Hungary’s Gorillaz ready to take HFL challenge

The Hungarian Football League, which was launched in 2012, is gearing up to kick off the 2017 season on March 25th. We continue to preview the six teams with the DAK Acél Dunaújváros Gorillaz as the final team. AFI’s László Makranczi sat down with Gorillaz president Kornél Bachrathy to ask him about the upcoming season.

President Kornél Bachrathy hoping a successful debut and is grateful to the sponsors.

This spring the Hungarian Football League – HFL – welcomes a new team, the DAK Acél Dunaújváros Gorillaz. Year after year, the question has always been raised in Hungary as to when would the Gorillaz enter the HFL. The time has come, but to do so the squad had to make great sacrifices.

The Gorillaz received a huge financial investment and now have a title sponsor. This allowed Dunaújváros to sign imports and Hungarian National Team players. In addition, they were able to keep head coach Vilmos Grátz who can put together a team in no time. He might be the greatest ‘signing’ of the Gorillaz.

President Kornél Bachrathy is glad that Vilmos Grátz stood by the team. He also predicted the winner of this year’s HFL.

Gorillaz President Kornél Bachrathy Photo: Gábor Kárpáti

László Makranczi: This is the first time you entered HFL. What led you to this decision?

Kornél Bachrathy: There were many reasons. After five Division I. finals and 7 straight regular season wins we did not have the motivation to remain in that league. The players needed a new challenge which they can get in the HFL against the best players in Hungary. On the other hand, our financial backing got stronger, thus, we can plan for the future and not for survival. Our roster is stronger than ever. I can clearly state that we are ready to take the challenge!

Makranczi: Who could support the team and tell me about the new players.

Bachrathy: First of all, the local government of Dunaújváros gives us financial support and the right to use the Dunaújváros City Stadium. In addition, DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft. became our title sponsor. The firm saved us a few years ago form going bankruptcy. Now, we can work together to reach our goals. We cannot be grateful enough for their help! As for the newcomers: We could loan a lot of players from Budapest Eagles, Budapest Titans and Szekszárd Bad Bones. We will have two imports Victor Allen Williams Jr. and Lamarco Crawford. I think we could train a lot together; however, we have to work harder to develop.

Photo: Gábor Kárpáti

Makranczi: You were able to keep head coach Vilmos Grátz. What does this mean for the Gorillaz?

Bachrathy: The key to our success is head coach Grátz. His knowledge and commitment is indispensable for the club. This will be his ninth season with us, and he has always been the most important piece of the puzzle. He could already prove that with a countryside team –where there are fewer players to work with– it is possible to make dreams come true. I hope he will be successful with us, just like in Győr.

Makranczi: What is your opinion about the opponents?

Bachrathy: Half of the Gorillaz squad already played in the highest league and some of them are part of the Hungarian National Team. We know what is coming for us in the HFL. Everyone is bigger, faster and stronger. We also have to compete with the imports and the coaches. It might seem hopeless, but that is why it is a great challenge. It is difficult to make any odds. For example, who would have thought that in 2016 Miskolc Steelers will be the champion? In my opinion, the team that concedes the least points will win the HFL.

Makranczi: Then what are your aims this season in the HFL?

Bachrathy: Since the teams were evenly matched last year, it gives us the hope of making a good debut. If we can get some wins, we may have the chance to make it to the playoffs. However, if we do not win, but play close games, I do not think we can be dissatisfied. The most important is to become a solid part of the HFL.

HFL regular season for DAK Acél Dunaújváros Gorillaz:

March 25.: Budapest Wolves (Dunaújváros)
April 23.: Miskolc Steelers (Dunaújváros)
May 7.: Győr Sharks (Győr)
May 20.: Eger Heroes (Eger)
June 5.: Budapest Cowbells (Dunaújváros)

DAK Acél Dunaújváros Gorillaz established in 2007

Home Field: Dunaújváros City Stadium
Coaching Staff: Vilmos Grátz (head coach), Imre Topor (OL)
New Players: Lamarco Crawford, Victor Allen Williams Jr., Kunó Hollósy, János Zilai, Róbert Tóth, Gergely Koltai, Balázs Krasznai, Tamás Csulik, Dániel Zsila, Norbert Varga
Championships: Division I. Champion (2009, 2012, 2016), Division I. runner-up (2013, 2015)

László Makranczi is a radio reporter, announcer and American Football journalist in Hungary. He lives in Debrecen and works for the Hungarian American Football Federation. Studied at the University of Debrecen, got a master’s degree in American