in international SEHA League and advanced with the team into the quater-finals of EHF Cup. Decision was made and club officials immediately hired a new coach,  Tatran ex-player with international experience in German Concordia Delitzsch and former Prešov coach in season 2006/2007, Roman Lamač.

"Lamač was our choice, because he was free, he knows the players as well as the environment. He was excellent player himself and I believe he has a lot to give to the team,“ Chmeliar added. The deal is valid until the end of this season.

Lamač will lead Tatran into the group stage of EHF Cup, where the Slovakian side will meet HC Motor Zaporozhye, Rhein-Neckar Löwen and KIF Kolding. In the first match of the group, Slovakian champion will host the current leaders of the German bundesliga, RNL on 9 February in Tatran Handball Arena.

TEXT: Tomáš Čunčík / br