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2020. Július 09. 10:13  -  David Rechnitzer
Gabor Marton: "I will do my part to make Vidi a success"

We sat down to talk at length with the new manager of MOL Fehervar FC.

After signing the contract, you said you were facing a big task. Is this the biggest so far?

Yes. When I was contacted by Zoltan Kovacs, sports director, I admit that I was surprised. At the same time, it felt very good that Vidi were counting on me to work there. Of course, I was wondering if this assignment wasn’t a big leap, and my answer was that if for a minute I did not feel that I could meet the task, I would not have accepted the role. I decided taking into consideration the conditions, opportunities and expectations in mind.

Events have accelerated in recent days. As far as I know, you had a condition before the negotiations, and you ended up signing it on Wednesday afternoon.

There was no substantive conversation while the team had a head coach. I think it’s fair, so we started serious negotiations on Monday, and we agreed relatively quickly. My goal was when I started coaching to be noticed one day by a team fighting for trophies. I am happy to have achieved this. But I also know that it has not been typical in Szekesfehervar in recent years for a Hungarian coach to have the opportunity, so a co-operation has been created, which is very rare. It is a huge opportunity to lead Vidi as a Hungarian coach, we can say that it is something you cannot say no to. 

So far, however, quite a few things have happened to you, whether we’re looking at your coaching career or as a player. If we want to look at things in order, we have to start from the fact that you practically grew up on the football pitch in Pecs.

It wasn’t so self-evident in the ’60s that kids go to nursery or kindergartens, because it wasn’t sure that there would be room, which is how it happened to me too. So during the week I was with my grandparents while my parents worked, and they lived next to the PVSK pitch sports complex. My grandfather was the caretaker there. I was there all day, getting to know everyone and really, as I started walking, running, the ball also became my constant companion. By the way, my father was an excellent football player - with both Honved and Ferencvaros wanting to sign him, but he did not think seriously about his football career - I inherited a lot from him. So I kicked the ball from about 2 years old, I never had anything else in my head, I wanted to be a football player in my life, and then I became a footballer.

You signed your first deal as a player with PMSC, but moved to PVSK before returning back to PMSC. What was the reason for moving around like this?

Jozsef Garami, who had previously played with my father, selected me as the PMSC talent scout, so I was not completely unfamiliar to him. At the time, because of another legacy, as my mother was short, I was a pretty stocky kid, my teammates tried to make fun of me, which I had a very hard time taking in. I didn’t like the conditions that much either, so I moved to another team in town where I could only play after skipping a year, but then I stayed there for 3 years. Finally, at the insistence of Jozsef Garami, I returned to PMSC, which was still the number one team in the city. We won the youth championship, and the following year the cup (there was still a youth cup), Garami became the coach of the senior team and half a year later I was there. I didn’t have an easy trip to the NB I, but I managed it. It was a wonderful period, as a young man I was able to be a member of the runner's up team in the NB I in 1986, and in 1990 we won the Hungarian Cup, which is the biggest achievement for the club today.

At the age of 23, you moved abroad, which was not so common at the time. 

Although Honved called me, I accepted the offer from the Belgian club Genk. It was a big deal, as big players from previous generations did not have the chance to play abroad, but this came together early for me. Unfortunately, my style of play did not fit into the newly promoted side, which was basically a very defensive team, so after a season I came home to Honved, where I spent an extremely successful year and a half, in 1993 we won the championship.

You were once again on the road when you signed for French club Cannes. They were similar in the fact that just like Genk, they had just been promoted to the first division when you joined them. 

They were another team on the up, but they played in a completely different style than before with Genk. We performed very well, finishing in 6th place under the direction of European champion Luis Fernandez. The French league was a fantastic one at the time. There was Klinsmann in Monaco, Blanc in Saint-Étienne, Deschamp in Marseille, Weah and Ginola at PSG who were the stars, while Thierry Henry had already started to spread his wings. I would have liked to stay, but there were administrative problems, which made it not easy and I made a mistake here. I came home and was contracted by Pecs, who were then talking about big dreams. The big plans then turned into nothing, so I accepted an Israeli offer.

