Bodies and souls are ready, we see the heads

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 10:17 AM

What could have been done in training is ready for the national team, and after the baptism of fire, the pressure of the home field may not be a problem, according to István Gulyás.

Days separate us from the most important event in contemporary Hungarian handball, the men’s European Championships, which are partly domestic. It is no exaggeration to say that in the last two and a half years, all the events in the men’s field, which were originally co-founded with the Slovaks, were considered by the management as part of the World Cup preparations.

After assembling a think tank consisting of Vice President László Nagy and Captain István Gulyás-Chema Rodriguez, life moved into the men’s team, and the team, which had previously produced several disappointing results, had undergone tremendous progress in both play and performance. the opening match of the European Championships.

The most important question

Couldn’t we have started a conversation with Captain István Gulyás with something other than the obligatory question: days before the European Championships, is the team where it planned to hold it when it was appointed?

“I have two answers. On the one hand, we did the work, both the direct preparation and the team-building work of the last two years. On the other hand, there is a factor in the task ahead of us that we have no effect on: it will be extremely important for players to bear the pressure of the Hungarian World Cup performance, the media upheaval, the expectations. “

It can’t be practiced because it’s impossible to model such a life situation in training, and while we put a lot of emphasis on mental preparation, it only turns out if we did a good job when the boys run out on the field in the opening match against the Dutch. ”

“Of course, there is a professional working alongside the team to help with the mental preparation, and it is also optimistic that there are more routine players who have experienced many big battles in the frame. Their experience will help a lot for those who have not played for such a stake, in such a large hall, in such an heightened emotional state, ”said the former Veszprém classic.

“The baptism of fire must be lived, there is no fairy tale. But after the match against the Dutch, this will no longer be a problem for anyone, ”he added.

What about the game?

If we only look at the international tournaments brought with the Gulyás-Chema pair, optimism is absolutely justified. At last year’s finale, we finished in 5th place by losing in the overtime quarter-final against the world-class French, and at the 2019 European Championships, we didn’t finish ahead of 9th place due to a spoiled match after sending home the last semi-finalists in the group stage. The minimum is that the team is on an upward curve.

“We want to be among the best teams, the top eight, our big and common dream and our goal is to be among the top six on the final weekend. Importantly, this is an ambitious goal, as the field is extremely strong, but it doesn’t overwhelm the players, as they may have read in the press here and there about the team going for a medal. We talked to colleagues after the Women’s World Cup about how much difference there was between the teams and how much more balanced the field was for men, especially in a European Championship where every team is strong. ”

The dreams of the medal did not only appear in the Hungarian press, one of the most renowned hand experts, the Danish Rasmus Boysen, indicated after the draw that he was waiting for the Hungarians in the semi-finals, and confirmed this statement that the top scorer.

“I’m not saying it’s bad to hear that, but I don’t attach too much importance to it, and I’m confident that everyone can rule out such thoughts. One of the most important elements of our mental preparation is that we always focus only on the task ahead of us, because it is common for anyone who looks too far to have their nose fall in the first stone. ”

The group is no longer easy

The Hungarians play in the group with the Netherlands, Portugal and Iceland, respectively. The Portuguese, who are fairly balanced and hold the title of the most advanced team in recent years, or the Dutch, who are aiming for similar laurels, will not be an easy opponent, especially due to the pressure of the opening match. Iceland may be less strong now than the rest of the group, but the captain says the team’s unusual play could be one of our toughest matches against the Nordics.

“It’s very hard to talk about the balance of power because unfortunately the coronavirus rewrites the framework of the teams day by day, but if we only start from the results of the recent period, the Portuguese seem to be the strongest opponent. We meet three strong teams, each with a good one and the Dutch can play without absolute burden, ”said the captain.

“We could have more information about the opponents, but the coronavirus also had a say in the preparation matches. Iceland’s match was missed, the Portuguese, like us, could only play one. A captain can do nothing but pray that no one is infected, because the loss of a key player can have unpredictable consequences. All we can do is take great care of ourselves, adhere to the protocol and deal with what we have an impact on. ”

Gulyás said that the loss of Máthé Dominik, who gave a positive sample immediately after his arrival, upset the program a bit, and there are even minor health problems in the frame, but the right-wing shooter has been with the team for days and everyone is fine. The boys have already arrived at the boys.

“Needless to say, the opening match will be extremely important because it can affect the whole tournament. Not only the result, the game shown is important, but this time I could be happy with a win of any size. ”

Bahrain brought us fright

Ours ended the preparations with a preparation match against Bahrain (our match against the Belarusians was missed due to the positive pattern of one of the opponents’ players), and the Hungarian team defended in the first half. Goulash, who brought the match down without asking for time, left his sons to gather themselves, and it did, and the team played well in the second half.

“In addition to winning, it was an important experience that the team, even if it didn’t defend well in the first half, was able to shift gears.“This capability could also be crucial at the European Championships, and it was very good feedback that the boys were able to improve in speed and explosiveness because the company was pretty slow in the first half.”

“We are ready for the European Championship,” the captain took a deep breath. “I look through the team and see that everyone knows: he’s worked for the last two years to be here now. It’s a great thing in the lives of all of us that we have before. ”

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