Jukka Kontasas tries to come up with ways to slam the Lions onto the World Cup ice.
Hockey coach Jukka Kontsaas, 39, is not a familiar figure to many people in Finland.
The name of his father, Heikki Kontsaksen, chairman of the board of directors of Karpi, may already be ringing a few bells.
In Hungary, however, the little Kontsa is quite a golden finger. In the last nine seasons, he celebrated four Hungarian championships as goalkeeper coach – in the ranks of three different teams.
With this in mind, it is clear that Kontas is now also in Tampere as the goalkeeper coach of the Hungarian national team.
For a native of Oulu, Kontsaksen’s coaching career, which spanned more than ten years, is special to say the least.
A few years in the American Junior League and now ten consecutive seasons in Hungary and Romania.
– After my studies in Virumäki, I found out from the alumni group that they were looking for a goalkeeper coach in Hungary. I went to look, and we’re still on that path, Contus says.
In addition to club teams, Kontas has coached junior national teams in Hungary, in between some tournaments in the Finnish U18 girls’ national team and now in other prestigious competitions in the Hungarian men’s national team.
Kontsaks has a special moment ahead of him on Friday when he and Hungary face the Lions.
Strictly speaking, however, Kontas watches the matches from the stands, as he also performs the duties of a video coach at the same time.
– It would be great to win, thinks the countess.
– But of course we know the facts. Plus, you have to work with discipline like the Tight Five.
Since World War II, Hungary has played at the highest level of the World Cup only twice before this year: in 2009 and 2016. Both times the fate was immediate banishment.
According to Kontsakson, the team’s “biggest star” in these games is Balazs Sebok, who has been familiar with Ilves in recent years.
If we think in which series everyone plays. Vilmos Gallo is definitely in the SHL, Janos Hari is in the ICEHL, Istvan Bartalis occasionally played in the DEL, Kontasas lists the “cream” of the team.
On Tuesday, Hungary defeated France 3–2 in overtime. It was a huge victory for the country.
– The second victory in history at the highest level of the world championship. In St. Petersburg 2016, Belarus fell, but it was not enough to retain a place in the series.
Hungary has nothing but to win against Finland. The most important match of its games is against Austria in the last round of the group itself.
Austria should get two points. Of course, assuming they don’t get any more points from the other teams. Kontas calculated that an overtime win would be enough to retain a historic spot in the series.
Even though Hungary is at Lilliput level in the World Cup, the country can be seen and heard much more in Tampere than in many other countries.
A large and loud crowd of fans have traveled from Hungary, who sing at the matches and thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere of the competition.
The win in France was also big for the fans. We have a great fan culture. It’s great to have a community like this behind the national team. A group of fans always accompany him to the games. They were at any level or in any country, says Kontsas.
It’s great to have a community like this behind the national team. A group of fans always accompany him to the games.
Although Kontas keeps talking about being Hungarian and in Hungary, he actually lives in Romania and works for a team called Gyorgyoi HK. Contus has been there for the last three seasons.
The team is based in the city of Gheorgheen, not far from the Hungarian border.
Kontsas lives with his wife and two children in a rural village in the highlands in the middle of the mountains, twenty kilometers from Gheorghen.
– For me, it is practically Hungary, because it is a Hungarian-speaking region. The regions of Transylvania once belonged to Austria-Hungary. There are Romanians, but it is believed that there are also Hungarians, Kontas clarifies.
The team also plays in the Hungarian Eerste Liga. He had a great time there.
In the season ending, Kontsaksen Gyorgoi celebrated the series championship. Five Finns also played in the team: goalkeeper Rasmus Rinne and defenders Jüri Martinen, Jimmy Jalonen, Mattias Haranen and Santeri Saari.
Kontsas says he also had a great time in the Erste Liga for work.
He supports himself well by coaching goalkeepers.
– They say I earn much better than what I earn as a goalkeeper coach in SM League.
– There has been a lot of investment in hockey in Hungary during the last ten years that I have been there myself. Especially for coaching the crazy side. Several full-time coaches have been hired since for the under-10 teams.
This year, the Hungarian under-20 and under-18 national teams for the first time retained their place in the 1A series, ie the second highest level of the World Cup among the top 16 countries.
Little by little the investment in hockey has started showing. Which is expected to be seen in the men’s national team in five years.
– Many young Hungarians are currently in junior leagues in Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. We have already been able to produce players who are capable of going and are good enough to play in higher level countries.
Kontsas hasn’t yet looked to the next step away from Hungary or Romania or wherever he feels he is now.
– I’ve had good luck that way. All three clubs I’ve been at have good teams and a good environment to work in. A professional environment helps you feel comfortable.
I go once a year, but I’m never in a hurry or need to. Qantasas say the contract still has another season left.
Finland-Hungary starts at 16:20 on Friday.