Every point is a bonus for young Vác team
Even before the start of the EHF European League 2021/22 group phase, the season for Váci NKSE has already been a success.
Reaching the group phase for the second straight year was the Hungarian side's goal for the season, so everything that goes beyond will be a bonus for the young team.
- Vác beat German Bundesliga side HSG Blomberg-Lippe in round 3 to qualify for the group phase
- Vác have a squad full of talents from Hungary, with Slovakian centre back Lilla Pint the only exception
- new arrival Natalie Schatzl is a younger sister of Györi Audi ETO KC star Nadine Schatzl; both are left wings
- left back Gréta Kácsor was a crucial member of the Hungarian national team that won the Junior World Champiopnship three years ago
- after five seasons, head coach Zoltán Szilágyi left and has been replaced with Katalin Ottó; from the summer of 2022, former international Gábor Herbert will take over
Most important question: Are Vác ready to take the next step?
Competing in the Hungarian league with the likes of DELO EHF Champions League sides Györ and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria as well as fellow EHF European League contenders Motherson Mosonmagyarovari KC is giving Vác useful experience against teams that also play internationally.
However, Vác have been drawn in a tough group, including opponents like Viborg HK and SCM Ramnicu Valcea and one debutants – Chambray Touraine Handball.
As their roster is not too deep, Vác may need to choose between the tournaments they participate in and prioritise whether they focus more on the domestic league or the international competition.
How they rate themselves
Club president Erika Kis-Máténé Kirsner, former international, plans to build step-by-step while the calendar is full with matches against tough opponents.
“One of our objectives for the season, that we want to repeat last season’s achievements and reach the group phase, has been accomplished. The next target is to earn more points than in the previous year. This will be a very hard job for us, because in our quartet we got three very good teams from the top leagues of Europe, and meanwhile we need to be successful in the Hungarian league as well, which will be a serious task in this very busy schedule.”
Playing in the EHF European League also offers the club commercial possibilities.
“Playing in the group phase is a big pleasure for us as only few teams from Hungary can reach this stage. For our young team, the six games will be a very important experience; for the club, we can offer sponsors and partners a higher level of marketing and advertisements options,” Kis-Máténé Kirsner says.
Team captain Konszuéla Hámori sees the advantages of playing in the strong group D.
“It can develop us as players and as a team. I hope we can show how good fighters we are, and we can surprise our strong opponents and make their job harder. French, German and northern teams are very good – but I hope we can win matches and then we will see what will be enough to reach the quarter-finals,” the right back says.
What the number say
21.8 – that is the average age of the 20 players in Vác’s squad. Their young roster includes no less than nine players who are still teenagers, and only three players are ‘older’ than 25.
Arrivals and departures
Arrivals: Bettina Pásztor (Kisvárda), Csenge Csatlós (Pénzügyör), Natalie Schatzl (Dunújváros), Petra Balogh (Dunakanyar Kézilabda Akadémia), Fruzsina Ferenczy (Dunaújváros), Jázmin Kovalcsik (FTC), Diána Világos (Györ), Borbála Ballai (FTC)
Departures: Ágnes Triffa (retired), Sanja Radosavljevic (Krim Ljubljana), Rita Lakatos (Siófok), Laura Szabó (MTK), Flóra Szeberényi (Eger), Anna Bálint (Orosháza)
EHF European League Women (including 2021/22 season): 2
Group phase (1): 2020/21
EHF Cup: Quarter-finals (1): 2010/11; Last 16 (2): 2011/12, 2013/14
Cup Winners’ Cup: Quarter-finals (2): 2003/04, 2012/13
Hungarian league: -
Hungarian cup: -