Sander Sagosen and Anna Vyakhireva take best player awardsArticle
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NEWS REPORT: In a busy month for European handball, PSG’s Sagosen and Rostov-Don’s Vyakhireva stood out, and they have now been named EHF Players of the Month for October
»2018-19 Men's News

Sander Sagosen and Anna Vyakhireva take best player awards

The stars of European handball had plenty opportunities to shine in October, as both EHF Champions League competitions were in full flow and the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers threw off.

While many players impressed, the EHF Players of the Month awards for October have been awarded to Sander Sagosen and Anna Vyakhireva by a panel of experts summoned by the European Handball Federation.

Sagosen: “It rewards the efforts the team and I put in every day”

The Paris Saint-Germain player might have only scored seven goals across the two VELUX EHF Champions League games he played in October, but Sander Sagosen is proving to be decisive in a time where the team’s standout, Nikola Karabatic, has been out after foot surgery.

At 23 and for his second year in Paris, the Norwegian player is definitely rising up to his best level.

“I am really happy to be elected player of the month. It rewards all the efforts the team and I put in every day at practice and during games. It also shows that we are on the right track,” Sagosen says.

“Playing the VELUX EHF Champions League for me is a dream that came true. I love the challenges it gives us every weekend against the best teams and players all around Europe,” he adds.

Sagosen, who netted six times in last weekend’s top clash with MOL-Pick Szeged, received the award for a third time, after being chosen twice in 2017.

EHF Player of the Month - October 2018: Male

1. Sander Sagosen (NOR) - Paris Saint-Germain HB
2. Johan Hansen (DEN) - Bjerringbro-Silkeborg
3. Alex Dujshebaev (ESP) - PGE Vive Kielce
4. Uwe Gensheimer (GER) - Paris Saint-Germain HB
5. Roland Mikler (HUN) - Telekom Veszprém HC

Vyakhireva: “Team performance is more important than individual awards”

Rostov-Don have been doing well in the Women’s EHF Champions League, as the Russian side top Group B and have already booked their ticket to the main round.

As usual, Anna Vyakhireva has been a key figure of the team, scoring 25 goals in three October games. After adding seven more against Kobenhavn last weekend, the 23-year-old is currently in second place on the competition’s top scorers’ list with 32 goals.

It is the second time in 2018, after June, that Vyakhireva has been elected EHF Player of the Month.

“Now if feels different, because in June we only had a couple of national team games,” she says. “Anyway, it’s pleasant to be honoured like this, although team performance is more important for me than individual awards.”

Even after picking up the award twice in a few months’ time, Vyakhireva believes she can still improve.

“I don’t know what should happen to make me fully satisfied with my game. There are always things to improve, and I prefer not to stop where I am,” she says. “However, the team has been doing really well in the Champions League, as we have already progressed to the main round.”

According to Vyakhireva, Rostov’s success comes down to hard work.

“And I feel that the team improves with every game,” she says. “The immediate goal is to win two remaining matches in the group, and then we will see.”

EHF Player of the Month - October 2018: Female

1. Anna Vyakhireva (RUS) - Rostov-Don
2. Aniko Kovacsics (HUN) - FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria
3. Cristina Neagu (ROU) - CSM Bucuresti
4. Eduarda Amorim Taleska (BRA) - Györi Audi ETO KC
5. Ana Gros (SLO) - Brest Bretagne Handball

TEXT: Kevin Domas, Sergey Nikolaev / ew