EBCA Coach of the Year 2014 finalists
The 5 finalists for the EBCA Coach of the Year Award have been chosen.
Like every years, baseball fans around Europe submitted names of candidates who, they felt, desrved the award and the EBCA picked 5 candidates for the final voting for its members.
Here are the finalists, placed in alphabetical order.
Chris Byrnes - Zurich Barracudas
Coach Byrnes coaches the Embrach Mustangs for 5 years, making 4 play-offs appearances with a clb that had never experienced that level of succes before.
Moving to the Zurich Barracudas, he worked his magic again bringing Zurich back on top of the league with a 20-5 season only to lose the Swiss Finals in the 11th inning of the 5th game of the best of 5 series.
Steve Janssen - Dutch National Team
Coach Janssen is a Belgian coach who is involved in the netherlands for many years.
He took over the managerial job after the WBC where he served as a ptching coach.
Janssen led team Netherlands to a the European Championship after the Oranje fell short in 2012 and 2010.
Janssen won the EBCA Coach of the Year Award in 2009 and now has a chance to become the first coach to win it twice.
Marian Krasny - South Morovia Little League
Marian Krasny led the South Morovia Little League towards a second straight Czech participation to the world's top sports event, the Little league World Series.
His team wasn't able to record a win in Williamsport but the route to get there was impressive with a convincing sweep at the Little league European Championship in Kutno.
Krasny is also coaching in the Trebic Nuclears youth system . This year, his U12 team finished second in the league while the U14 won the Czech championship.
Rolando Merino - Templiers Sénart
Merino won 2 silver medals at the Olympics for Team Cuba at the Olympics in 2000 and 2008. He also won the gold at the 2001 World Cup.
In France, the player/coach of the Templiers Sénart to the Crown in the French competition ending the long streak from the Rouen Huskies.
David Winkler - Czech U21 National team
David Winkler is nominated again for the Award. In 2014, he led the U21 Czech national Team to the European title.
That Winkler was able to experience the joy of a chamionship is only fitting since he is heavily involved in developing talent with the academy he is leading in Brno.
It will now be up to our membership to determine who will be crowned EBCA Coach of the Year during the 11th EBCA Convention in Prague.
Coaching clinic in France - a new step for EBCA
The EBCA is proud to announce that it is associated to a new project.
After 10 years of EBCA Conventions, EBCA is joining forces with federations, local groups... in order to facilitate the organization of clinics.
This coming 1st and 2nd of March, Mulhouse will host a European coaches clinic with 4 experienced international speakers.
Here is the message for new EBCA board member Bertrand Rue who set up this clinic :
Dear Baseball Friends,
The Alsace Baseball League is proud to announce his first European Baseball Coaches Clinic.
This Clinic will take place on March 1st and 2nd 2014 at the University Gymnasium of Mulhouse.
It is opened to all baseball coaches, whatever their level are.
The seminar will be mainly centered on the situation scenario through practical exercises.
That is why the players avid to accompany their coach are also welcome.
The training program has been specially designed this way and will be led by European and American professional speakers.
In file you will find the Clinic flyer’s (+ Gym photos) specifying all the necessary information (speakers bio’s, program, methods of registration, accommodation, price…)
I hope that this training opportunity will contribute, to the baseball development in our 3 Corners Region (France, Germany, Switzerland).
I recommend you not waiting too much for the registrations, the number of places being limited.
Hope to see soon.
President of the Alsace Baseball League
Head Coach of the Mulhouse Royals
A look back at the 10th anniversary Convention
Brussels was hosting the 10th EBCA Convention, November 8 to 10, 10 years after the 1st edition, in Cologne.
Back then, Tom O’Connell was leading the group of speakers, highlighted by the current Houston Astros pitching coach Brent Strom, in front of a handful of baseball enthusiasts.
In 2013, a little over 100 members gathered in the Courtyard from Brussels for a fantastic week-end of baseball.
The 10th anniversary showcased not only a great group of experts but also, a group that was able to catch the attention of the crowd.
Friday night, after Bill Springman (Minnesota Twins) and Ron Wolforth (Texas Baseball Ranch) opened things up, a panel discussion took place and participants were able to ask their own questions to the elite group.
Already, the crowd could feel that this would be a quite special edition, with speakers on top of things.
During the traditional Friday night reception, EBCA president Georg Apfelbaum announced the recipient of the 2014 EBCA Career Achievement Award.
Bill Arce, the founder of International Sports Group, a man who devoted his life to baseball and played such a critical role in its development in Europe was the deserving winner of this award.
Saturday Jeff krushell (MLB/Krush performance), Dave Keilitz (ABCA Executive Dorector), Tom O’Connell (ABCA Hall of Famer), Gavin Kelly (Turface Athletics)and a Dutch duo of Martijn Nijhoff (talent coach NL) and Frans Bosch (Performance coach and researcher) took the stage and were really giving the participants their money worth (and much beyond) of information.
This year, split sessions were set up in order for each coach to attend a lecture making sense for their coaching level.
A large number of coaches then attended the open dinner, now a tradition of the EBCA Convention.
The dinner is a great chance for attending coaches to meet each other, interact with the speakers and really make this week-end more than just another baseball clinic. With coaches coming from as far Sweden, Spain, Czech Republic to go along with the usual France, Belgium, Germany, Hungary… the international flavor is really unique.
The 2014 EBCA Coach of the Year was then presented. Evert Jan t’Hoen, manager of Neptunus Rotterdam was voted by the EBCA members as the 2014 Coach of the Year. T’Hoen who played up to AAA in the States, is coaching at the Unicorns Baseball Academy and is a rookie manager in the very competitive Dutch Hoofdklasse. In his first year, he led his team to its 14th championship, after a 2-year drought.
Sunday a shorter and final day of Convention was absolutely keeping up with the quality.
During the raffle, MaxBats, one of the exhibitors, donated a unique MaxBat Will Myers model,. The bat is designed to the specific request of the 2013 AL rookie of the year, the only one of its kind in all of Europe. Philip Thompson, a coach of the Antwerp region did certainly not regret his trip to Brussels and the acquisition of a few raffle tickets.
Of course, if the Will Myers' bat was the jewel of the raffle, many coaches came away winners with beautiful prizes given away by the EBCA partners.
After the raffle, the crowd split in 2 groups again with Frenchspeaking academy coaches on one side instructing their local coaches and the international crowd on the other.
This year, more than ever, everyone really had a great chance to learn, with various levels addressed, from the National Team and Academy coaches to the beginning local youth coach, a great achievement for the 10th anniversary.
Next year, EBCA will be back in Prague November 7 to 9 and we expect another great week-end where even more coaches will get a chance to learn and connect.