PLAYER-COACH Lukas Smital has committed himself to Bracknell Bees for the 2016-17 campaign, writes Dave Wright.

And he has already started work on getting a squad organised – even though he has no idea how much money he will have at his disposal.

“No matter what the budget is here, I will get a team out next season,” he told the News.

Smital revealed his future plans during a weekend which saw Bees complete an otherwise disappointing season on a high note.

In their final home game, they were unlucky to lose 6-5 in overtime to Telford Tigers on Saturday. But they did even better 24 hours later when, following a journey financed by supporters of both clubs, Bees thumped Manchester Phoenix 6-2 on Deeside.

However, their 10th win in 54 games was still not good enough to lift them off the bottom of the English Premier League. 

They finish three points behind second-bottom Hull Pirates and 24 points adrift of Manchester, the last of the eight play-off qualifiers.

But that massive victory over Phoenix will certainly have given Smital a boost when he got down to work this week.

“My plans are to save this team and get a group of people together to keep this club going,” he said.

“Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not. I am going to use my best possible knowledge and experience to save the club.

“I want to get the right people on board with us to help us to get through it.”
Asked if the budget would be the overall deciding factor in his team building, Smital replied: “The budget is the last thing I worry about. The first thing is to save this team.

“Even if we have the lowest budget possible, I will get a team together. We have to rebuild. It could take two years and it needs patience. You can’t go and start winning all of a sudden.”

Smital, who saw several players depart The Hive during the season, expects that some of his current squad will be on the wish-list of rival clubs.

“We have good players here and I am pretty sure some will get offers,” said Smital.

“Most of them I would like to keep. They are up for it and, fingers crossed, they will stay.

“As I have said before, all we may need is one or two top-end British players. We are also short of two import forwards as they make so much of a difference, especially in close games.”

He continued: “All the experience the youngsters have got this year will carry on into next year. They will get stronger, they will get hungrier, so that is a plus.”

The 41-year-old Czech says at the moment he plans to carry on playing, but did add: “If it takes for me not to play to save this team, then I won’t.”

Asked if he plans to attend the final stages of the league play-offs at Coventry, Smital replied: “I won’t have the time, as I have a lot to do to make this club secure.”