It’s the highest everywhere. Even now in the national team, where Adam Klapka (21) kicked off a breakthrough senior season. What is this two-meter chase from Liberec? A Czech coach encouraged him to play as Ryan Getzlaf, but he grew up admiring Jaromír Jágr. He won’t experience the national team’s premiere in Znojmo against Austria today, but he probably will soon. And once in the NHL, for example. He already knows how to do it.
He is said to be 201 centimeters tall. Elsewhere, it grew two hundred more. “The truth is somewhere in the middle, but I haven’t measured myself for a long time,” smiles Adam Klapka in an interview for iSport.cz. He’s a badass on the ice, looking for fights and not fights. In private, he seems kind, humble and at the same time quite determined. It is also the school of Radek Duda or Jan Ludwig, teachers in Northern Bohemia.
You are also quite technically proficient in your character. How do you perceive your hockey career?
“My role is definitely a badass. Don’t do loops and pullers on the blue line. If I can I will, but my game is based on frankness, finishing players and shielding in front of the gate .”
Each player wants to score as many goals as possible, to be indispensable…
“Oh yes. But if you want to play hockey at a certain level, you have to accept your role in the team. I try to do what the coach wants me to do and not play on something that I don’t have to do.”
You weren’t even a points driver in the youth categories?
“Before, I used to play with the puck more. But seniors already balance strength and size, so I play hard hockey, which parries me. There aren’t many players like that in the extraleague, I’m trying to take advantage of it. But again, it’s not like I’m just rolling over and finishing everyone. Not at all. Sometimes I’ve allowed myself other things, which may have happened. to be seen in some Liberec matches. But it has to be 100%, not half.”
It seems to me that you have a lot of notes in this style with your teammate Jan Šír. It’s like that?
“Yeah. We’re the two guys who aren’t afraid to fight, finish and go head-to-head on the ice. Honestly, I like provoking others, hanging out with them. John can do that too, and perfectly . But what’s on the ice will stay there. There’s nothing personal about it.”
You have already fought several times in the Czech Republic. For example with the matador Jiří Novotný from České Budějovice.
“I ended up in the player’s offensive zone. Novotny started poking me, so I threw down my gloves and started washing up. Unfortunately, another of their players came over, which left me upset. It’s not done. Then it seemed that Novotny had dumped me. At the same time, I had a bit of the upper hand at first. Unfortunately, while he was pulling me, I fell. I’m not looking skirmishes, but that’s part of my game.”
Do you go to them in the summer?
“I’m involved in boxing. It grabbed me. It’s important to be able to control those things and it’s super fit. Mr. Ludwig and I all went boxing in Venice. Then you can take care of you on the ice and you don’t need anyone else to help you.”
What was your position in the first year in the American Tri-City Storm?
“I thought I would be the one to score goals. But I was quickly misled. (laughs) So I quickly moved into the power forward role. I think the coaches were happy with me. I “I then moved that game to the Czech Republic. America helped me a lot. The NHL is definitely a goal for me, but I still have a contract at Liberec. I’m focusing on him now.”
During the season you flew from the Venice Premier League to the national team. Do you feel like you’ve improved?
“One hundred percent. I moved about thirty percent. And I can definitely still move. I’m glad I met the right people who helped me. Many thanks to Mr. Ludvig, Mr. Duda and Mr. Nečas, who as Venice coach recommended Liberec to come and see Slavia We young people were lucky this season to have players like Birner, Šmíd, Filippi, Jelínek in the team. They were quite strict, but we can all be happy about that. They helped us with a professional approach.”
How did you get along with stormtrooper Radek Duda?
“He’s his. But I sat with him, I have the same thoughts. Although people talk a lot about Dudák, it’s very important in my life. I would never say a mean word to him. I think that he even saved my career. This also applies to Mr. Ludvig. They both helped me a lot and I’m grateful to them. If I didn’t meet them, I wouldn’t be playing hockey at this time. level. I wouldn’t be in the extraleague and now in the national team.”
Was the old Duda a very tough coach for you?
“I love it when someone yells at me and drives me on. I have it in me. I need some hard training. I know it will come back to me one day.”
Should we still watch?
“Now I know I can do it on my own. The coaches aren’t with me around the clock. But between sixteen and eighteen, I needed a stronger hand to do this. I had to do and think more about hockey. I really like listening to people who have something behind them. Every word from them can help me in my career.”
Is there an advantage or a handicap in hockey that you have developed so much?
“When you can work with it and control your body, that’s a big advantage. You stand in front of the goal and nobody moves with you. If I weren’t so tall, I probably wouldn’t play hockey the way I do. do now. I have always been taller than others.”
Didn’t you play basketball?
“My sister and my dad play basketball. We have a basket in the chalet, so we play against each other quite often. I can defend a ball and put a basket. That’s about it. I’m such an amateur, I I’ve never played racing. It wouldn’t go well with my character. I’m tall, but quite powerful. Bassets are rather slender. You can’t touch each other too much in this sport, it wouldn’t be my cup of coffee. (smiles) Hockey suits me well. I still played football.”
You grew up in hockey in Slavia, just like current national team-mate Jakub Krejčík. But he doesn’t know anything about your past.
“I remember playing A. He’s older. I knew he didn’t remember me. I watch Slavia hockey, as well as football. I’m not a big fan of football, but sometimes I was going to see him.”
Do you see a difference between club training and national team training?
“It’s definitely faster, that’s for sure. There are selected players who should master international hockey. After a charge in the playoffs, I jumped here smoothly. Finnish elements can be seen in the formation, but also Czech elements. It’s good that it’s so mixed. There’s a professional approach everywhere. Similar to Liberec. We’re a good group here. I’ve never played in Znojmo and I’m here for the very first time. Local air conditioning has excellent facilities. In the locker room there is a sauna, a bathtub with ice water, a small gym and upstairs in the lobby there is also has a bigger one. We have no complaints.”
Liberec – Olomouc: Klapka’s shot ended in goal after a rebound from the stick, 2-3