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Preseason Brief #4: Hungary’s Országos Bajnokság 1 with Márton Vámos

Preseason Brief #4 with Márton Vámos

Official 2017 Budapest World Championship MVP Márton Vámos takes us into Hungary’s national water polo league – the Országos Bajnokság 1.

A few legs into the season, Ferencvárosi TC’s and Hungary’s hardest hitting left hander Márton Vámos finds time to share some insights into the Hungarian OB 1. It is one of the most competitive national leagues in the world, featuring many of the best players water polo has to offer – 3 clubs from the OB 1 will be participating in this season’s Champions League main round.

The league mode

The OB 1 consists of two groups featuring eight clubs. During the regular season, the teams play a round-robin stage within their respective groups, with home and away matches.

The top 4 placed clubs from both groups proceed to the playoff round, while the teams from the 2nd half from the 9-16 playoff group.

The top 4 teams face their four counterparts from the other group in another round of home and away matches. The resulting placement determines the four semi-final participants.

For the semi-final round, the teams bring their results from the regular season – to qualify for the final you need to collect 7 points.
For example: If X team win against Y team twice in regular season, X would only need to win one game, Y would need to win three.

The Finals are another playoff stage, 3 wins are required for the championship title.

Season 2017/2018 Participants

Márton Vámos, one of the game’s fiercest lefthanded shooters, talks about the league, the season and his expectations.

Márton, thank you for your time and for introducing the Hungary OB 1 to us. The season has already started – In your opinion, is the league stronger/more even than last season?

In my opinion, the Hungarian championship is getting stronger and stronger, year by year, because a lot of foreign players play here similar to the Italian league 10-15 years ago.

I think four teams are really strong: FTC, Szolnok, Eger, and OSC. These teams have the biggest chance to win the Championship or the Hungarian Cup.

You already mentioned some favorites for the season – can you explain why these clubs are so strong?

OSC Budapest signed a few new players: The center-forward (Ubovic) and center-back (Randjelovic) position and the two sides (Erdelyi, Toth). They stayed at least as strong as last year.

Most of the players stayed in ZF Eger, this year they won’t have a left-hander, but Vlachopoulus has arrived and he plays almost like a lefty.

The Szolnok team’s backbone remains unchanged (Viktor Nagy, Aaron Younger, Milan Aleksic, Gabor Kis). Denes Varga and I signed to Ferencvarosi TC and Ugo Crousillat went back to France.  But Batori, Zalanki and Milos Cuk came to replace us, so they remained the same level, I think.

Ferencvaros strengthened the most, compared to the previous year. My new club signed seven new players. A lot of Olympic and world champions signed for FTC, including Serbian Slobodan Nikic and Nikola Jaksic.

Waterpolo is very popular in Hungary. What are the main venues with great supporters? Which venue is the most challenging for guest teams?

ZF Eger’s pool is beautiful and has a unique atmosphere with a great home crowd, it’s very challenging and a good feeling to win there.

I don’t know how to play against Szolnok in Szolnok, as I was wearing the home cap in the last years, but our opponents always found it hard to play there. 🙂
Ferencvaros has also an uncomfortable venue for the opponents especially if the fans are creating a good vibe that pushes us forward – can’t wait to experience that!

You already mentioned FTC’s new roster for this season. Who does it feature and what are FTC’s goals for this season?

Our roster (by cap numbers) for this season is:

1. GÁRDONYI András
3. MADARAS Norbert
4. MANHERCZ Krisztián
5. VÁMOS Márton
6. SZIRÁNYI Balázs
7. Slobodan NIKIC
8. Nikola JAKSIC
9. VARGA Dániel
10. VARGA Dénes
11. JANSIK Szilárd
12. Stefan MITROVIC
13.POHL Zoltán
13. NÉMET Toni Josef
14. VOGEL Soma
15.GÁL Dávid

Our goal this season is to defend Ferencvaros’ title in the Eurocup, as well as to play the finals in our Championship and Cup. But once we are there we would definitely want to win it, too :).

Although you are quite young (25), you have already been named as the official MVP of 2017 World Championships in Budapest. What is your motivation to train every day? What part of the game do you wish to further improve?

Yes, but it is no big strain on me. After the World Championships, when I heard I was elected MVP, I stated in every interview: It’s a fantastic thing and a very big honor, but if someone asked me to exchange it for the World Championship title, I would do so without any hesitation!

In my collection, I miss two very important titles. I think the most important would be the Olympic championship because I dreamt of this since I was ten years old when I started playing water polo.The other is the Europen Championship, which is almost on the same level. This remains my motivation, to collect these titles.

From your experience, which player is the hardest to defend?

I can name two players with different styles. From my point of view, the hardest players to defend (based on my position) are Denes Varga and Aleksandar Ivovic. Denes is very hard to defend because of his movement, how he passes the ball to the CF without a foul and his drives. In this, he is the best in the world. Aleksandar Ivovic is very strong – it’s very hard to stop him if he wants to take the foul at the 5 meters to take a shot.

Make sure to check out and follow Márton on his facebook page, as he is always posting his best goals for us to enjoy and rewatch – and you can be sure, he will not stop scoring anytime soon!

Preseason Briefs

Hungary is one of water polo’s bastions and we are looking forward to seeing what their national league and their clubs have in store for water polo fans around the world – stay tuned for another Preaseason Brief coming soon!
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