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01.04.2015, 11:40
Davydenko: "Learn something in life - not only in handball"
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INTERVIEW: Ekaterina Davydenko talks to ehfCL.com about moving to Romania and returning to a Russian rivalry.
 

"Learn something in life - not only in handball" - Davydenko

This season has seen several Russian stars test themselves with clubs from different countries for the first time.

One of those is Ekaterina Davydenko, who left Lada Togliatti after nearly a decade to sign for Romanian side Baia Mare on a one-year contract.

The 26-year-old won two EHF Cups and appeared in the 2006/07 Women's EHF Champions League Final with Lada, where the Russian side were beaten by Slagelse - and standing between the influential right back and a trip to this season's MVM EHF FINAL4 is a familiar foe, Dinamo-Sinara.

ehfCL.com caught up with Davydenko to find out about adapting to Romanian life and her hopes of reaching the final tournament in Budapest.

ehfCL.com: Playing outside Russia for the first time, what has it been like for you to adjust to the lifestyle in Romania?

Ekaterina Davydenko: "Every change is difficult because your life is simply given a new direction and that's why the move to Romania was a hard decision for me. I found it very difficult, on all fronts, when I first got here, but as time passed by, I simply got used to the new environment. First, I started feeling comfortable with the team and my new teammates and then with the rest of the environment. After several months I can say that I feel very good here, but still I miss my family in Russia."

ehfCL.com: A lot of Russian players moved to different countries in Europe this year, what is your impression of how they are doing both on and off the court?

Ekaterina Davydenko: "I'm glad to see that everyone is finding their own game and doing well in their respective championships. They are all experienced and carry Russian character, which means a lot when you are playing abroad. The advantage for all of them is that they will learn something new, not only in handball, but also in life."

ehfCL.com: Your team started the main round with zero points, but then made it to the quarter-finals by winning four out of six matches. What do you put this change down to?

Ekaterina Davydenko: "To be honest I’m not fully satisfied with my performance so far. But the season is not finished yet and the most important matches are ahead of us. That is why I will give my best and help my team achieve the desired position.

"Regarding the changes in our performance, everything began with the arrival of the new coach. We changed the way we played and this resulted in a positive outcome. Another additional benefit came from the fact that after playing together for half a year, we finally began to understand each other and this has a crucial role in the game.

"When [coach] Tone Tiselj arrived in Baia Mare we changed the discipline not just on the court but also in life. He also puts a lot of effort into defence, which looks much better now and we can all see the results."

ehfCL.com: Is there any added motivation for you in facing Russian champions Dinamo-Sinara in the quarter-finals?

Ekaterina Davydenko: "I have lot of experience playing against Dinamo from when I was with Lada, as they were our main opponent for the Russian championship. I don’t have special motivation playing against Dinamo but I’m happy that I will be back to play on a Russian court once again.

"They have had good results in the Champions League this season, which is good for Russian handball. Although the team has a much younger squad, I believe that they are a dignified opponent and have great a backcourt line, which is their biggest threat."

ehfcl.com: What must your team improve in order to reach the MVM EHF FINAL4 in Budapest?

Ekaterina Davydenko: "What we must do now is focus on our game and show what we do in training. On Saturday we must play our game and see how things develop. We have potential, and my only motivation is to reach the FINAL4. That is why we leave our opponent on the side and focus only us, because everything is in our hands."

ehfCL.com: Which team do you feel is the most serious contender for the title this season? 

Ekaterina Davydenko: "I see Larvik as the most serious candidate for the title this season. What I like the most about them is the fact that they have their own players and basically there are no foreigners in the squad. I really like the Norwegian handball school and I think that it is the best in the world. This team has played together for a long time and the players understand each other very well and that is why I think they are the team that has the biggest chances to win the title."

Follow the first quarter-final leg HCM Baia Mare vs Dinamo Sinara live on ehfTV on  Saturday 4 April at 17:00 hrs local time.


TEXT: Amina Idrizi / jh
 
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