Tell us a little bit about SK Slovan Bratislava
SK Slovan Bratislava is a very successful club with a long and rich football history in European competitions. We are the most successful and popular club in Slovakia. After defeating FC Barcelona, and winning the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, Slovan got inducted into the Hall of Fame, as one of the best teams in Europe.
The club has undergone various changes, but is back on track to the top. Interestingly enough, Slovan Bratislava is one of the few clubs world-wide, that is based in the country’s capital, which does not include a rival club competing in the Slovakian premier league. The whole capital is sky-blue.
The club is expanding. We are currently building a new stadium, going from strength to strength in our domestic competitions, and our goal is to play and succeed in European competition every year. It is fair to say, we have very high expectations as an organization. Our mentality is “ We are the best, and we want to have the best team, players, staff, Academy etc.
1)What are the reason for Sk Slovan running ID camps in the U.S?
And here we arrive at our goal in the US. Our aim is to scout and evaluate talented players worldwide, but we never really examined the level of player(s) in North America. The idea came from Niko Kounenakis, who was part of our club as an assistant coach and opponent analyst. With him, he brought a big part of professionalism to our club, transformed his experiences and together we examined our direction in upholding our culture of a winning mentality as being the best.
Identification of players in the U.S. market is a priority for Slovan Bratislava. We aim to bring talented players to Europe for professional trials. To give players in North America the possibility to show their talent to our Owner, Technical Director, Head coach and Scouting department.
2) Describe the process used to identify which players are suitable for Sk Slovan youth system and 1st team ?
The evaluation process and player assessment is done in accordance to the standards we hold as a club.
Besides the technical and tactical aspects of the player(s), his previous & current development, the scouting protocol, we look for players with the right mentality and attributes to compete at the highest level.
Obviously, the culture and style of play are taken into consideration when we select a player.
3) How important is the brand of SK Slovan in North America and what can the club offer?
As I mentioned before, our club has a long and very successful history. This means the brand is a guaranteed success. Of course in North America we are not well known, but we wish to begin this process of changing this.
We also plan to run our pre season camp in North America in the near future, where we will participate in our usual friendly games.
One of our goals, is to send our Academy coaches to professional development clubs around the United States, where our coaches will have the chance to experience and share their knowledge and ideas.
We will focus on running our professional ID camps in the United States. There are many advantages to be gained as soccer is evolving rapidly in North America. An exchange of ideas will only better all parties involved.
The club will offer opportunities for the best players to come to Europe.
4) As Head of international department, what would the long term plan be for SK Slovan in North America?
- Expanding the brand name of SK Slovan.
- Establish a bridge through E.C.E.S with the United States. To determine the level of player development and to use our resources to identify talent
- To open Soccer Schools in the future where we will have access to players.
- To establish trust and affiliations with MLS Clubs.
- You have spoken of expanding your scouting network to North America, how important is this to you?
This is very important to us. We plan to have eyes everywhere over the next 5 years.