Hungary women’s captain Rita Keszthelyi has said that she and her teammates are somewhat culpable for the recent dismissal of Attila Biro.
Speaking with Magyar Nemzet, Keszthelyi revealed her belief in collective responsibility, stating, “the team is also responsible for what happened.”
Addressing Biro’s departure directly, Keszthelyi expressed her empathy. “I’m very sorry for our coaching staff, because we worked together a lot,” she empathised. Reflecting on their achievements, she added, “Between 2017 and 2021 we built a new team with which we won an Olympic bronze medal, which is a huge success and forever connects us with the coaching staff.”
Reflecting on recent performances from the Hungarian women’s national team, Keszthelyi didn’t shy away from addressing the challenges the team has faced. “Compared to the previous year, the silver at the World Championship, this was not what we expected from ourselves, so the sixth place was a disappointment,” Keszthelyi admitted.
While Keszthelyi herself is no stranger to finding the back of the net, but Keszthelyi suggests the defensive work was perhaps Hungary’s biggest problems, particularly in the big match-ups. “Already during the preparatory matches and in the spring, in the World League, we scored a lot of goals in every match, and we did not manage to improve on this in the summer either. I think that’s what caused us to lose. Because of the new rules, more goals are being scored and it seemed that we had not found the solution to how our defensive game could work better.”
The big priority, whoever Hungary chooses to appoint to succeed Biro, is that they qualify for next year’s Paris Olympic Games. Looking ahead, Keszthelyi’s determination remained unwavering. “We want to finish well ahead of the sixth place achieved at the World Cup,” she affirmed. “At the first two world competitions, the European Championship and the World Championship, the most important objective would be to get a quota for the Paris Olympics.”
“We won’t have much time to get used to the new coach, so it could go either way. But regardless of who the coach is, there must be an expectation of ourselves that we will – one way or another – get the quota.”
31-year-old Keszthelyi, who will spend another season playing for Spanish side CN Mataro, is likely to retain the captaincy of the national team, whoever Biro’s successor may be.