The Hungarian Football Academy, which was established in 2007 continues to develop talented players. The first wave of young players has reached the 100 game milestone, but the second wave is not far behind. Leading the pack is Gergő Nagy, who played in his 111th league match in Honvéd’s colors. We discussed many issues, including club loyalty.
You became the first graduate of the academy that reached the 100 game milestone. Besides you Botond Baráth reached the 100 match milestone and Holender is getting close. You made your first division debut on November 26, 2010. How do you remember that day?
A couple of weeks before then, our coach Massimo Morales was let go, but we still had a couple of matches remaining of the spring season. Laci Szalai took over coaching duties on a temporary basis. During those last weeks, several young players were afforded the opportunity to be with the first team. I was on the bench during the first week against Siófok and the following week we were playing Vasas. Ricsi Czár was the second academy player to get on the field at halftime (Vólent was the first). I got my chance with 10 minutes remaining. My debut was very exciting, since this was reason I came to the academy in Kispest, to become a first division player. I was very happy that I was able to accomplish this at the age of 17.
The match ended in a 0-0 draw and as far as I remember it was a pretty uneventful game. Close to the end Norbi Hajdú’s shot barely missed the goal, so we almost came away with a win.
What were your dreams and did any of them come true?
O boy!!! Every kid’s dream is to play for a great team in a top level league abroad. I had the same dreams, but first I wanted to prove myself in the domestic league, before heading abroad and have a great career. I believe that playing in 111 matches by age 23 is a pretty good accomplishment, not to mention that I was out for a year with injuries. I’m not giving up on signing with a team abroad. I have a couple of big dreams. The first is to be selected to the national team and listening to the national anthem while standing on the field. My second dream is to play in the Champion’s League.
For example, in the Final?
I’ll be satisfied with less – he said laughing.
A few weeks ago during fanfest, I asked you about club loyalty. We discussed that club loyalty is not what it used to be 30-40 years ago.
This is a difficult thing. In today’s world, club loyalty is different than in the past. As I said then, I can see myself in Honvéd’s colors for quite a while. There are no other teams in Hungary that I would go to. I received so much love and help from Honvéd during the past 10 years that I feel this is my family. This is what I want to reciprocate. Every player dreams of a great career abroad and if I get an offer that would be beneficial to all parties, then I would accept it. Of course there are instances where club loyalty is beyond the player’s control.
A team’s performance is greatly influenced by the mood in the locker room. How are you all getting along?
Since I came up to the first team 6 years ago, I find the current locker room to be the best overall, including the players, coaches, trainers. We all understand what logo covers our hearts and what Bp. Honvéd means to all of us. The locker room is covered with the pictures of our legendary players such as Uncle Öcsi Puskás and Cucu Bozsik. When Marco Rossi arrived at Kispest and things didn’t always go our way, he pointed to all the pictures in our locker room reminding us who we’re playing for. He hasn’t brought any of this up this year, and he doesn’t have to since we all understand that regardless of what part of the world one travels to, everyone knows that the name Puskás is synonymous with Hungary and Bp. Honvéd.
So what do you think Honvéd is capable of by the end of the season?
Our goal every year is to find ourselves in a position to play in one of the European cups, either based on our standing in the league table, or based on the results of the Hungarian Cup. This is the case now. We are in a pretty good position right now, since we’re only one point behind third place, three points behind second place and the table leading Vasas is in our crosshair even though we haven’t had too much success against them as we only have one draw against them in three matches. Anything can happen. I think we’re on the right track, we signed a player like Lanzafame who is taking the club in the right direction both on the field and in the locker room. We hope to be successful on both fronts, so that we would be eligible for the different European cups either through the results in the league championship or the Hungarian Cup.
Let’s hope this will happen!
It will! He said with confidence.
Gergő Nagy’s second goal during the Honvéd – Békéscsaba (3-2) match.
1995.11.29., Bozsik Stadium Source: MLSZ TV