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01/07/2019 10:00
Getting to know – Team Slovakia’s captain Barbora Kosekova
CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women

Bratislava, Slovakia, July 1, 2019. Her mother Eva is a former legend of the most successful Slovak Volleyball club, Slavia UK BRATISLAVA, and a national team player for the former Czechoslovakia, who competed twice at the European Championship. Her father Peter played Volleyball on a semi-professional level and her brother Peter played as well – until reaching the junior age group. It was all about Volleyball in the family of Barbora Kosekova, the captain of Team Slovakia.

She started to play the game when she was 10 only. “It was clear that I would play Volleyball, because I grew up in the sports hall. I tried swimming and tennis before, but from the first touch with the ball I was sure, that I wanted to play this game,” said the 24-year-old Kosekova. Her mother Eva was a famous outside hitter with excellent skills, but Barbora plays as a setter. “I always dreamed of being a spiker, because I wanted to score a lot of points. When the coaches in my club started to choose the positions for the players, I was really short, so they decided I would become a setter instead and probably they made a good decision,” explained Barbora.

Eva Kosekova claimed two Czechoslovak league titles with Slavia UK, played in two Italian clubs in Serie A2 and in Switzerland. She continued working in Volleyball as a coach from 1993, one year before Barbora was born. After stints in the junior team of Slávia UK and with the Slovak youth national teams, she moved with the whole family to Germany where she coached VV Grimma with Bundesliga promotion as their biggest success. This is why Grimma is the first club of Barbora in under age categories. “I have only positive memories from the time we spent in Germany. My uncle (Ondrej Spisak) was my coach there and we were playing mini-volleyball. Our team was very successful, we won many tournaments and we became German champions. Grimma is a small town so the Volleyball community was like a big family there,” remembers Kosekova on her early career. In 2006, the Kosek family returned to Bratislava and Barbora started to study at a local high school in Bilikova Street, which is home to one of the most successful youth clubs in the country, ŠŠK Bilíkova.

Barbora Kosekova in action with the national team of Slovakia during the 2019 edition of the CEV Volleyball European Golden League.

Barbora made her first steps in professional Volleyball with Doprastav BRATISLAVA, where she spent three seasons, winning two national league titles and two Slovak Cups. Later on, she moved for two seasons to city rivals Slavia UK and clinched the next two league titles and two Cups.

After that, she decided to go abroad. She won the bronze medal in the Czech national league with VK KP BRNO (2017), followed by a league title and gold in the MEVZA Cup with Hungary’s BÉKÉSCSABAI Röplabda SE in 2018. This past year, she initially transferred to Romania’s UVT Agroland TIMISOARA, but after the Romanian club faced financial problems, she came back to Slovakia and helped VTC PEZINOK, the team mentored by her own mom Eva, to the league bronze.

It was not the first time when mom Eva was her coach. They spent many seasons together in Bilikova, Doprastav and with the youth Slovak national teams as well. “My mom is a very critical and strict coach, so it was harder to be with her when I was younger, but this season we made a pretty good job together. We speak about Volleyball more than often, but I guess this is normal. My mom is the one that has been pushing me from the beginning of my career and I would not be where I am now without her. My parents are trying to come to visit me also when I play abroad, so they have always been a huge source of support,” said Kosekova, who has a degree in International Relations from the University of Economy in Bratislava.

Barbora Kosekova together with mom Eva, father Peter and teammate Karin Palgutova.

Barbora has a rich resume from under-age national teams. She appeared twice at the U19 European Championships, once at the U18 European Championships, played at the U18 World Championships and the European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon in 2011. She debuted in the women’s national team on May 14, 2015 in a friendly match at home in Levice against Belarus. “To be honest, I do not really remember my first match. I know that that year I was not supposed to come to the women’s national team, but some other setter rejected the invitation and I have been on the roster ever since. I am trying to give 150% in every game so for sure it must have been the same on my first match,” added Barbora. She has since collected 62 caps, but this season is her first as the team captain. “I am really thankful that Marco [Fenoglio] gave me the trust to be the captain. It is a huge difference to be the captain in a club or in the national team. I am really happy for the opportunity to lead the team in this year’s European Championship.”

Slovakia is one of four organisers of the historic EuroVolley 2019 coming up in August and September. The tournament on home soil is a big chance for the team to step up before their own fans. “I am looking forward to the European Championship, especially since the tournament will take place in our country and in my hometown, Bratislava. We hope that we can achieve a good result at EuroVolley, and we will do our best to please our fans,” said Kosekova.

Slovakia was close to making it to the Final Four of the CEV European Golden League, but four wins in six games were not enough in a tight pool. “I feel that we have been growing under our new coach [Italian Marco Fenoglio]. We have played better and better during this year’s European Golden League and this gives us a reason to stay positive before EuroVolley. For many of us it will be the most important tournament in our lives. Our goal is to advance to the 8th Finals,” concluded Kosekova.

Slovakia will play at Ice Hockey Stadium Ondrej Nepela in Bratislava against Spain, Switzerland, Belarus, Germany and Russia.

For further information, visit the event website

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