Moving to Györ, "a dream came true" for Pintea
INTERVIEW: The Romanian line player had a breakthrough year in 2018 and grabbed the attention of many teams - but Györ were fastest and signed her in December. Now, Pintea is hungry for trophies
Moving to Györ, “a dream came true” for Pintea
At 28, Crina Pintea is daydreaming. A superb year, which she ended on a high, being selected in the EHF EURO 2018 All-Star Team, brought her a dream transfer from Paris 92 to Györi Audi ETO KC, the current title holders of the Women’s EHF Champions League.
There was no time to rest for Pintea. Györ played six domestic league matches in the first 18 days of 2019. Pintea made the difference right away by scoring eight times in Györ’s 39:33 win over league rivals FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, who will also be opponents in the main round of the Champions League.
After previously playing in Europe’s top flight with Thüringer HC, the Romanian stalwart will make her Champions League debut for her new team in a special game: against CSM Bucuresti, on Saturday at 19:30 CET (live on ehfTV.com). CSM had also wanted to bring Pintea back to Romania in the past months.
ehfCL.com: It’s like everything was perfect for you in the past months…
Crina Pintea: I have a big smile on my face and I think what you said is true. I put a lot of hard work to get here and it looks like it really pays off. I am living the dream and everything really is perfect right now, from all standpoints.
ehfCL.com: How have you adapted in Györ, was it difficult?
Crina Pintea: Not that hard. The team is professional, all the girls helped me settle and it all looks good until now. It is a huge club, I have always wanted to be part of such a team and we all are focused on the task at hand and achieving our objectives. And I think we can do it once again, we are properly motivated.
ehfCL.com: How is it for you to play in this team, with a lot of stars?
Crina Pintea: It is definitely harder than any club I have previously played for, because everything is bigger here and we want to win everything. Therefore, every misstep will be dangerous for us. We want to keep winning and do our best. Our attack is superb, but we still must work better in the defence. We need to improve a little and everything will be perfect.
ehfCL.com: You had an amazing start to your tenure in Györ, do you feel confident now?
Crina Pintea: I need to feel confident to be on my top form. I have seen that the team played well and I was congratulated by many for what I did on the court and this can only make me happy and confident.
ehfCL.com: Are Györ the top favourites for winning the Women’s EHF Champions League again?
Crina Pintea: Right now, I would not say so. There is still so much to play for. Everything can change with an injury or with a team not being in top form. There are eight more games until the FINAL 4 in Budapest, but I think we are there: on the top, with other teams close. I think everything is wide open.
ehfCL.com: You will make your debut in the Women’s EHF Champions League against CSM Bucuresti, the Romanian champions. Is it a special game for you?
Crina Pintea: Of course, it is a special game, I know many of the girls there and it will be interesting to play against them. Surely, I think we are the favourites, because if we play like we have done until now, we can win any game.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ew