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03.03.2014, 11:09
Aniko Kovacsics: Step by step towards her dreams
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FEATURE: The 22-year-old Györ playmaker and Hungarian international is the next player to be part of the EHF's 'rising stars of women's handball' series
 

Aniko Kovacsics: Step by step towards her dreams

Aniko Kovacsics received her first feel for handball when she was still toddler, watching her father play in the second Hungarian league.

But it was enough to ignite the love for the sport and picked it up herself and at the age of 18, in 2009, she already celebrated her debut in the Hungarian women’s national team.

Her skills on the centre back position were quickly recognised and at just 22 she has already won bronze at the Women’s EHF EURO 2012.With her club side, Györi AUDI ETO, she won the EHF Champions League in 2013 and was furthermore voted the competition’s best young player.

However, the seeds for her career were sown much earlier.

Aniko Kovacsics started playing handball in a small school in Berzence at the age of 10.

Just two years later she moved to Csurgo where there were better opportunities, but she did not stay there for long either as she was dreaming of becoming a player in Györ.

"I loved playing handball there and I had nice coaches but when I was 14, I had the chance and moved to Győr. This was my dream.

"I had been watching the team, the players on TV, I cheered for them and my idol Anita Görbicz, one of the best players all over the world, also played for them."

"In my first year in Györ I played with the youth team, but all I ever wondered was just when I could watch the adult team playing."

Kovacsics was only 16 years old, a young but talented, enthusiastic and hardworking centre back, when she had the opportunity to play for the team she had been dreaming of playing for.

"I work hard for the club and myself and that is why my performance is getting better and better day by day.

"I’m lucky because it is a professional club with professional players, trainers and leaders.

"Furthermore, it is a huge thing that I can play with my idol and can learn from her. I can see Görbe (Anita Görbicz’s nickname) who does special movements and passes. She shoots incredible goals at every training session.

"I just dream that on a nice day I will be able to do the same."

2009 - A busy but significant year

Two years after her debut, in 2009, Győr played the final in the EHF Champions League against Viborg but without the injured Anita Görbicz.

The teenager had to fill in for her. But Kovacsics was not frightened. Her performance turned out to be excellent, and in the second leg, she was her team’s best player and scored six goals.

It was not enough though as Viborg’s 26:23 victory was just enough to grant the Danes the victory on aggregate as Györ had won the first leg 26:24.

However, it had become obvious that Kovacsics was a rising star in the making, willing to take it step by step towards her dreams.

Shortly afterwards she played an important role in steering Hungary to silver at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO, scoring eight goals in the final (27:29) against Norway.

In the same year she celebrated her debut in the senior national team and even made the cut for squad that went to the World Championship in China.

2012 and 2013 - The next milestones

Three years later, in December 2012, Kovacsics won bronze with the team at the EHF EURO in Serbia.

"It was wonderful and I have never forgotten the gorgeous feeling after the bronze match (against Serbia; 41:38 after extra time).

"Our team was very happy, everybody enjoyed the celebration, the tournament, and thanks to every Hungarian fan, they were the eighth player in our team."

Only turning 23 at the end of August 2014, the centre back has already collected plenty of titles in her career. Besides six national championships and six Hungarian Cup victories, Kovacsics made a dream come true when she lifted the Women’s EHF Champions League Trophy in May 2013.

She even topped that achievement by being named ‘Best Young Player’ of the competition.

Step by step towards Rio 2016

Now she wants to take another step further by first qualifying and eventually winning the premier edition of the Women’s EHF FINAL4. She then wants to focus on the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia.

"I want to stay a member of the Hungarian national team, which has a new head coach in András Németh and I’ll do my best at the upcoming matches and training sessions.

"We host Europe in Hungary and Croatia at the end of this year and it is a huge opportunity for the Hungarians to show our hospitality, and to fight for gold in front of Hungarian supporters."

Aniko Kovacsics likes to take things step by step in her life and her handball career, but naturally she has plans and dreams.

"Everybody is playing with the idea of taking part in the Olympic Games. So am I. I would like to go to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

"This is my future plan but certainly I know a lot of trainings, training camps, matches, defeats and victories are waiting for me before my dream can come true."


This is the fourth part of a new series powered by eurohandball.com and ehf-euro.com. In the weeks to come we will throw the spotlight on the many young female handball talents all around Europe that are likely to make an impact on the international stage in the months and years to come.

Part 1: Sweden's Maria Adler: "My time will come"

Part 2: Austria's Sonja Frey: A pair of coaching brothers paved her way to handball

Part 3: Shenia Minevskaja: Handball in her genes

Part 4: Koumba Cissé jumping into the spotlight


TEXT: Krisztina Deak / ts
 
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