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Interviews

Dan sets Wimbledon challenge ahead of Hungary return mission!

Defender aims to take his opportunity to shine

26 October 2021

Dan Csoka is eager to make his mark with Wimbledon after demonstrating his defensive talents at international level with Hungary.

After featuring in both matches earlier this month with Hungary Under-21s, Dan is likely to be bound for Budapest in mid-November for international duty again, but first comes a real opportunity to show what he can do at club level. 

The unfortunate injuries to Will Nightingale and Paul Kalambayi is likely to put Dan firmly in the first-team picture.  

“Will and Paul have both been very good this season, and I feel sorry for them, but it’s an opportunity now for another centre back to play more games. I wish them both a speedy recovery, and I just want to give the maximum effort for the team when called upon.

“When Robbo came in everything changed, and you can see how well we’ve played and the results we’ve got since he took over. In training we now have to take more ownership than before, and the training is more intense than it was previousLy. It gives you the opportunity to improve more and to learn every day, not just in games. I like Robbo as a coach, and I think if I can now grab my chance it will be different for me as I won’t just be training. I will be playing games, and I can prove to him that I’m good enough to play in the first 11.

“We are young players, but we are hungry, we are fit, and the results show that we can do better than fighting relegation. Hopefully, there are many more good results to come.”

Darius Charles will tonight be alongside him for the game versus Crystal Palace Under-21s – and Dan added that he’s learning plenty from a player who earned Wembley promotion glory with us.

“Darius has been great to everyone, and he has been giving some tips and details to me as well that I can utilise on the pitch. He is more experienced than anyone in the squad, so he has been very good for everyone in the squad. He is like a coach, he always talks to you, so I’m happy that he is playing alongside me. I am sure he is going to help everyone in the game tonight.

“I played in this competition for Wolves, and I remember that we played against Blackpool and Salford City. Those games were always harder than league matches in the Under-23s league. Obviously, I’m on the other side now as I’m playing for the first-team now at Wimbledon. I expect a tough game because they are going to be quite technical, but I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully I can get more chances now.

“Every game matters, and the final is at Wembley. I’ve never played at Wembley, and one day I want to play there. Maybe that’s this season and I can go there in this competition.”

Dan certainly has footballing pedigree with his father Zsolt having played in a Zalaegerszegi TE FC team that defeated Manchester United in the Champions League qualifying round in 2002. After following his father into the professional ranks, Dan is extremely proud to represent his country – and there was plenty of advice for him when he last returned home!

“My father is always talking about football and I got the chance to meet with him the last time I was home. We spoke about the games, and about football, and he’s always passing on advice about what I can do better. My family are proud of me.”

“I played 90 minutes against Poland in my first game, which we drew 2-2, and then we lost 5-1 against Germany, but I only played 20 minutes at the end. I love to play for the national team, and it’s Under-21 level so just one step below the first-team. It’s a good opportunity to show everyone what I can do and hopefully I can play many more times, and step-up to the first-team.

“We have two more games in November against Latvia and Israel in the European Qualifiers for the Under-21s, which is quite a tough competition because only one team can qualify, and the second team can go into a play-off. We’ve still got a chance to go through with six games left.”

Click on the link below to listen to Rob Cornell’s full interview with Dan.


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