Player of the month – HENRI SILLASTE: “I am exactly in the situation where I enjoy the game and being part of the team.”

October 24, 2021

Player of the month – HENRI SILLASTE: “I am exactly in the situation where I enjoy the game and being part of the team.”

Last week there was a player of the month of September announced. Henri Sillaste – left wing player from the Pölva Serviti team deservedly received this award. He played not only efficiently himself, made 21 goals out of 26 shots (80% effectiveness), but also helped his team secure four victories in four September games against HC Vilnius, VHC Šviesa, Granitas-Karys Kaunas and Varsa-Stronglasas Alytus. We asked Henri to tell us a little bit more about himself and answer to few questions. He is a kind, family guy, who has a passion for handball and his whole career he has played only for one team – Pölva Serviti.

Tell us a little about – how did you end up in handball?
Kalmer Musting (he is also head coach of Pölva Serviti right now) came to our class in 2nd grade and invited all boys to handball practise. I decided to give it a try and stuck to it ever since. I also tried football at some point, but it did not last for long time.

Can you tell us what are you doing besides handball (work, hobbies, family)?
– I work as physical education teacher and handball coach in Põlva. My hobbies are also connected with sport, during winter I like to do cross country skiing and during summer I like to ride with my road bicycle. During long drives to handball matches I also like to read books. My free time I like to spend with my family and friends. I am married and I have two children – five years old son and one-year-old daughter. My wife also used to play handball and this year our son started with handball practises.

What’s your best memories/experience what comes in your mind thinking of your handball career? (game, achievement)
– The greatest achievement in my handball career I would call U-21 12th place in World Championship in Egypt in 2009. The best memories regarding handball I would call the first victory of Estonian Championship in 2007 when all town welcomed our team in Põlva (from away game) and there were huge celebration.

Why do you like handball?
I like handball because there are so many varieties of situations. Each game has different and unique cases/situations and therefore it’s never the same.

You are one of the experienced player in your team – well, how does that make you feel? 😉 Are you now in the moment where you just enjoy the game or you still feel some pressure, because you are also the one from who other are taking example?
– Now I am exactly in the situation where I enjoy the game and being part of the team. I also like to support my young colleague Mathias Rebane and share the knowledge I have got from the years. There is no such pressure anymore, only positive pressure/excitement before the matches that makes you move and triggers you to give the best of you.

Can you (as a player) point out your pluses and minuses?
– My pluses would be speed, endurance and understanding the game. Regarding minuses – I would leave this to other team coaches to figure out (laughs).

This season you and your team started really good, at BHL and domestic league – all wins, qualification to EHF European cup 3rd round. How do you feel about your team this season? What’s your goal and what do you think what can you achieve?
– The season has started well for our team; we are aiming to win all the leagues where we participate. Especially sweet would be to get the victory in BHL, as we have not got it for years now. So this makes us move as a team and we are graving to get it.

You are also player of the national team of Estonia. What’s your opinion about the situation in Estonian handball? Where are you now and where are you going? Do you see a qualification for any of international tournaments (Europe, World) any time soon?
Yes, I do play in national team. Estonian handball level is in stable condition, we have some good young players coming and I hope they stay with handball and therefore get some new power to the team. Estonia has several times been so close to qualifying to international tournament but have not succeeded in important games. I hope we will overcome this obstacle and qualify to tournament in the future. And there is always a chance to organize the tournament in Estonia and qualify through this (laughs).

Finally, about your BHL Player of September award. In scale of 1-10 how cool is that? 🙂
Any comments?

– Of course 10, it’s super cool! I would like to thank my team, coaches and physiotherapist who has taken care of us and kept us in good shape.

Next, find out what Henri chooses better – tea or coffee, give the perfect pass or score a goal or visit Latvia or Lithuania. 🙂

Foto: Pölva Serviti, Helin Potter