07.03.2013, 12:30
Pidpalova switches shorts for skirts

Ukraine’s national team captain has taken on a new challenge at Metz

Pidpalova switches shorts for skirts

Anastasiya Pidpalova is the star-newcomer of French side Metz after signing a short-term contract until 31 May 2013 after her contract ended with Russian champions Dinamo Volgograd. 

The tall left back has won nine national league titles in total so far in her career – five Ukrainian with Motor (2002-2004, 2006, 2007), three Romanian with Oltchim (2007-2010), and one with Dinamo in Russia (2012).

Pidpalova was one step away from winning the Women’s EHF Champions League in 2010, after losing the two-legged final to Viborg HK, despite scoring seven goals in the second leg.

2004 Olympic bronze medalist Pidpalova is one of the top five goalscorers in Ukrainian national team history with 214 goals in 61 matches.

She took part in four World Championships (2001, 2003, 2005, 2009) and four EHF EURO competitions (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012).

Pidpalova was excited at the prospect of joining the record title holder and current leader of the French league, and not just for their handball prowess.

“I’ve got new skirt,” said Pidpalova after receiving the unique Metz equipment.

“I like the new form. It’s cute and with a clear feminine style. But most importantly, it’s absolutely comfortable.”

Anastasiya Pidpalova is planning on adding to her already impressive collection of titles with a successful stint at Metz.

“My main objective is to help my new team win the EHF Cup and the national title. I’m hungry to play and I’m looking to be as useful in attack and in defense,” she explained.

Pidpalova’s debut in France was a 31:32 defeat on home soil in the League Cup against major rivals Fluery.

“Unfortunately my first match was a loss. I only played in defense as I’m not ready to play more yet.

“I have had no practice for almost one month, so my physical skills are not as good as they could be,” admitted Pidpalova.

The Ukrainian quickly adapted to her new company and felt that there were no language problems with her teammates and coach.

“Of course Russian Katya Andryshina was the first person in the club who helped me to adapt, special thanks to her.

“In general, all of the girls who speak in English try to support me. My Serbian teammates understand Russian and I am often chatting with them and also with Serbian coach Sandor Rac.

“I feel a kind atmosphere in Metz. A good atmosphere inside team is important to every player. I’m sure I’m in a great group,” concluded Pidpalova, who, after joining before the late entry date of 20 February, will be available for selection in Metz’s Women’s EHF Cup quarter-final against Russian side Astrakhanochka, the first leg of which is on Saturday, 9 March. 

TEXT: Igor Grachov / cor

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