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29/01/2020 14:00
Anna Czakan - From quick mopper to captain of LP SALO
CEV Champions League Volley 2020 - Women

Salo, Finland, January 29, 2020. Young Anna Czakan was checking world stars five years ago from the corner of the court as LP SALO featured in the elite CEV Champions League for the last time. At that time, she had towels in her hands and she would be sweeping the sweats of top stars from the court looking admiringly to them as they played in her hometown of Salo, Finland.

Today she is playing there with the best female players in the world, trying to stop the likes of Tijana Boskovic, Kim Yeong-Koung and Eda Erdem. Anna Czakan has grown to become a Champions League and national team player from the quick mopper position she held just a few years ago.

“I do not remember so much about my mopping-girl times. I did not understand then how ‘golden’ that sweat that was, what I mopped. I did not even take any selfies with star players but that is when my fire for Volleyball became an even bigger flame. I remember that I wanted to be there someday on the court,” Anna says.

Czakan portrayed together with superstar Kim Yeon-Koung before a Champions League match earlier this season

She already made her CEV Champions League roster debut later in the 2014-2015 season. Even just joining the warm up was at that time a huge thing for her before the home match against Dinamo MOSCOW.

“I had been training for one season with LP SALO, but I was playing with their B-team at a lower level and mostly with juniors. I was in heaven, when they asked me to join the team because Pia Kinnunen was injured. My hands were shaking so bad, that I just about got the ball to the hands of our setter Viktoriia Tuchashvili in the warm up. I think I did not get any of my attacks over the net at all. It was also the first time to show up in front of a full crowd at Salohalli,” Anna laughs.

That time she was ‘only’ one more player needed to complete the roster, not ready to play with the best ones. Things have changed very much since that day. Today Anna Czakan (23) is the captain of LP SALO in the CEV Champions League and a member of the Finnish national team as well, with whom she played at EuroVolley 2019 in Ankara.

“I am so happy with how we have done in this year’s Champions League against the best teams and players in the world. We have given all we had and played without pressure. It is great to play against your idols. These matches have taught us a lot and I can feel I have gone beyond some of my limits,” Anna admits.

Czakan has Polish roots through her grandfather and looks forward to playing Budowlani LODZ in the next round of the CEV Champions League

It is now time to achieve some good results, as Budowlani LODZ comes to Salo for the fifth round of the CEV Champions League. LP SALO will be trying to secure their first victory in the competition after registering 10 losses in a row. “We can win, for sure we can. If we play with the same intensity that we showed against the Turkish teams, we can seize a historic win. That would taste so sweet in front of our great fans,” Anna dreams.

One more detail makes Anna’s day special against the Polish team. “Part of me is Polish. My grandfather is from there. My surname was accidentally changed from Czakon to Czakan when he moved to England,” Anna recounts.

Let us check LP SALO’s roster now and think what it will be looking like in five years from now… Maybe Anna Czakan still as the captain, but mark also these names: Arita Ternava (born 2002) and Inka Mehtola (born 2001).

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