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Kozoom Foos Interview of the week with Ekaterina Atanasova

Posted by on May 6, 2016

Kozoom Foos Interview of the week with Ekaterina Atanasova

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Hello Ekaterina. Thank you for taking time to answer our questions. Please give us a short introduction about yourself and some of your achievements?

My name is Ekaterina Atanasova and I am a foosball player- by heart. I started playing foosball at an early age, just for fun and just for a few days when I played at summer resorts with my father and my brothers. Then when I was in 10th grade some of my classmates introduced me to the game and I started spending more and more time playing after school. Later it was one of my favorite activities and when I was 19, I found some local tournaments and took part. In my very first competition (I was playing open doubles) I came 3rd and remember how surprised everyone was at the fact that a young lady could win a medal.

 

It was an amazing feeling. Almost as amazing as to represent Bulgaria at the World Championships in St. Vincent, Italy later in the same year,  shortlisted by taking part in the International Competition in Sofia in 2006, as the winner of the singles category won the right to represent the Bulgaria. And I won and went there.

 

Nothing I have seen before - a huge room full of so many different tables - quick, high quality, professional tables, table soccer accessories, special foosball equipment, camera and hundreds of players trying to prove that they are number one in the World of table soccer. It was like paradise to me and I will never forget the moment I became part of this world. There, I did a pretty good job and was ranked 9th. It was pretty satisfying for a girl who has never before seen snake, open hand pin or bank shots and special tricks (and all the other shots, passes and stuff I am now used to).

However it was not enough for me and although I knew it would be hard without having someone to teach you the basics and to have someone good to play against (this helps a lot in actual improvement)I really wanted to win the World Champion Title and be first in the Ranking...Now that I have done it in 2013, I know that the feeling is great, satisfactory, but at the same time I always know that there are so many good players that can easily win against you in a tight match so I need to be in shape, trained and ready to defend what I have earned so far.

Since 2006 I started playing not only on an International level but I began travelling to International Tournaments and took part in some of the biggest sport events in world of foosball. That way I have won more hundreds of medals and trophies - from small National tournaments to the multi-table high rank competitions like the World Championships. Some of my biggest achievements is:

Being a 10 time National Champion of Bulgaria in singles and doubles;

4 times winner of the German Women Bundesliga with the team of Bears Berlin - from 2012 to 2015;

 Finalists with the Bulgarian National Team on the World Championship Series on Leonhart in 2011;

 2 times winner of the European Champions Cup in 2013 and 2015;

 Winner of the Open singles category at the Master Series in Romania in 2010;

 World Champion at the World Championship Series on Roberto Sport in Poland in 2012;

 World Champion at the World Cup in France in 2013;

 World Champion at the World Championships Series on Garlando in Austria in 2015 - this was the biggest women tournament with 82 highly skilled players from all over the World!

 First place winner and main organizer of the International Series on Roberto Sport in Bulgaria in 2015;


What ist your favourite Table soccer memory?


My favorite table soccer memory does not exist actually because they are so many and I really can't rank them, so one memory I can remember and it has a special place in my heart is from the Leonhart WCS 2011 (I think) when the Bulgarian Women National Team reached the final and won against all the other teams without having any preparation on the Leonhart tables as before that we didn't have any of those in our country. We were then second and lost to Germany but we fought all day long and the silver cup was well deserved.

Which table is the most common in your country and what kind of match format & tables you prefer to play, & according to you which is hard one(table) to play?

Bulgaria pretty much resembles Italy in a way, as we have been used to a kind of fast game without so much precision on first glace. However the style allows you to raise very good coordination and reflexes that will serve as an advantage in the International style of play. The Bulgarian official table is Roberto Sport and we have other local models the most eminent of which is the Maradona model (similar to the Roberto sport table).

There are different match formats but for official tournaments we try to keep the International formats of play. Same applies for the rules.

 

I like all tables but Bonzini the least, as its technique is quite the opposite of the ones I try to improve myself on. In my opinion foosball is great, so any professional foosball table that fits the necessary requirements will be potentially liked by me for sure!


