Parkes: “I feel more Hungarian when I play against New Zealand”
Rebecca Parkes, a naturalized player on the women’s water polo team who played against her native New Zealand exactly four years ago, said regarding the match in Fukuoka that she considered accepting the Hungarian invitation the best decision of her life.
“I feel more Hungarian when I play against New Zealand”
“I told someone earlier that I didn’t really sleep the night before because I was so excited to play to get them out. It looks bad, but I feel more Hungarian when I’m playing against New Zealand. I’m so proud to be able to play here and like that, it’s good to show this against New Zealand too” Parkes explained to the M4 Sport cameras that he was waiting for the group stage with strange feelings. Incidentally, some familiar faces, which he still remembers from his younger days, when they played water polo in the following age groups, also appeared.
“Going to Hungary was the best decision I’ve made in my life – both in terms of my career and my life. I’m happy and grateful that I had the opportunity and took advantage of it.”
The New Zealand polo player came to Hungary in 2014 at the invitation of Attila Biro and, with the exception of one year, he has been playing here since then. He has been a member of the national team since 2017, and today he played his 121st match in the national team. Exactly four years ago today, on July 20, 2019, he had already played a World Cup match against New Zealand, when he scored a goal and scored four goals on Thursday.
Suffering from a rib injury sustained during pre-season training, Parkes missed most of the pre-season matches, but played in all three group matches in Fukuoka to regain fitness. In addition to the special nature of the match, he also mentioned the status and form of the team.
“Mentally, it’s hard for me to come to terms with my injury, although it’s not the first time I’ve had something like this. I wish I was more prepared or stronger on the field. But it always gets harder. Every summer, especially now, I’ve been feeling really good, strong and physically fit. I finished about 85-90%. Then, unfortunately, I had a rib injury that got worse. But as Attila Biro always says: No It’s okay, I have to live with it now. I’ll probably be in pain or discomfort for months to come. I’m trying to get used to it, I have to play to get in shape. But I couldn’t train as hard as others. I needed these team matches, no matter who the opponent was. It helped.”
“The team is ready physically, and now I think mentally too. We need to find good relationships and a good rhythm in the water. This match showed us, but also others, that we are here and ready for the big matches” He thought.
And the Hungarian national team will jump into the pool next Monday, with a good chance against the European champion, Spain, with the first place in the group reaching the quarter-finals immediately.
Rebecca Parkes, of Hungary, and Gabriel Milic, of the New Zealand national team, at the New Zealand-Hungary match at the World Water Championships in Fukuoka (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)