Amorim: Everything has been great — better than expected
For 12 seasons, Brazilian left back Eduarda Amorim Taleska was an integrant cog in Györi Audi ETO KC’s infallible mechanism, which produced amazing performances and multiple titles as they dominated European women’s handball.
Five DELO EHF Champions League trophies, 10 Hungarian league titles and 11 Hungarian Cups were secured by Györ in one of the most powerful eras in the history of women’s handball.
But as time passed, Amorim felt the urge for a new challenge. This summer, she left the place she called home for such a long time, switching to Rostov-Don — a team constantly on the fringe of winning their first DELO EHF Champions League, aiming to become only the second Russian team to take the trophy since HC Zvezda Zvenigorod.
Having been in Rostov for nearly two months, Amorim has settled in easily and underlines the ambitions she nurtures with her new team. Another title in the premium European competition would make Amorim the most decorated player in the history of the DELO EHF Champions League, alongside Ausra Fridrikas and Bojana Popovic.
Yet the question lingers: are Rostov-Don the powerhouse to help Amorim achieve this amazing feat?
eurohandball.com: Duda, moving to Rostov was surely a big change for you. How did you cope during these months?
Eduarda Amorim Taleska: So far, everything has been really great. I think it is better than what I expected. Of course, there is a steep learning curve following a period of adaptation after I spent so much time in Györ. I do need some more time, but all the boxes regarding my life here have been ticked: the apartment I live in is very good, and the social life is amazing. I was really surprised here.
eurohandball.com: What surprised you the most?
Eduarda Amorim Taleska: To be honest, I am thinking first about the social life and the differences that exist in Russia. I do not mean to criticise anything about Györ — everything was good there, but the city is bigger here, there are plenty of restaurants and you can enjoy a lot here. They also have very good seafood, which is my favourite, and I was really surprised to have that at my fingertips.
Regarding Russia, it can be really surprising at times, with huge contrasts. I saw some places that were really deserted, but others that looked like a metropolis. But this is, in my opinion, what makes Russia really unique and a very interesting country to explore.
eurohandball.com: Let’s talk handball now. How did you adapt to Rostov and what are your first impressions?
Eduarda Amorim Taleska: I really like how the trainings are conducted — this also falls in the category of ‘better than expected’ I talked about a few seconds ago. The team is really putting in the effort. We are trying to become a better side; trying to evolve and improve. Sure, Anna Vyakhireva is not here — she took a sabbatical from handball — but we are doing good. Our coach, Per Johansson, is being great so far, the potential is there, we are a very good team in defence and that matters a lot.
eurohandball.com: How has the season been so far for your side?
Eduarda Amorim Taleska: As you probably have seen already, we won our first two games in the DELO EHF Champions League, against last season’s finalists, Brest Bretagne Handball, and another powerhouse, in CSM Bucuresti. For the last game, against CSM, we were thoroughly motivated because we lost the previous match, 30:31, against Lada in the Russian league, therefore we were determined to take the court and win, to prove ourselves that we are a good team.
And we did exactly that, with a confident performance, we were leading by 12 goals in the second half. Like I have told you, the potential is there, we just need to tweak some things, we need to adapt our style and we will probably be better.
eurohandball.com: Are Rostov one of the favourites to win the trophy this season?
Eduarda Amorim Taleska: This is a difficult question and it involves a difficult answer. Let’s just say that we have potential to become a good team, but the answer right now would be no. We are building towards that, I think we have done a very good job up until this point, but we need more and this good start of the season can help a lot, with two wins in the first two games. Just building up the confidence in ourselves. A DELO EHF FINAL4 berth? Sure, it is achievable.
eurohandball.com: Could the defence, which your coach Per Johansson touted to be the best in women’s handball, can be your edge?
Eduarda Amorim Taleska: I mean, sure. I do not think Per has exaggerated at all when he said this, because we have plenty of experience, plenty of talent at our disposal and the chemistry is very good between ourselves. We have different systems which we are trying to master, but all in all we can be the best or at least rival with the best teams in the world. Adding some good games from our goalkeepers, which we got in the two matches against Brest and CSM Bucuresti, could help achieve that objective.
eurohandball.com: Next up, the Match of the Week against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria. You know them pretty well, right — they stole the show and took the Hungarian title from you last season?
Eduarda Amorim Taleska: [laughing]… Well, when I left Györ, I thought I was done with Hungarian handball, especially with FTC. No, no, I am just kidding. They are a very good opponent, of course I know them well, because I have played countless times against them and every time they brought up something which surprised me. Of course, they are the Hungarian champions, they have plenty of firepower and a very fast attacking style, shooting the ball quickly, 15–20 seconds after starting their attack.
I like their back line, they have powerful shooters like Szandra Szollosi-Zacsik or Emily Bölk and a good coach, who has been there for a long time, improving the team’s chemistry. I do not know if we are favourites against them, but playing at home…well, let’s say we can win.