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Former player appointed head coach of Latvia ice hockey team

Jul 15, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

Former player appointed head coach of Latvia ice hockey team

Former player Aleksandrs Belavskis has been appointed the new head coach of the Latvian national men's ice hockey team.

Belavskis was unveiled as head coach during a Latvian Ice Hockey Federation (LHF) board meeting on Tuesday. The other potential candidate, Slovak specialist Julius Supler, was turned down.

LHF President Kirovs Lipmans says that the two sides are still to come to an agreement on a contract, but said that Belavskis would be a ''long-term'' head coach.

The Latvian team will gather for the first time in November. Lipmans said he personally approached Belavskis with an offer to coach the Latvian team. Belavskis was quick to agree to coach Latvia, as he wishes to give back to Latvian ice hockey, where he once played, Lipmans said.

It's believed that current assistant Karlis Zirnis, who has worked with the national team for several years, will also remain on the coaching staff.

An agreement has also supposedly been made which means Belavskis will concentrate solely on the national team and will not coach anywhere else.

Belavskis has coached in Sweden, Belarus and Russia ilncluding leading Swedish clubs Umea Bjorkloven and Nykoping.

The 50-year-old Belavskis has played in six World Championships for the Latvian team in the past.

Former Latvian national coach Ted Nolan parted ways with the Latvian team after this year's Ice Hockey World Championships in Belarus.

Re-live one of Belavskis' great goals for Latvia against Belarus here:

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