“I am curious how it will turn out”

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“I am curious how it will turn out”

March 4, 2023

By Sascha Staat


Poland put on a rock-solid performance and beat Hungary 31-29, on Saturday at the SNP arena in Heidelberg.  The game was part of the 3-nations tournament, which also includes host Germany.

After the match, Poland’s right-back, Monika Kobylinska, was quite satisfied, but she is fully aware that the Polish team has lost some important players in the past few months. She also looks ahead and talks about the challenges her club team in Brest will face.

Congratulations to the win against Hungary, today. I think it was a very solid performance from your
team. What do you think?

MK:  Yes, thank you. I am very proud of my team, but in the first half our defense was not the
best.  During the break we spoke about it and we did much better after the break. We also had some
really good moments in the match.  Now, we have to learn from it and play better against Germany.

You started with a 5-1 defense. Unusual for Poland compared to the 2022 European championship where
you basically used a 6-0 defense all the time. How did you like it? You just said that your
defense didn’t work too well at the beginning.

MK: Yes, we conceded 17 goals in the first half. But, I wouldn’t say that our 5-1 defense was a bad
idea, because in the second half we also stole some balls.  Still, it’s somewhat new for us. We practiced it the whole week long and it’s good to see that it can work out.

Actually, your team is in a transition phase as players like Kinga Achruk retired from the national
squad. How do you rate the development of your team compared to the EHF Euro in November 2022, where
you were eliminated in a bittersweet way?

MK: Yes, we are in the middle of a change and that’s why I think this victory was really important for us.
Some of the more experienced players retired and we need to adapt to it. It’s encouraging to see that some younger players
are stepping up and enjoyed a good game.

As you pointed out, it was really, really tough how we exited the European championship, but this is the past.  Now, we look forward and soon we have to compete in the playoffs for the World championship. I hope we can qualify and gain more experience, especially the younger players.

What do you expect from the game against Germany, on Sunday?

MK: I think it will be a really tough game.  Germany has a lot of good players and a very aggressive defense. I know that we’ll have to play even better than we did today.  Actually, I am curious how it will turn out.  Now, we have to take some time to relax so we will be ready and full of energy tomorrow.

Let’s talk about your club team in Brest for a moment. Right now, you have to deal with a lot of injuries, a very tough situation and soon you’ll play the Coupe de France semi-final match against Metz.  A game you’ll enter as the underdog as Metz is playing an outstanding season, thus far.  What’s on your mind when you assess the overall situation?

MK:  Well, it will be my last months in Brest, so I really want to finish in the best possible way. But, we do have
many problems as you point out and it’s not easy.  Still, we shouldn’t use it as an excuse.  Other players will
get the chance to step up and take on more responsibility.

Yes – Metz is playing really well, so it will be difficult.  Yet, all games are different and I think the last time we played Metz, it was us who let them win.  We just have to avoid to make the same mistakes.

What do you think about your chances against Esbjerg in the Champions League?

MK: I think they are a very good team and they are the favorites, for sure. Actually, we should focus on the
first game at home, because anything can happen in the second leg match. Esbjerg are very consistent and
they have several great scorers, like Henny Reistad.

Maybe we can also use more speed to surprise them in some way. For sure, we need something extra against them and we have to play at 100 percent just to have a chance. At this moment, I think it will be tough to succeed against them.

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