EuroLeague Preview: New Regime aims to inspire Olympiacos’ old guard
AGONAsport’s Peter Katsiris previews the 2018/2019 EuroLeague season from an Olympiacos perspective as a new era begins in Piraeus…
Olympiacos are eyeing a return to the EuroLeague Final Four after an off-year saw the Erythrolefki miss-out on the competition’s showcase event for the second-time in three years.
Last season’s underachievement on the continental stage, coupled with an underwhelming domestic campaign, spelled the end for head coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos after four seasons in the Olympiacos hot seat.
Fresh-off winning the EuroCup with Darussafaka last season, David Blatt has been appointed as Sfairopoulos’ replacement as a new era begins in the port city. Olympiacos will be hoping that Blatt’s recent success with Darussafaka, as well as previous glory with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the EuroLeague, will bring a winning tradition to Piraeus.
While Olympiacos has been one of the more successful sides in the EuroLeague of late, the club has failed to add to their haul of three titles in their most recent trips to the Final. Losses in the Final in two of the past four seasons speaks to the heartbreak, while the club’s absence from the Final Four in the other half of the last four years speaks to the inconsistency.
In an attempt to bolster the squad, Olympiacos remained busy in the transfer market this summer; however, some personnel changes were unwanted. The major storyline out of the Olympiacos camp was the departure of Ioannis Papapetrou as the Greek international declined a contract renewal before opting to sigh with archrival Panathinaikos.
Although Olympiacos waved goodbye to seven players on permanent transfers this summer, perhaps the only one that stings is Papapetrou’s move across town. In fact, Olympiacos have arguably improved their roster despite the numerous changes as the arrival of Nigel Williams-Goss and Sasha Vezenkov, to name a few, gives the Olympiacos rotation a new look.
New faces in the squad won’t fully replace Olympiacos’ old guard as the likes of Vassilis Spanoulis, Georgios Printezis, and Kostas Papanikolaou remain with the club and will be relied upon despite not being as youthful compared to cores of most EuroLeague teams.
by Peter Katsiris
Image Source: sdna.gr