April 23, 2024

How does Bale want to recover after the coach's dismissal?

Martin Steininger will be an interim member of the Board of Directors at BIAL.Image: Cornerstone

Ice Cream Master Zug

Damien Broner Good, it's all good. Visit to Biel on the first day of the new era. With a new coach competing, at least in one aspect, with Gotierron's coach Christian Dube. Finnish national coach Jukka Jalonen will face Bale's challenge next season.

Klaus Zug

Only the question about the ponytail was definitely answered in Biel. But more on that later. There are many different things in Biel. And also the dismissal of the coach. Biel is just a “hockey town”. Somewhat similar to Montreal, it is also bilingual. The first training session begins on Monday shortly after 10am in the hockey temple at the foot of the Jura under the supervision of new coach Martin Steininger and new assistant Anders Olsson.

Little by little, more than a dozen historians (female historians are missing) arrive with German and French speakers. More like a Montreal Canadiens practice session with media representatives from both the Anglophone and Francophone cultures. But things are very crowded there every day. Here at Biel only on the first day after the coach was sacked.

Martin Steiniger and Anders Olsson replace Petri Mattikainen and Juha Vuori. The new president is easy to recognize: Martin Steininger has the longest hair under the red hat. The players probably enjoyed the training: lots of action, lots of simulation of game situations and a bit of tactical training with Anders Olsson, whom they already knew from previous years.

Biel coach Petri Mattikainen reacts during the National League Ice Hockey Championship game between EHC Biel and HC Ambri-Piotta, on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at the Tissot Arena in Biel...

Couldn't manage the transition with Bale: Petri Mattikainen.Image: Cornerstone

The Swede has already worked as an assistant at Biel from 2017 to 2021. He is available because he managed to spoil the Swiss League qualifiers with Martini in the last match against the Ticino Rockets. Martin Steiniger sometimes talks to the players in the room size. Then he will say about his leadership style:

There are no bad words from the sports director about his ousted predecessors. “They put their hearts into their work and never complained or made excuses. They tried everything every day to find solutions.” But in the end, their words may not have gotten through.

“Your failure is also my failure. We couldn't do it together.”

On Sunday afternoon, the Board of Directors, together with the Sports Director, agreed to change the coach and his assistant three rounds before the end of the qualifiers. “There is no reason why we came to this decision. “There are many reasons why this step was necessary.” Could Antti Tormanen's successor have been doomed? Should a coach first be “burned out” in order to start a new chapter? “The situation was definitely difficult,” says the sports director, who is now working as a coach until the end of the season.

L'entrainer biennois Antti Toermaenen reacts to the final match of the Championnat de Suisse de Hockey on Ice in the National League between EHC Biel-Bienne and Geneva...

Biel reached the final under Antti Tormanen before the Finn was forced to withdraw for health reasons.Image: Cornerstone

“It doesn't fit together anymore.”

What's the mood in the cabin? In the team? It's easy to find out in BIAL: Damien Broner Good, it's all good. The charismatic leader with experience from over 700 Premier League games and over 100 NHL games is the most sensitive and confident on the team. So Damien Broner is good. He says no one played against the coach.

Of course everyone says that when asked. But Damien Broner really means it. This “eternal player” and artist says what he thinks and suffers when things do not go well for his team. He has never sat in the coach's chair and no one does at Biel anyway.

What is the problem? “This season we have never found the ease in our game. “We played some good games, but we were never consistent and little by little we lost our security and our self-confidence.” Everyone tried to do their best. “But it just didn't fit together anymore.”

Damien Brunner: A new discrepancy, but also an injury...

Damian Brunner – “Forever Player” at EHC Biel.Image: fxp-fr-sda-rtp

There wasn't a bad word from him about the old boss either. He seems happy and relieved to have something like a fresh start again. Now three matches remain – Davos (H), Logano (H) and Servette (A) – for the final.

No return for Tormanen – is Jalonen coming?

Who will be the coach next season? For Martin Steininger, the question comes too early and he doesn't have time for job interviews at the moment anyway. “We have already received names. But we will handle it calmly after the season.” Is it interesting that, when asked, he did not explicitly rule out staying on as coach beyond the rest of this season?

maybe yes. But deep down, almost all athletic directors are also coaches to some degree, and Martin Steininger has already proven himself as a two-time emergency coach at Bell. He made one thing clear: Ante Tormanen's return is not an option. “He told us he wouldn't be coaching anymore.”

There is already a famous name. On Sunday evening, a cheeky historian contacted Jukka Jalonen via text message. Finland's legendary national coach, world and Olympic champion, will step down after the World Cup in Prague and is looking for a new challenge. “Hello Jukka, everything okay in Finland? Are you ready for Switzerland after Prague? Bale fired the coach…” – “Of course I'm ready. We'll see what happens in Biel…” In such a case, it is called a “Suivre case” in Wales.

What we do know for sure is that Martin Steininger, along with Christian Dube, have the longest hair of all Premier League managers. But unlike General Gottieron, he would not tie them into a ponytail. “of course not.” After giving the information for a long time, patiently and kindly, he asks for your forgiveness. “My foot hurts a lot. I really should give up my skates…”

After more than 1,000 Premier League appearances, more than 200 international caps and more than 2,000 penalty minutes, the 52-year-old will have to get used to the boots of the Iron Runners once again. But at least he knows where the problem lies.

Flashy, weird and simply ugly shirts

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Flashy, weird and simply ugly shirts

Delfino Pescara will play in Serie B in Italy in kits designed by six-year-old Luigi in 2020/21. The boy won the competition.

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