When games happen at the 2018 IIHF Women’s High-Performance Camp, it’s not just players on the ice who learn how to improve. The camp also includes programs for coaches, other team staff positions and on-ice officials.
It’s a perfect opportunity for aspiring women’s hockey coaches to learn more about their future job. Among the younger ones is Andrea Kiss, just 21 and a Hungarian national team forward. It was just four years ago when she played the top-level U18 Women’s World Championship with the Hungarians and now gets a glimpse of top-level female hockey again.
After three years in the Swiss Women’s Hockey League A with SC Weinfelden, she returned to Budapest to work on her future. While still playing hockey, she studies at the college of physical education to become an ice hockey coach. Beside studying she works as a fitness instructor at a gym and also plans to get further education to be able to work as an off-ice trainer in hockey.
“I finished the first year and have two more years,” she said. Her big dreams are to work as a coach in Switzerland and for the Hungarian national team. “I think I will play five years. We’ll see. I play in Budapest for FTC [Ferencvarosi Torna Club]. The club plays in the Austrian-based leagues, EWHL and DEBL. I think I will play in both leagues.”
Kiss started to play hockey when she went to the ice rink with her school as an eight-year-old. “We went ice skating with the class and the coach invited me to play ice hockey. I went, I stayed and I’m still playing,” Kiss remembered how she fell in love with the game.
Working the games as a coach while still being young and in the midst of her senior career feels a bit unusual for her. But it’s welcome practice for her future plans.
“It’s sometimes a bit difficult. I’m a bit nervous. I can’t go to the ice and score a goal, I have to tell the players what to do. Sometimes I’d like to go onto the ice. I want to work as a coach but play too. It’s a big decision for me,” she said.
Vierumaki and the camp are not new for Kiss, just the position has changed. “I was here before as a player. I like the camp and the team. This team is very fun. Our mentor coach [Bob Deraney] is very good. He helps me a lot all day. I had just worked with kids before I came here. I learn here a lot. I like it here. All people here are nice and happy,” she said and mentioned skating, shooting and passing techniques as well as working with videos as the areas she learned the most here.
As a player Kiss was part of the “golden generation” of Hungarian women’s ice hockey that in 2011/2012 won two U18 tournaments to get promoted to the top level where she played in 2013 and 2014. Since 2012 she’s also part of the senior national team
“I hope we will win and go to the top division. That’s another big dream of me, the other to go to the Olympics,” she said.
Hungary is the second seed in the tournament from 7th to 13th April 2019 and will play for promotion to the top division against Austria, Denmark, Norway, Slovakia and Italy.