Women’s football in 2015: determined steps forward
The Hungarian Football Federation paid serious attention to the development of women’s football in the last years. In 2015 the women’s national teams received all possible help in their quest for success, and – primarily in youth football – results have proved that sooner or later the energy invested will pay off.
The senior national team began the year with the Istria Cup, and although they were unsuccessful in defending their 2014 title, the week spent in Croatia was beneficial. MLSZ TV asked a few of the squad members about what it is like being a female footballer in Hungary.
The team went undefeated at the Balaton Cup in August, albeit only finishing third after drawing with Slovakia and beating Belarus. Anita Pádár bade farewell to the national team at the tournament, having amassed a record 125 caps. With the most goals for the national team she is the most successful women’s footballer of all time in Hungary.
The team began its European Championship qualification group with a heavy defeat away to a strong Germany side before recording a potentially vital victory over Turkey at the Groupama Aréna. Following a draw against Croatia the team was beaten by Russia, thus, overall, the team cannot be said to have achieved great success in the campaign so far, albeit Edina Markó’s side have recorded results in line with its world ranking.
The U17 team played in the elite qualification round of the European Championships in the spring, recording a point in the mini tournament in Ireland, moreover, against the hosts, who progressed from the group unbeaten. The national youth teams showed their mettle in the autumn, Dorottya Schumi’s U17 side and Sándor Turtóczki’s U19 team both progressing to this spring’s elite round, the first time in many years that both youth teams have reached the second qualification round in the same year.
Meanwhile, on 1st April the Hungarian Football Federation held a women’s football day at Telki on the 30th anniversary of the national women’s team’s first international match, at the same time celebrating the members of the 1985 team. Background work in women’s football is going ahead at full steam; in late summer the MLSZ appointed András Dénes as the new Director of Women’s Football, and in November, the coaching staff of the national team and representatives of the women’s championship clubs participated in a high-level technical conference which will hopefully become a traditional event.
Following on from Jet-Sol, sponsors of the women’s championship, and MOL, sponsors of the 2015 Women’s Cup final, yet another internationally renowned company has undertaken to support women’s football: since last autumn Förch Kft has been the new sponsor of the Women’s Hungarian Cup.