We are like a big family

We are like a big family

12 Apr 2012 | Davide Tuniz

Eurohockey.com talked in exclusive with Turkish champion Baskent Yıldızları's coach Tarik Goçmen about the season just finished and Turkish hockey perspectives

EH: Another season finished in Turkey, can you give us a short overview?
Tarik: In last 3 season I trained 3 different teams, Ankara University, Turkish National Team and Baskent Yıldızları. In these 3 teams I can say that only Baskent Yıldızları have a family atmosphere: thats why we were able to come back from a 5-1 lose in the first period and win the second play off final game 8-6 against Kocaeli BB. It’s best to say that during the whole season our team was united as a family and fought for the title.

EH: This is the second consecutive title for Baskent, which is the segret of the team and which the difference with last year victory?
Tarik: The conditions in Ankara for ice trainings are very hard because a lot of club using the same hockey rink, thats why we trained early in the morning or late at night to be prepared. Meantime the friendship in the team was great, i think having close ties like a family was our secret. Of course the greatest share was our club presidents Handan Duman, she cared about the every problem of the team closely.
Different from the last years victory, Turkish League was harder this year due to fact that every team used their 3 foreign player quota and transfered them. And all the teams rather than us were having government support thats why they were in a better economic condition.

EH: Will you plan to compete again in next Continental Cup?
Tarik: Yes we are attend the upcoming Continental Cup. Moreover we are trying to fulfill the dream of our former club president Orhan Duman (husband of our current president), recently elected as Turkish Federation President and we want to give him a gift. Winning the first round and moving up to second round in Continental Cup is the dream of Orhan Duman and all the Turkish ice hockey players. Our aim is at least to win our first round matches and move to the second round.

EH:  This season Erzurum has two teams in the league and Istanbul was back, all positive signs for Turkish hockey: is the health of the hockey good? What to do to improve it?
Tarik: Winter Universiade organized in Erzurum had great benefits for the area. Ice hockey was an unknown new joy for them. Interest to Erzurum is rising and a lot of kids are starting ice hockey there but with that the deficient parts also attract attention. Count of well trained coachs is not efficient, i hope they will handle that situtation soon. For Istanbul, they waited the olympic ice rink to be complete and Istanbul has a great potential. To be honest Istanbul is more lucky than Erzurum due to its large population that has the potential of a lot more kid to meet with ice hockey. Istanbul is more lucky due to the fact that a lot of former hockey players are coaching kids over there so we will be seeing new talents in hockey pretty soon. In my opinion, the biggest problem Turkey used to have was the lack of ice rinks, but right now we have olympic ice rinks over 5 different cities and many small ones. But we are having trouble of lacking high level coachs, we need immediate coaches' development programs, the rest will grow.

EH: There is a complete lack of informations on internet about games and stats, do this affects the popularity of the sports?
Tarik: Yes it is an effective scarce that these lacking of information in internet also affect our teams reputation negatively. Because the existence in internet about games and stats also show other countries that there is hockey in Turkey. Some people in Turkey think its enough for Turkey but we know it isn’t.

EH: What can you tell us about Black Sea League? it seems Erzurum is very active in promote hockey in neighbouring countries.
Tarik: Unfortunately this topic didn’t go beyond a story in the last 7 months. This could be a collective work with the countries close to Erzurum border such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran. There was an idea about using the sport organization to overcome the prejudices and plant the seeds of friendship and warmth among neighbour countries. I hope in close future such organizations will happen, this topic enthusiast us. As we know our new Federation President considers very important this topic and aiming to organize a Balkan League to improve the Turkey’s hockey performance. One of his future plans is to create a trans-national league and other projects involving Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece. Also with this projects the problem that Turkish players playing not enough games will be handled. I also believe that these projects will bring benefit to Turkish ice hockey and I totally support them.

: Which are your team plans for the future? A third title?
Tarik: I can’t say anything about the next season, but as i said before we have a dream for the Continental Cup and it’s our first priority. As a lot of coach i also don’t like losing, the aim is always work for the win.

We know you are Macedonian roots and Macedonia makes some plans for ice hockey too. Do you have any contact with them and would you like to work for Macedonian hockey if will come an offer from there?
Tarik: Yes, Macedonia used to be in ice hockey many years ago in Yugoslavia period. And again they want to get involved in ice hockey as Macedonia. We are in contact with the Macedonia Ice Hockey president Nikola Tasev (in the photo with Tarik Goçmen), I am trying to help as I can. Of course in future if there will be an offer and all the circumstances will be good, I would be glad to work for Macedonia.

EH: Last April 7th there was the election of new Federation President and your former President won, what is your evaluation and what could change in the near future of Turkish ice hockey?
Tarik: I think it was the most important election of Turkish ice hockey. Orhan Duman was the only candidate announced. He proved his success as Baskent Yıldızları  President in the last 2 seasons when we won the title twice. He said it’s time for the Turkish ice hockey now. He already get a lot of support from the other clubs because they know Orhan Duman is preparing new plans and organizations for the Turkish ice hockey. All ice hockey fans are waiting for Orhan Duman, and i agree with their toughts, this change will be a fresh blood and excitement for Turkish ice hockey.
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