FINDING THE WAY TO BERLIN: Csurgo's Polish keeper is loving the support received during his team's EHF Cup adventure
“Euphoria seized the town”
A young club in an old town, big hopes under the roof of a small hall, long distances covered in a short time – this is the story of Hungarian side Csurgói KK. The team that shyly slipped onto the court of European handball as they finally took third place in the domestic league last season, which enabled them to be a part of the EHF Cup for the first time.
One of the brightest stars of the team is Polish goalkeeper, Piotr Wyszomirski, who last season blindly came to Csurgo, knowing absolutely nothing about the club. He took a risk and it now appears to be paying off as is battling with his team to qualify for the quarter-finals, proving that sometimes it is worthwhile to patiently wait for the inevitable. Wyszomirski spoke to eurohandball.com ahead of the final group phase game against Hannover-Burgdorf.
eurohandball.com: It is a first time for Csurgo in the EHF Cup and you have a chance to qualify to the quarter-finals. Are you ready for the challenge?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Of course, appetite comes with eating. We all are happy in the club, because playing in the Group Phase of the EHF Cup is already our biggest achievement to date.
eurohandball.com: But the beginning was not easy. How did you recover?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Yes, we lost our first match against Leon by nine goals and everyone was down. But right after that we defeated Hannover by eight at home and then we realised we are able to achieve more than only the group phase.
Now, after revenge victory over Leon, we are going to Germany with big hopes, because in favourable circumstances we can even win the group.
eurohandball.com: How do you cope with large amount of matches to play?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Actually we’re not well prepared for the conquest in Europe, because we put on our strong first seven, which is exploited during the matches.
Unfortunately, during a match last week against Tatabánya in the Hungarian league play-offs, two of our first seven suffered injuries -. Akos Lele twisted his ankle and Kosta Savic has got something with his back.
We don’t know how serious the injuries are, but I hope both will play on Saturday, because without them our team is much weaker.
eurohandball.com: How was your success received by the local community?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Euphoria seized the town! It’s quite small (approx. 5,000 inhabitants – ed.) and it lives handball. When we won by eight goals against Hannover, who were fifth in the Bundesliga at the time, everyone was delighted. It gave us faith that we are able to defeat anyone.
eurohandball.com: But it didn’t look as colourful when you first came here, did it?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Actually I came to Csurgo, because I thought I would play in the EHF Cup, but Csurgo ended up in fourth place in the league and failed in the Hungarian Cup.
In my first season, we took third place in both contests; these were the club’s biggest achievements. Now that we’re playing in the EHF Cup and doing well, I am very happy that the events took such a course.
I had an offer from the German Bundesliga, which didn’t come off. There, I would probably sit on the bench, while I play whole matches here and it gives me a lot.
eurohandball.com: So are you not even considering moving there?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Well (sigh), it’s hard to say. I received some offers, but the change of club colours is always connected with a risk. I’ve got a headache with that, but I’m not going to think about it right now, because there are many important matches ahead of us.
My contract expires in the end of the season. I really don’t know what to do. Csurgo is playing so well now.
eurohandball.com: In great measure thanks to you.
Piotr Wyszomirski: To be honest, when I came here, something happened to me, I don’t even know how to call it. Probably it’s a matter of atmosphere. The boys welcomed me very well. I knew some of them, as they were born in 1988, so we played against each other in junior contests. Thanks to them, I play as I play and I don’t know if I’m able to leave them.
eurohandball.com: You all listen to the Polish fighting song (Funky Polak – “Pamiętaj/Remember” also popular during warm – ups of Polish national team – ed.) in the changing room, don’t you?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Yes, Szabi (Szabolcs Szöllősi – ed.) even recorded it on his mobile and played it to me before the last game against Szeged. He even mumbles something, but definitely not in Polish (laugh).
eurohandball.com: In Polish, however, the fans write banners in order to keep you in the town.
Piotr Wyszomirski: That’s right. Probably they use the Google Translate, as it’s completely ungrammatical (laugh). Recently they wrote “Miłość Wyszu, Pobyt w Csurgo” (“Love Wyszu, Stay in Csurgo”).
It’s something beautiful. When you see such a banner you get goose bumps.
eurohandball.com: Do the sponsors react in such optimistic way on your successes too?
Piotr Wyszomirski: You know, in Hungary sport gets large amounts of money. When we qualified to the group phase, we received such a financial boost, that there were thoughts about building a new hall, but actually the current one isn’t old. I heard that they will add 2,000 seats (now it is 1,000 – ed.) though.
Anyway, handball is very popular here. Our promotion to the group phase had a widespread impact as there is a chance for two Hungarian teams to fight in the quarter-finals.
I also heard that Hungarian sponsors who sign a contract with a club for ten years, receives tax reliefs.
eurohandball.com: You seem to enjoy your life in Csurgo.
Piotr Wyszomirski: It can’t be better. I don’t even want to come back to Poland! Of course, I will return there, because I was born there, I’ve got my family and friends there, but I like being here.
eurohandball.com: And eating here. Have you fallen in love with goulash yet?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Oh my, It’s delicious. I love spicy Hungarian cuisines. They have a seasoning Erős Pista, that I fell in love with too. I even put on weight a bit (laugh). But I don’t complain, because I perform well.
eurohandball.com: So will you be able to finally win away this weekend?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Actually we spoke about it after the game against Tatabánya. We talk about the EHF Cup very often in the changing room. We haven’t succeed in away matches yet. Against Leon it was a disaster and against Luigi it was a bit better, I hope this will be our best away match yet and we’ll win.
eurohandball.com: What are you going to play for your teammates before the game?
Piotr Wyszomirski: Only Funky Polak, then we’ll go out on the court and win.
TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / cor
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