Martínkova: “People in Most are crazy about handball”Article
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DHK Baník Most top scorer speaks about the great season so far and how a win in the Challenge Cup Final would be a perfect way to cap it off
»2012-13 Women's News

Martínkova: “People in Most are crazy about handball”

Hana Martinkova, left back and top scorer of DHK Baník Most, speaks to about the first leg of the Women’s Challenge Cup Final against Samobor a well as about the “hot  atmosphere” that awaits the Croatians on Sunday, 12 May in Most and that should help DHK Baník Most complete the golden hat trick this season. On Sunday, you played first final match in Croatia against Samobor, what are your feelings after the four goal defeat?

Hana Martinkova: We lost the match; therefore we can not be happy with the result. However, we lost only by four goals, and that gives us hope ahead of the return leg in Most.

We had ups and downs and we need to avoid that on Sunday. We have been in similar situation a few times this season in the Challenge Cup and I believe we can handle it.

Concentration during the whole match is vital. Our coach will set the tactics, which we have to transform onto the court. This way we can be successful. The first half was not ideal from Most, but it seemed that after the break, you found a way to handle Samobor. What was the turning point in the game?

Hana Martinkova: Our defence was not working well in the beginning of the match and we were not sharp enough in front of their goal.

Twenty goals, that is not good enough for our standards, but I believe it will be different in Most. We play at home; we must be dominant in the game and put lot of pressure on Samobor. We must show our strength. Now is the time! What is the main difference between Most and Samobor?

Hana Martinkova: They played with 11 players, so we were in advantage in the second half, when they started to have problems in one versus one situations.

We were better as the game advanced, physically we are in better shape and that is something we must built on. We used more players, we rotate the whole bench, this gives us space to play at a high pace. How is the preparation going before the return leg in Most?

Hana Martinkova: We took a good rest after the first difficult match in Croatia. We had a long way back home and good regeneration is key to the hard work in training. Now we are back working full steam and training to be prepared for different scenarios that can happen on Sunday. The arena in Most is sold out. The match will be televised and will go live on radio. Samobor will also have their supporters in the stands. What affect will the atmosphere have on players?

Hana Martinkova: The whole team really looks forward to the match in Most. The arena was completely sold out in few hours; it is a pity we do not have a bigger hall to play in. However, I do not want to talk about any pressure. We are all very happy that handball will finally be in the spotlight in the Czech Republic.

People live our handball story in Most and it is a great feeling. About the media - the more we get handball in the media in our country the better, young talented players can see the match on television and I am sure, it will motivate them to work even harder. What will be the key to success on Sunday?

Hana Martinkova: We have to improve in defence, but at the same time be more effective up front. If they play one to one defence, we must find a way to past them and score more goals than in Croatia. 20 goals is not good enough. Most can get into the “hall of fame” of Czech handball with three trophies in one year and the first Czech handball team to win a European trophy since 1984.

Hana Martinkova: This season is a dream, a beautiful dream. I am so happy that I have stayed here in Most and I am part of the great team.

Winning two competitions already gives us boost ahead of the Challenge Cup final. We can achieve something extraordinary, something to remember for years. It is already the most successful season for Most in their handball history. What is the secret receipt of Most that brings success the whole season and can bring the golden hat trick to Most?

Hana Martinkova: From the beginning of the season we work very hard. The chemistry of the team worked really well. We’ve got great players in the team.

The coaching staff led by Dušan Poloz and Jiří Hanus have built a very strong team. Our spirit is tremendous, both on and off the court. We enjoy playing handball, we have a lot of fun. With 62 goals, you are the top scorer of the EHF Challenge Cup. Which goals were most important on the way to the final?

Hana Martinkova: I don’t really follow the stats. Handball is a collective sport and we play it to win trophies together as a team. If I can help girls with my goals –I am more than happy. I am there to score goals. All the goals were important. Our way to the final was not easy, but we have overcome tough challenges and this gives us confidence. We have last final step to make. You measure almost 190cm, does your height gives you advantage in scoring goals?

Hana Martinkova: My height is definitely an advantage in handball. Now, being more experienced, I can use it even more to score goals.

When I was young, I was not as tall; I did not really stand out. At the age of 17 my coach Jiří Hanus, assistant coach nowadays here in Most, taught me a lot and he showed me the way I need to go to be successful. Thanks to great performances for DHK Baník Most, you earned a regular place in the Czech national handball team. How do you see your future in a few years time?

Hana Martinkova: I have extended my contract with Most and I am happy to stay here. I do not want to talk about my future career now, because I am really living a sweet handball dream this season.

Conditions in Most for the players are excellent, coaches are top class, teammates are absolutely amazing and most importantly we perform well on the court.

Our results speak for themselves. At the moment I am not thinking about anything else, only Sunday’s cup final. I am more than happy to help Most build a strong competitive European side in years to come.

TEXT: Tomáš Čunčík / cor