The Under 16 Czech National team is recruiting new players, and one of the new members of that team might be a 15-year-old player from Zlin’s midget team – Roman Stasa.
Last week several tournaments and series were played among European youth as well as senior National teams. Newly forming Czech Under 16 selection (1988 borns), were invited to Switzerland for a three game series to Rakovnik, Slany and Kralupy and Vltavou. Some players who were at the summer training camp and later on went to Slovakia for the three game series, had their position in U-16 team secured. These players are defensmen Jebavy who is an 1989 born, Soldan and Visnak all from Slavia Praha and D. Ruzicka from Kladno. Forwards are Kachlik and V. Ruzicka also 1989 born from Slavia Praha, Sklenar from Znojmo, Kubena from Karlovy Vary, Repik from Sparta Praha and Latal from Kladno.
This three game series was for the other players to show up and compete for the spot in the U-16 team. One of the players who managed very well and was also praised by the coaches Halouzka and Pesout was Roman Stasa from Zlin. He played tough, he was not afraid to go to the corners to fight for the puck, he has great drive for the net and hard and accurate shot. He is a two-way player, good at both ends of the ice, he has superb attitude as he is hard working. He almost never gives up the puck. Worth mentioning is also is his vision and well developed hockey sense. He is a tenacious forechecker, he has the speed as well as good acceleration and balance. He needs to work on his technique, in his puckhandling is still a room for the improvement and he can improve passing the puck. But he is still young and many things can change but one thing is certain, he has the talent and the will to improve, learn and develop and if he puts up all the things together he can be a great player one day. This interview with Roman Stasa took at the three game series with Switzerland.
Born: 16.6.1988, Zlin
Team: Zlin midgets
Position: Left wing
2003-04 statistics: 16 games, 8 goals, 2 assitsts, 10 points
U-16 National team statistics: 3 games, 4 goals, 0 assitsts, 4 points.
Hockey’s Future: How did you begin playing hockey?
Roman Stasa: From an early age I was playing soccer but when I was nine we moved from Napajedla to Zlin, there was a chance to play hockey so I wanted to try it. I liked it very much and I stopped playing soccer and started with hockey. My parents were afraid because they saw hockey as too dangerous but then they realized how much I like it and agreed.
HF: You started at the age of 9. That’s much later then when the rest of the kids start to play.
RS: It was hard for me to even make the team, while the other kids already played for some years. At the beginning they did not want me in the team because I was not any good but I made the team during the summer training camp. Then during the first year I was at the same level as they were and I was already the best goal scorer on our team at the end of the season.
HF: Was there any other teams you played for apart from Zlin?
RS: No, I played in Zlin all the time and I want to stay here. I’m satisfied here.
HF: Were you a forward right from the beginning?
RS: Yes, they were putting me into the forward position right away. I never even tried or wanted to try other position, in fact I have been a left wing whole my career so far.
HF: Do you have a role model? And why?
RS: I admire Wayne Gretzky a lot. Why? Because he was the best.
HF: Is there a favorite team you have?
RS: I support San Jose. It is because this summer I went there to visit my friend. I was playing hockey there with him as well. I liked it so much, their lifestyle and all.
HF: Your favorite number?
RS: I like 3 and 20. Three is a lucky number and 20 is my favorite number.
HF: Are you attracted by the idea of playing in CHL even though you still have a lot of time to think about that?
RS: After my San Jose experience I’m very much attracted to play in North America. As I said their lifestyle is better and there are many more choices of everything. I wanted to stay there this season but I did not finish my elementary school yet so I could not. I would not be able to play in CHL yet, I know but some junior league probably. I would like to go next year but I’m not sure if I will be good enough.
HF: Have you had any major successes so far?
RS: In the 8th grade we went to a tournament to Sweden with Zlin and we won. I was the best goal scorer there. Also that year we won the title with Zlin 8th grade.
HF: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your game?
RS: My strengths are speed and shot and the drawback of my play is my stickhandling.
HF: Have you ever been injured?
RS: I had and infection in my shoulder. I was out for half a year. That was in the second half of last season.
HF: What do you do in your free time?
RS: I am in the 9th grade which is the last grade of the elementary school so I have to study a bit. But I am not big fan of studying. Apart from school and hockey I relax and spend time with my girlfriend.
HF: Hockey dream?
RS: Of course the NHL.
HF: Have you ever captained any team?
RS: No, I always played with older guys so they never let anyone younger be the captain.
HF: Do you have a favorite teammate?
RS: Vanek from Zlin, we understand each other well.
HF: Do you have a nickname?
HF: Favorite coach?
RS: Coaches Psruny and Cech in Zlin helped me a lot. They are helping the whole team to be better, but I mostly like that they care for individuals and force us to improve all the time.
HF: It there a particular team or a player that you like to play against, or on the other hand do not like to play against?
RS: I do not like to play against Trinec. They have aggressive style that I like but they are also very fast and it is hard to even get in the pace. A player that brings bad memories is Urban from Vsetin as he threw me on the boards and I had problems with my back for some time. I like to play against Plzen, as they are a slower team.
HF: This is you first time at a U-16 national team, what are your goals for this season?
I was actually invited to the three game series with Slovakia that took place in August but I was in the San Jose at that time. But my goals are to become a stable member of the U-16 team and play some games with Zlin junior team.
HF: Who would you say is your biggest fan?
RS: Definitely my mother. She comes to almost all of my games.