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11.01.2016, 23:30
Anna Sen: Hard work and continued success leads to Budapest
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INTERVIEW: Anna Sen, the Russian international and left back of Rostov Don, was one of the most important figures on the court in the game against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria this past weekend. After her team’s seventh consecutive ‘Champions League’ win, ehfcl.com caught up with her.
 

Anna Sen: Hard work and continued success leads to Budapest

After facing Ferencvaros several times in the Hungarian league with Györ last season Anna Sen encountered the reigning Hungarian title holders again last weekend in the opening round of the Women's EHF Champions League Main Round. More than 3,000 spectators were present to witness Rostov-Don’s victory (23:21) in the clash of two undefeated teams.

Anna Sen was an instrumental component, as she scored twice, pressured the attacking opponents and did her work on defence.

After the victory, she spoke with ehfcl.com regarding the match and the future plans for Rostov Don.

ehfcl.com:  Rostov-Don vs. FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria - this was the match between two undefeated teams and the expectations were very high. What are your thoughts regarding the game?

Anna Sen: Both teams delivered a breath-taking, superb performance. There were a lot of great plays, but there were mistakes too, whether forced or unforced.

Today, Rostov Don played against an excellent team with a strict defence and aggressive offence. We had to do our best to overcome the resistance of a high-class Hungarian side.

ehfcl.com:  Anna, last season playing for the Hungarian club Győri Audi ETO KC, you played against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria in the national competition. Today, they were your rival once more. Was it special for you to compete against them again?

Anna Sen:  I have very positive memories from my time in Hungary. I not only played one season, but I lived a happy year during my time there, so naturally it is a part of my life. Of course, during the game, I did not think about it, but now that the match is over, I am very happy to win this difficult match.

As for my old Hungarian rivals, this is sport: you can win, you can lose.

ehfcl.com: Based on the last match result against Lada, we can say there are not many serious competitors for Rostov Don in the Russian league. Can these circumstances cause your team to become less concentrated?

Anna Sen: No. Despite the fact that we won all ten games in the Russian championship, I fully admit that the teams of Lada, Zvezda and Astrakhanochka are strong enough to show their class in the playoff stage.

These are teams with talented players and knowledgeable coaches. We have beaten our rivals due to our physical strength and stamina, but also because we analyse the games of our opponents in detail. For our coach, Jan Leslie, this matter is of great importance.

ehfcl.com: After one year in Hungary, you came back to Rostov-Don. Upon your return, did you find any changes in the club?

Anna Sen: Yes, of course. I met the new coach, Jan Leslie, who enriched the team tactically and stronger physically. Jan is not only a superb coach, but also a good psychologist with an individual approach to the players.

If somebody is down, he will motivate them and help where he can. After winning the Russian championship, the Rostov players became more ambitious; now the goal is to play successfully in the Champions League and go as far as possible. His courage and future plans impressed me and because of that, I am here to contribute.

The club has also grown in the organisational aspect and for that, we can thank the premium sponsor, Mr. Ivan Savvidi and the club management, with Mr. Anton Revenko as its head. Additionally, we now have a positive two-way communication channel with our fans and through these changes, Rostov Don have risen to an international level.

ehfcl.com: Already your first victory at Larvik made Rostov-Don the top favourite of the Women’s EHF Champions League. And after Rostov’s second Champions League game against Krim Mercator, their coach Marta Bon wished your team good luck in Budapest’s FINAL4! Is your team under pressure due to high expectations?

Anna Sen: No, the status of being the top favourite creates no added pressure. We all know our skills and abilities and we understand that we are allowed to struggle against other title-favourites.

ehfcl.com: Every winning streak, in your case seven Champions League victories in a row, could eventually come to an end.

Anna Sen:  It does not matter at all. Every time we take the court, we get only one task from our coach: to win the match. In this aspect, Jan Leslie is really a motivational master.

We always remember that we play for our fans and it is a super feeling for us to make them happy through our victories.  As for the winning streak, we are certainly not against it. By continuing our winning record, it makes our sporting life more interesting.

ehfcl.com: In conclusion, it is safe to say that Rostov Don will continue to improve their winning ways?

Anna Sen: Certainly! We are happy about this victory, but we know that only we received two points for it. So, going on the court next time, our goal stays the same: to win the match. In order to book tickets to Budapest, we have to work hard.


TEXT: Simon Kenkishvili/tm
 
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