The DEAC hockey team is starting the 2023/24 season with a transformed squad and a new professional staff, in which 12 new players have arrived. Marianna Lászlóné Kovács Lóczi, the executive director of the Debrecen University Athletic Club (DEAC), recalled at Monday’s season opening press conference that last season the team ended its most difficult season, one of the main causes of which was the uncertainty of maintaining the ice rink and the participation in the Erste Liga. She explained that the economic difficulties diverted attention from the team, which therefore finished the Erste Liga earlier than expected, as it ended the regular season in seventh place, so it had to play to get to the playoffs, and it did not advance from the duel.
Department manager Tamás Fucskó, who replaced András Fodor in the position, emphasized that at the end of the previous season, together with the other teams and the Hungarian Hockey Association, they developed a strategy that could be ideal for Hungarian hockey and the league. He added that one of the changes is that instead of 36 matches, 44 will be played in the regular season, and the best eight will go to the playoffs, and the election system has also been abolished, so the winner of the regular season will play with the eighth, the second with the seventh, the third with the with the sixth and the fourth with the fifth.
Among the goals, he highlighted that they want to reach the playoffs, while reaching the final four of the Hungarian Cup. Regarding the 23-man squad, he noted that there are currently 11 foreign hockey players in the team. The new head coach, Artyom Vaszjunyin, who replaced József György, explained in relation to the preparation that they started work with dry training in August, as well as assessing the physical performance of the players, and ice training started on August 15th. According to the coach, everything was fine until the first warm-up match, but after that, a virus and then injuries decimated the team, of which six are currently unavailable before Friday’s start. Regarding the style of play, he explained that there is a Slavic line that is capable of more combinative hockey and there are forwards from America who play the simpler North American hockey, so they want to combine these two styles in the future. Team captain Dávid Molnár highlighted that many new players arrived from different leagues, but there was no problem with fitting in, so they are looking forward to the start, where they will visit the DVTK Ice Bears.