Kovacsics: “I did not count the goals during the match”
The captain of FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and the Hungary national team, always smiling but born with a killer instinct. Still young, but experienced. And one of the fastest women on court. Aniko Kovacsics, or ‘Misi’ as her teammates call her, is a natural leader and worth following off the court as well.
Following her 15-goal outing for FTC against SG BBM Bietigheim in the Women’s EHF Champions League last weekend, which kept her team on top of Group D, ehfCL.com caught up with Kovacsics to talk about the season in general and her career’s highest-scoring match.
ehfCL.com: You had a very busy week so let’s start from the beginning. Adrienn Szalkai, a young handball player, got seriously injured during a local match last week. What was your first thought when you were asked to visit her?
Aniko Kovacsics: I did not hesitate for a minute to visit her when I acknowledged how much it would mean to her. I like to help people and Andrienn was so happy that we could talk and her smile made me delighted. It is important that she can handle the situation and stays calm. She has other goals besides handball, therefore she is hopeful. I encouraged her in these aspects as I am just like this.
ehfCL.com: Then came the weekend and your unique performance, scoring half as many goals as opponents Bietigheim had in total. When did you first realise your great achievement?
Aniko Kovacsics: I did not count the goals during the match, however I felt that the direction of my shots was good and somehow I always found the gaps in the defence. After the whistle, the announcer highlighted this exact statistic. That was the point when I got to know the number 15.
ehfCL.com: What was your teammates’, coaches’, friends’, families’ reaction after you scored the most goals in an EHF Champions League match in your career?
Aniko Kovacsics: Many people congratulated me after the clash, even some people I had not expected to do so. I was astonished and dignified.
ehfCL.com: When was the last time when you netted so many times?
Aniko Kovacsics: I cannot really recall, but as far as I remember I was playing in Nagyatád in the youth team in 2006 when I could celebrate 17 times.
ehfCL.com: In the same match Noémi Háfra scored seven times. Can we say that you two are the present and the future of FTC?
Aniko Kovacsics: In the last couple of matches we both played really well. However, a teams doesn’t win only because one or two players. Everybody tries her best and, naturally, always somebody can perform better although we really fight for each other.
ehfCL.com: You played against Siófok on Wednesday and will take on CSM Bucuresti at the weekend, while slowly the eyes turn to the EHF EURO 2018 in France. How do you prepare for such a physical challenge?
Aniko Kovacsics: In Siófok the most important was to get the two points. We got tired at the end of the match but we won as a team. This is what matters. We practice and work a lot to be prepared for everything. It is not easy and you have to be able to rest anytime when you have the chance. However this is what good team chemistry means: when you are tired, there is always someone to backup. This is what we have at my club and in the national team.
ehfCL.com: At the weekend you will face CSM. The Romanian champions are not in a good form right now, what do you expect from the rendezvous?
Aniko Kovacsics: We will step on the court like anything can happen. We are going to try to do our best. Basically, we are not the probable winners as CSM are still a very good team as they used to be, but we could surprise them.
ehfCL.com: After many seasons, do you think this is the one when you reach the Women’s EHF FINAL4?
Aniko Kovacsics: Our first goal is to reach the quarter-final but obviously we dream about the last meeting in Budapest with three other clubs. We know that there are better squads than ours however we hope that our form during spring will be shocking in a positive way.
ehfCL.com: You will lead the national team as the captain in France. What is your role now?
Aniko Kovacsics: We have a young and very talented squad and it is obvious for me to help anytime when I can. I believe in the chemistry of our team. I will do what I am the best in.
ehfCL.com: What can we expect from the evolving Hungarian side at the European Championship?
Aniko Kovacsics: Every game will be tough as only the best can compete at the tournament. Many matches will be decided by trifles and I think we are good enough to win this kind of meetings. I do not know how far can we go but I hope further than the last couple of times.
ehfCL.com: In last seasons the fans of the Hungarian women’s league got used to champions wearing the colours of green and white. How do you see your chances this year?
Aniko Kovacsics: We have now a very tight schedule. I did not even think about the fact that we haven’t played yet against Györi Audi ETO KC. This will change from January as we will face each other four or five times. Then we will see who is in a better shape.
ehfCL.com: Back then, you were seen as ‘the next Anita Görbicz.’ Nowadays, everybody recognises you as ‘Misi’ and not somebody’s shadow or replacement. What is the key of your success?
Aniko Kovacsics: I do not really have any key. I enjoy my time at FTC and I sense that they believe in me. I always try my best in trainings and in the matches.