June 6, 2017

As Ben Pitchley departs the Slough Junior Jets Academy, General Manager Steve English is pleased to announce this his search for a replacement Head Coach has successfully concluded and Lukas Smital will take over at the Montem Lane based club.

As well as taking over as Junior Head Coach Lukas will also unite the Head Coach jobs and take over as Head Coach of the Slough Jets NIHL team with Joe Ciccarello remaining on as assistant coach.

The former Bracknell Bees Head Coach is a well known name around the UK hockey scene. The Czech right winger first came to the UK in 2004 after a successful career in both the Czech Republic and America, making his debut with the Bracknell Bees in the British National League. Two further seasons followed in Berkshire when the Bees dropped to the EPL before a move to Surrey and four seasons at the Guildford Flames.

He returned to Bracknell in 2011/12 as Head Coach of the Hornets and Player/Assistant Coach of the Bees. He took over the coaching duties of the Bees full time on the 4th December 2013, a position which he retained until this last summer. For the 16/17 season as well as a player and Head Coach Lukas was part owner of the team.

With a change in ownership in Bracknell and in EIHA league structure Lukas became available and was an obvious candidate to take over as Head Coach of the Slough Jets.

Slough Jets GM Steve English said; “We always knew that Ben would be heading back to Romford when the new arena opened but the timing caught us all out. When Tony Milton informed me due to his business becoming more successful he would be stepping down as senior Head Coach I was delighted when Lukas became available and expressed interested in joining us here.”

Lukas brings with him a great record in Junior Development, collecting four EIHA awards for Best Development Club of the Year during his eight year tenure in charge of Bracknell Ice Hockey Club. He was also recognised as the Runner Up last year in the Pride of Bracknell awards for his hard work and commitment to ice hockey.

Lukas also brings an honest, hard working, professional attitude. He’s known for his dedication and determination. As Head Coach, Lukas will focus on players as his number one priority. He has proven in Bracknell this his attention to detail in training together with his motivational skills will ensure he can implement a programme for the players to be best placed to make the smooth transformation from juniors to seniors.

He is also looking to take over the senior team and build for the 2017/18 season in Silverblades before taking the Jets back home in 2018/19 when the team moves back into the permanent rink.

On signing with the Slough Jets Lukas commented; “I’m very excited to be joining the Jets hockey programme. Slough is a hockey club with great history and a lot of potential!

“Developing young players has always been a passion of mine and I am glad I can continue this journey and oversee their development for junior to senior hockey. I would like to say thank you to Steve and Zoran for giving me the opportunity to help them to lead the club in the right direction.”

Steve English concluded; “Lukas and Joe Ciccarello know each other well and will make a formidable coaching team as we look to build for the 2017/18 season at Silverblades Slough.”

Trials details for the Junior and Senior Club will be announced in the near future and for further information please email Steve English – senglish@jetshockey.co.uk