Kamila Kántor: “In France handball is almost all about the spectacular attacks and goals.”

Kamilla Kántor, 24 years old goalkeeper from Hungary currently playing in second French league where she is under contract until summer 2017/2018 with team Entente Noisy Le Grand/Gagny.

Do you want to know something about her career, her experiences from both handball countries? Read on…

  1. Hello Kamilla, you are 24 years old and are already playing in a foreign league. What led to your contract and why did you decide to go to France?

Back in Hungary I used to play for a small-town 2nd league team and then for FTC’s junior team. I decided to continue my career in a foreign country when I was 19 years old, right after high school graduation. I chose France because the language was related to my study plans: I wanted to become a translator in French, English and Hungarian, mostly for sporting events. Now after 5 years in France, I obtained a Master’s Degree in Sports Management and in the same time I built my career in handball. I already had the opportunity to work as a translator for events organized by the French Handball Federation, where I had the honor to work with Mats Olson for example. My diploma will serve me after my sporting career, however first I prefer being considered as a player rather than as a manager. My current team is near Paris. Unfortunately the club doesn’t have enough money yet to be able to access in first league, but our results are very positive. (For example, last year we finished on the 2nd place, but we had to stay in 2nd league, while the 1st and the 3rd of the championship went up to 1st league.)

  1. France and Hungary are both countries with high quality handball leagues and their national teams are among the world’s elite. How would you compare handball in these two countries with regards to facilities, style of play and popularity?

First, I was pretty surprised by the difference in the style of the game. In France handball is almost all about the spectacular attacks and goals, while I have the impression that in Hungary we accord more importance to a good and solid defense. Also, in France the teams “run through” the whole game, while in Hungary teams have tendency to “build the attack up” from 0 to the goal. The two styles are different but both very enjoyable and spectacular. Regarding facilities, I think that Hungary made a lot of progress during these past few years, thanks to the new kind of financial support coming from private companies. The number of spectators is obviously more elevated in France, since the country is much bigger, but I think the people of Hungary love handball as much as the French. According to EHF, the Hungarian women’s championship is the best in Europe, while Hungarian men’s championship is on the 3rd place. I think that this is a very encouraging ranking for such a small country.

  1. You are young and at the beginning of your sports carrier. What are your plans and ambitions? What kind of opportunity would be interesting you? Do you have a preferred country, league or team, where you would like to play?

My main ambition is of course to reach my maximum and to play on the highest level possible. I gave enough time for my studies and now I want to concentrate on handball as much as possible. One of my big dreams is to play again for FTC, but this time in the senior team. But I still have plenty to learn before that happens. J We are 3 games into this season. I give my best at every training and every game, and I will see at the end of the season where to continue. I try not to put any extra pressure on myself about the future, but concentrate on the present and give as much as I can to my team. I don’t really have a preference regarding the country, for I have a real passion for discovering new languages and cultures.

  1. These days a lot of clubs trying to find ways how to bring children to handball. Senior handball players can have an important role in this issue. What do you think about bringing senior players into clubs’ youth programs?  Do you or would you like to take part in working with the youth?  

That’s a really interesting question. I actually wrote my master’s thesis about youth programs in handball. I believe that these programs allow senior players to try themselves out in coaching. Numerous professional players become coaches after their sporting career, and such a first experience would be perfect to discover whether the player has the patience and the sense of education. Plus, children often consider senior players as “heroes” and are much more motivated to practice with the presence of a player that they admire. For me, I have often participated to different events for children. Even though it can be pretty tiring, I enjoyed sharing my knowledge with youngsters. I fancy working with goalkeepers the most, of course.

  1. When searching for a new contract, players usually consider different factors (coach, club’s level, country, financial security). What are the most important factors for you when choosing your next engagement?

For me, the coach and the club go hand in hand. If a player decides to trust a club, that means trusting the coach too. In my opinion, the level is always the most important factor. I’ve been playing handball for almost 17 years, but I only played in 4 clubs. Every time I decided to move forward, the main motive of my decision was to jump into a new challenge. We must never stop trying to improve ourselves, not only in sports but in every part of our lives.

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