Who else but Hungary were ever going to win the U17 European Championships in Manisa?
In the aftermath of the U17 title achieved by Hungary’s women’s team, their coach has made an interesting prophecy.
For some, the nature of the victory was a surprise, but the architect behind this success, Coach Josef Silke, was always confident that the future of the Hungarian women’s national team rests with the players who dominated in this 2006 age group. “Yes, as I was almost certain they would be able to do it” Silke told the Hungarian Federation after the European triumph. The final match, a hard-fought battle against Spain, saw the Hungarian team secure a triumphant three-goal victory. But in truth, the Hungarians were a class ahead of the rest.
The win in Manisa completed a trio of victories for this age-group: winning the U15 European Championships in 2021, the U16 World Championships in 2022 and now the U17 European Championships.
The most interesting comments made by Silke were a bold prophecy, predicting that this age-group is a new golden generation for Hungary, “At the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, a significant part of this team will form the backbone of the Hungarian women’s national team,” he confidently stated. “I can confidently say that they will play for the brightest medal at that Olympics, they have every chance to do so” he added.
The Eger boss might well be correct: two of the squad are already well integrated in the senior team, with Kata Hajdu playing at the World Championships in Fukuoka, and Tiba Panna was also part of the squad at the age of 17. Goalkeeper Luca Torma Hungary’s third choice keeper. Nearly all of the others in the star-studded squad are leading lights in their respective OB I teams.
Coach Silke’s words resonate with pride and a sense of responsibility, as he sees beyond the triumph and envisions a legacy being forged. “When they meet in thirty years, it is not certain that the coach uncle will be alive, but any of them will be asked who was the coach of this successful team in the past, they will still remember me,” he mused, highlighting the lasting impact of the achievements of the past two year.
As the Hungary U17 women’s water polo team basks in the glory of their European Championship triumph, it stands testament to the work of countless clubs and coaches across Hungary. While only time will tell the fate of this generation of players, one thing is sure: this achievement heralds a promising era for Hungarian women’s water polo and sets the stage for future successes on the international stage.
Hungary’s new ‘Golden Generation’?
U17 European Championship Gold Medalists.
Luca Berczki (BVSC-Zuglo), Anna Eikel (Polo SC), Emma Gulyas-Oldal (FTC-Telekom), Kata Hajdu (UVSE), Zsofi Horvath (Szentes) , Dominika Kardos (DFVE), Laura Kardos (DFVE), Patricia Kiss) (Third District), Natasa Lendvai (Szeged), Zoe Lendvay (UVSE) , Lili Soti (Tatabanya), Panna Tiba (UVSE), Luca Torma (ZF Eger), Eszter Varro (UVSE), Helga Zantleitner (Tatabanya)