The second part of Hungarian water polo championship is now over and this is a good time to stop for the moment and look back on what you have done. And for head coach of Eger water polo club Norbert Dabrowski, there are a lot of good things to be proud about so far in the season.
Not just winning the first place for the playoffs, but also there was a lot of satisfaction when it comes to the Champions league, that “holy grail” of European club water polo. We spoke to him about those, but also about some other topics that are interesting in at this moment.
“Now it is time for the playoffs to begin. Of course, if we win the title in the Hungarian champions then I can say that I am satisfied”, Dabrowski told Waterpology.com.
As for the Champions league, Eger won against Partizan Belgrade earlier this week and secured a spot at the Final six. But, that is something fans at this city are getting used.
“This season we qualified for the final tournament and it was the third year in a row. It is a proof that we have continuity! But, this season we want to make our dreams true”, said Dabrowski.
And, when we talk about dreams, all five other participants of the final tournament will try to accomplish them. At this moment, there is only one remaining ticket for Final six, and it will be decided in the last round of group stage. It will be either Italian Brescia or another Hungarian club, OSC from Budapest.
“The Final six tournament is totally different and separate story from the regular season. Everything can happen!”, head coach of Eger water polo club told us.
His team will play a quarterfinal match at Final six but still doesn’t know the name of next rival. Besides Eger, Szolnoki, Pro Recco, Jug and Olympiakos qualified. Also, Pro Recco and Szolnoki already have their places in the semifinals as they won top spots in the group stage.
As last year, Budapest will again host this final tournament in the Champions League. But, Dabrowski doesn’t think that playing in the Hungarian capital will be some kind of a big plus for his team.
“I do not think playing in Budapest would be an advantage for us. Remember, it was not an advantage last year! Our home court is Eger”, he said clearly.
Last season Eger lost a quarterfinal match in Budapest against Jug and Croatian team later became a European champion.
BIG MONEY CHANGED EVERYTHING IN HUNGARY
And we come back to Hungarian championship. This season we saw some changes in the system of the competition. There’s been some talk about it if it’s going to make this competition more interesting. Dabrowski raises both of his hands in favor of it.
“It is absolutely great! As we saw it was much more interesting in the regular season. Every game was really great was useful and enjoyable to watch.”
It is no secret that Eger and Szolnoki are the two main candidates for the champions title. They fought a great battle for the first place in the regular season too. It seems that everyone thinks that these two teams will play in the final of the playoffs. But, Dabrowski is cautious.
“Of course, everyone is waiting for the two teams in the finals. But, Ferencvaros and OSC also have something to say in the semi-finals.”
We recently spoke to Andrija Prlainovic from Szolnoki and he tried to explain how and why Hungarian league became the best in the world. Dabrowski offers a quite simple explanation.
“As always, the main reason is money! Now the Hungarian championship has rich clubs. And the clubs have a lot of good players. Many players come from abroad, there are 16 first-class teams that need quality players. Among other, Andrija is the one! I’m glad he’s here, he is one of my favorite players. Players like him really increase the quality of the Hungarian championship”, said Eger head coach.
And last, but not the least important, we have a World championship coming this summer, also in Budapest. Is it possible for Hungary to stop the domination of Serbian national team which started in the same city three years ago?
“In the World championships, more teams have a chance to succeed. Also, after las year Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, all teams begin with a new four year cycles. A cannot say who is going to win, but of course, I’m going to support the Hungarian national team”, concluded Dabrowski.