Several Hungarian players tried their luck at that time in Israel with good success. They became really popular in that country. When did you decide on moving to the holy land?

I had an Israeli teammate in Cannes, who was visited relatively often by the Israeli national team manager, who saw me playing several times. Then it turned out that after my last national team match, which was against Israel, he asked if I would feel like going out. I was in the mood and very gladly decided that way. I spent beautiful years there. We were popular because we all added a plus to our team’s play. We were expected to be better than those there and I think we managed that. I also started in a small team there, I kept building myself up, and the peak was when we won the cup with a top team there, Hapoel Tel-Aviv. After that, however, I felt that our head coach was starting to think differently, so I came home to Pecs again. I did have another try in Israel, but it wasn’t real anymore, so I finally chose PMFC. We moved home and I finally stopped playing at the age of 38.

You once said that "Summing up my whole career, I can say that to the best of my knowledge, I have been one of the worst managed players of all time in Hungary." What exactly did you mean by that? Are you left with a missing feeling?

I meant that I was really considered a great talent and a lot of people said I might have gone further as a player. On the other hand, we know how important it is to have someone with a talent to help them along the way in terms of when you have to make a decision. Not on the pitch, but off the pitch as well. Just think - to give a fresh example - of Dominik Szoboszlai, you can see how consciously he is building his career, but not alone. So I missed that. On the other hand, I can say that wherever I played, the fans loved me very much and in the end I achieved what I achieved on my own.

Was it clear you were going to be a coach? Did you prepare for it before?

I was sure that I wanted to work in the sport, but it wasn’t that clear. Then - I can’t say this in any other way - something switched inside me and I felt, yes, that’s what I had to do. I started to build myself up and gradually move up. The first serious assignment was at Kozarmisleny. I had to start as a rookie in the NB II, we ended up winning two silver medals, which was noticed by PMFC and I continued there, who were in the NB I. At that time I didn't have a pro-license, so on paper Antal Lorincz was the head coach, but I was in charge. Then we finished in seventh place after taking over the team in 14th place, we incorporated a lot of young players. They say we played good football, the crowd enjoyed this. Due to financial problems, I finally left after a year and a half.

With the already mentioned Kozarmisleny in NB II, then with Pecs in NB I you didn't have any relegation problems either, then you took over Siofok who were at the bottom of the table and helped them up to the middle, and most recently you achieved a little miracle in Zalaegerszeg. You seem to find the difficult tasks and you solve them. Is it that simple?

Not so much, but in fact, they don’t give anything away for free, you have to work for better opportunities and be able to get results under pressure. We really had to climb away from trouble at Siofok, we achieved the task and ended the season as a mid-placed team. And in Zalaegerszeg - for the first time in my coaching career - I had everything I needed for the job, I was trusted and all I had to do was concentrate on football. The players put in a huge amount of work this past spring and everything has gone great, I am grateful to them for their attitude. We achieved almost the same results as FTC after I took over the team, no one expected that. But as they say, whoever dares wins. We jumped into it we did it, and ZTE will be in the NB I next year as well. 

Let's move on to Vidi. Maybe it’s too early to talk about concretes, since you’re starting to work now, but what are your plans for the new challenge?

We have already talked about the transfer plans with Zoltan Kovacs and I can say that if everything goes according to plan, we will have a strong squad for the start of the season and we can achieve nice results. I don’t want to promise but what’s down to me, I’m going to do all I can to make Vidi a success. I want the team to play with freedom. I don’t know the players too deeply, but I’ve also seen from the outside that there are great ability football players here right now, you just have to let them play, in some situations you shouldn’t tie their feet. A big problem in Hungary is that many players are afraid of making mistakes, this tension must be resolved within them. With a lot of work and practice, bad innervations can be changed. The most indispensable weapon is creativity. There are plenty of people here who have this ability and who have a goal in them. My aim is for this not to stay inside them. There is a saying, if the supporter is satisfied, then everyone is satisfied. I want to achieve this in Fehervar.

MOL Fehérvár FC - Minden jog fenntartva
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