How does the typical "table-soccer"- evening look like for you? How much it matter for you?
I really like playing with grown-ups as they are fast and they try to beat me seriously all the time. So gathering with the youngsters and playing serious games is pretty mind-relaxing for me. We have 2 tables at the office so a chill out evening with colleagues (most of them play as well). Sometimes we go to a club with my friends and have fun with players or "normal" people who try to win against me.

Foosball is more than a hobby and definitely I'm enjoying playing and developing it. This is why I try to devote some of my time to it. However, it is just a part of me that I need to live with - something I accept and have fun with. However, it can never replace my family, relatives and all the things that I love and that matter to me.

 

How often you give time for practicing? Do you practice alone or with partner /friends/other players & Why?

I try to play every day (when I don't have time - I do it only for 10 minutes in self training). However, my practice is divided in different modules. I practice on at least two different tables. I do it alone, in singles and in doubles. I have special exercises that increase my accuracy, control, speed and endurance. The exercises I do are part of a special training program that I have changed and adapted throughout the years so that it works better for me.

 

In which cities/regions is table-soccer played in your country? Is it played everywhere or do you even have problems finding a table to play on? How is table-soccer organized in your country?
Table soccer is developing in my country like, I believe, everywhere in the World (apart from countries like USA or Germany and France where the foosball history dates back from the 70s). We have started the Bulgarian Table Soccer Federation from 2005 when no one had ever seen a snake shot before. Now that we have 10 years of experience & had developed a lot - we have top 1 and 2 in the Women Ranking in ITSF, top 8 in the Men and top 3 in the Junior Category.This is quite a success for our small country. During 2015 I have been working on a development plan for supporting all the clubs in the country and now we have 5 strong clubs - 3 in Sofia, and 2 by the Black Sea - in Varna and Sozopol. More and more players are able to afford a table and there are more and more places (especially in Sofia) where you can have a good place with good tables you can play on - for example, in my club we have 6 Roberto Sport Tables now (but we have 2 Leonhart tables, 2 Tornado and 1 Garlando table as a practicing tables). In my opinion things are developing quite well and I will keep working in this direction.

 

What special efforts you put for the welfare of this Sport?  How do you manage your playing side as player, & your other work responsibilities?
Well, I invest a lot - my free time, resources, and all my alternative options for a way to live my life. It is quite big a commitment but as I am an idealist and a believer, I find it best to try to develop table soccer so that all the other players can receive more opportunities as well as a better possibility to improve. It would really please me if they have a better sport base to practice than I had as; I believe that a lot of talented players would make my country proud of their abilities, performance and success if they are given the chance to do it. That is why I started my own club - so that I can be able to find "table-soccer soul mates"- players or just persons fond of the game - doesn't matter. Now we have more than 50 members just for a year, 6 well supported tables, a good place to practice, big sponsor for the whole club and lots of good perspectives.

 

As player & as member what do you expect for foosball?

What I have learnt from bad experience is that expectations are wrong by nature. This is why I don't have any expectations. I only hope that things will grow - steadily but in a stable way. To make it work in the desired way we need to know what we want to achieve and what tools to use. This is why I think we should know where we are headed but at the same time be prepared to be flexible and to twist around, so that we keep working on our way and make foosball become more and more developed. Something that is currently a fact - we have more and more players, more and more tournaments every season, more and more organized Federations, Associations, etc. We have world known face of the game - more and more international competitions that are taking place on different continents, more and more fans, supporters and people that like and play the game. I hope things will develop in this direction and will become even better in the short and in the long-term as well.      

 

 

Any message for the fellow foosballers/readers, you would like to add?

Just for all the players who haven't tried it - if you are at the seaside for a vacation and you can find a table in a bar on the sand - it is so refreshing to play table soccer in your bathing suit, bare feet and with a cold drink...You should try it out if given the chance!

Thanks a lot for giving your valuable Time.
Good day to all!

Ekaterina

 

 

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