Miroslav Skovira interview

Friday, 5th September 2003

Born in Levice Slovakia, Miroslav Skovira is a very good all round athlete. As well as being a professional hockey player, he told us, “I like to play tennis and football, and in the winter I like to ski.”

As a youngster, Miroslav showed a talent for ice hockey and in the 1991 European Junior Championship tournament representing Czechoslovakia, he scored four goals and four assists in six appearances. Turning professional, he signed for HC SKP Poprad – a club approx 120 miles from his hometown. Immediately he was amongst the points and quickly progressed through the junior teams to the senior level, although he took one season out to play in Canada.

“I was offered chance to play Junior A in Alberta with a team called Old Grizzly’s,” he said. “It was good experience for me and I was team top goal scorer for the season I was there.” Miroslav’s natural modesty aside, his scoring exploits saw him the league leading goals and point scorer, not just the team leader. And his team - the Olds Grizzly’s - went on to win the national championship Centennial Cup as Miroslav topped the post-season scoring charts as well.

Returning home the following season, Miroslav re-joined the team in Poprad and he stayed there until season 2000/01. “I was happy with Poprad. The team was good and we finished third in the championship twice. Then in 2000, I went to play in Italy in Bolzano.” One season in the Dolomite Mountains saw Miroslav again ride high in the scoring charts before returning to his homeland to star with HC Kosice.

In two seasons with Kosice, weighed in with a very impressive 111 points in 116 games and helped his team to a third place finish in 2001/02 and to the playoff runners-up spot last season. Now, after a summer of considering his future, he has chosen the Phoenix after a month-long trial in Russia saw him practise with a team he describes as being “too defensive.” Other clubs in Europe and indeed the Elite League were chasing his signature, but the Phoenix will benefit from his all-round ability and eye for the points.

As to his own game Miroslav (again) modestly says, “I like to play an attacking game, but defence is also important and I always try to help whenever I am on ice. My agent tells me Manchester is a nice, big city and I know of the football clubs. I look forward to getting there and playing hockey for Phoenix.”