The Czech national team got stripped of all its victories in the 2007 European Championship in Barcelona due to some missing insurances. They had to qualify for 2010, which they did relatively easily at home in Prague in 2008. In the upcoming tournament in Stuttgart, Heidenheim and Neuenburg they have a tough opening program in Group A with the Netherlands and Germany on the first two days and later also will play against Belgium, France and the Ukraine. Jakub Janda spoke with head coach Arnost Nesňal about the Euros 2010.
Jakub Janda: Czech senior national team does not head to Prague baseball week, you chose the Italian baseball week instead.
Arnošt Nesňal: The Prague baseball is a good tradition but we need more serious preparation for the European Championship, we need to face real opponents.
JJ: Is your roster for the Italian baseball week same as the one for the European Championship?
AN: Yes, it is all set. We do not have so many quality players to choose from. We are just missing Daniel Mraz due to job issues and Jakub Toufar due to an injury.
JJ: How many players are you bringing?
AN: Same for the both tournaments. Team of 22 players. I might add an utility infielder but that would be it.
JJ: What do you expect of your opponents at the European Championship?
AN: We will face the Netherlands,Germany and France. I was suprised by great hitting form German players at the CEB Cup. We are scouting our opponents.
JJ: What would you consider a success?
AN: If we perform to your limits, we can play for medals. I would not be satisfied if we would not make it out of the group stage.
JJ: Do you have your pitchers rotation already set?
AN: I count with Leoš Kubát, Boris Bokaj, Martin Schneider and Petr Minařík. We will use these relievers: Jan Homolka, Marian Gajdoš and Jan Řeháček. I might use Boris Bokaj against Germany; he dominates the Bundesliga (9-0, ERA 1.47, 67.1inn).
Mister-Baseball thanks Jakub Janda and Arnost Nesňal for the interview and wished good luck in the European Championship.
Sven Hendrickx (Belgium)
Jim Stoeckel (Netherlands)
Mauro Mazzotti (Spain)
Marco Mazzieri (Italy)
Krunoslav Karin (Croatia)
Dennis Cook (Sweden)
Tom Mazarakis (Greece)
Jason Greenberg (Great Britain)