Like father, like sons: meet the Dujshebaev familyArticle
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FEATURE: The number of Dujshebaev family members at PGE Vive Kielce has risen to three with the arrival of Daniel, joining brother Alex and father Talant at the Polish side this season

Like father, like sons: meet the Dujshebaev family

Pursuing a career as professional athlete often means being miles away from family. You leave your home early, take a risk and travel somewhere chasing your dream and passion.

The Dujshebaev family, however, is extremely lucky to live together. The head of the family is one of the great names in the history of handball. And his sons follow him with their incredible talent, from the genes of their dad and mom, who used to be a handball goalkeeper.

Initial squad problems at PGE VIVE Kielce led to the drafting in of the second son, Daniel, who joined his father Talant, big brother Alex and his mom Olga in the Polish town, home to one of the best clubs in Europe, the VELUX EHF Champions League winners in 2016.

“I am very proud and happy to have both my sons with me here,” says Talant Dujshebaev, who is the Kielce head coach.

Some people could call it nepotism. But whoever thought so, will bite his tongue after watching the men in action. Right back Alex was already an important cog in Kielce’s handball force last season and what he has been doing since September impresses everyone with even a little knowledge about this sport. He was voted EHF Player of the Month September for his stunning shape, shooting efficiency and intelligence on court.

Centre back Daniel has only just arrived in Kielce from Celje, missing the whole preparation period and even the first matches. Still, 'Dani' seems to play like he spent training with the team for a year. “He received so much new information at once and he mastered it so quickly,” Kielce right back Krzysztof Lijewski praised his new teammate after his first match in the league.

The family is happy to be together in Kielce and the alliance doesn’t disturb the daily life of the team. “When you look at your sons as the father, it is difficult. But when you perceive the situation as coach, it is much easier,” says Talant. “Alex is currently one of the best players in the world, really. He is not here because he is my son. Daniel is in a bit different situation, he is still very young and he still has a lot to learn, but when he works hard, he can achieve everything.”

How does it look like from the sons’ perspective? “When we were younger, starting handball trainings, it was difficult because everyone was looking at us, expecting a lot,” says Alex, “But now it is different. People see us not only as sons of their father but also as players.”

Daniel acknowledges that for him “it was easier, because I always had the example of Alex. When I was getting through something, I always could ask him, because he had already experienced that.”

The beautiful thing is that it is hard to say who is more proud of whom: the father of his sons, or the sons of their father.

“Our dad always wants the players to give something more than 100 percent at the matches and he also supports the players, giving them extra motivation,” says Alex.

Well, each of us needs a hero. Somebody we can follow, somebody we will be inspired by and motivated to our own actions. Quite often we are looking for such people far away and it is a huge privilege to have them right by our side.

TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / ew