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24.07.2017, 22:12
Multi-talented Noémi Háfra stands out for Hungary
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RISING STARS: Able to play in all three back court positions, Hungary’s Noémi Háfra is a talent to watch at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO which starts on Thursday
 

Multi-talented Noémi Háfra stands out for Hungary

The future of Hungarian handball is in safe hands. Younger generations aim to climb as high as the senior teams have done before.

Head coach of the Hungarian national women’s team, Kim Rasmussen, is always monitoring the youngsters because he wants to build the team’s future on them.

Now the Hungarian under-19 team have their chance to shine at the Women’s 19 EHF EURO in Slovenia, which starts Thursday and runs through 6 August.

Ability to play in all three back court positions

Among many good players, Noémi Háfra is the one who stands out. Not only regarding her height – she is 1.82 metre tall, well above average – but also because of her ability to play in all three back court positions.

Although right-handed, Háfra can also pass very well with her left hand. And she has a good vision on the court.

“At my club I am right back, in the national team I play as a left back, but sometimes I play as a centre back. I love to play in all positions,” Háfra says. “In the future I want to learn how to shoot with both hands.”

Play as many minutes as possible

Háfra started her carrier at Gyömrő in the domestic 1st division before moving to Champions League participants FTC. She went to MTK on loan for two years to improve and play as many minutes as possible.

“My dream is to play in Ferencváros, but I know I am still very young and they need complete players,” Háfra says. “At MTK I have a chance to play around 50 minutes in every game and I can learn so much from my coaches. If you are doing well, you will get the opportunity from your team in the future.”

Háfra stems from a handball-mad family. Her mother and her older brother first started to play the game though her mother had to give up because of an injury and her brother preferred studying. But she also has a younger sister, 16-year-old Luca Háfra, who plays for FTC as a left wing.

Quite some international experience

Starting from the under-15s, Noémi Háfra played for all the Hungarian youth teams and has gained quite some international experience.

She was part of the team which finished third at the W17 EHF EURO in Macedonia in 2015, and of the under-18 team which placed fifth at the Women’s Youth IHF World Championship in Slovakia last year.

For her next major tournament, Háfra hopes Hungary can go far.

“First of all we will try to win all of our group matches, these are the first steps. If we manage to do that, we can focus on the other rounds,” she says. “If we have a chance, we will try to avoid Russia because they have a really strong team. We want to win the championship but we will go step by step.”

‘I know I need to work hard’

In a few years she wants to be the part of the senior national team.

“I hope to get a chance to play for Hungary, but I know I need to work hard and show to the coach how good I am. This road will not be easy but this is one of my biggest dreams,” Háfra says.

Háfra is convinced she is at the right place to reach that level. She doesn’t want to move to any other team or go back to FTC as she believe MTK is the key to achieve her goals.

After the tournament in Slovenia, Háfra will have one week vacation before returning to practice at MTK. Next season will be her last year in high school before she plans to go to university.

Photos: HHF


TEXT: Balazs Szalkai / ew / ts
 
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