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28.12.2011, 23:00
"Great success for FYR Macedonia."
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Performing at the EHF EURO is a big achievement.
 

"Great success for FYR Macedonia."

After 14 years FYR Macedonia will again play at the EHF EURO, and the sports hall in Nis will seem tiny, once packed with Macedonian fans. Even with their underdog tag, the "yellow-and-red" will fight to secure a place in the Main Round in Belgrade.

FYR Macedonia started its preparations for the big event on December 21st. Coach Zvonko Shundovski invited 20 players, although just 16 will travel to Nis.

ehf-euro.com: Are you ready for the challenge that lies ahead of you?

Zvonko Shundovski: For FYR Macedonia, the big success is to be part of the big event. After 14 years we will play against the cream of European handball. Our obligation for now is just to play better, to give the maximum, and most importantly for us, to secure a place in the Main Round.

ehf-euro.com: What do you expect from this championship?

Zvonko Shundovski: Normally, just to play among the 12 best teams in Europe. But most important for us is to continue participating at big handball tournaments. If we can secure a Main Round place, than will have rival for the World Championship 2013 play-off from the qualification tournament, and this would be very important. This way, FYR Macedonia could count on a place at the World Championship in Spain in 2013.

ehf-euro.com: Where do you see your chances for the Main Round?

Zvonko Shundovski: Everything is in our hands. This EURO may be one of strongest so far. Every team has a chance of beating others in their group.

We'll fight in all three games, without holding back. Whether FYR Macedonia wins some games, we will have to wait and see. We have a good chance of beating any team, even when we play against Sweden, Germany or Czech Republic.

When we were drawn in the group, everyone said that the Czechs would be our easiest rivals, but they have many experienced international players. We'll be focused on the first game against Sweden, and on the last with Czech. Germany at this moment maybe have crises, but I'm sure they’ll be among the teams that will play for the Olympics. 

ehf-euro.com: FYR Macedonia is the underdog. Will it be easier to play with this role?

Zvonko Shundovski: The EURO is stronger than a World Championship, and no team is here "by accident". FYR Macedonia is not top ranked, but we have a National Team that has played together for several years. The players are mature, mentally strong, and know how to deal with every situation. We're ready, so no one should underestimate us, and we’re preparing for each challenge. In Nis we will play as in Skopje, with many supporters in the tribunes.

ehf-euro.com: You also have pressure from the public. Every one expects good results. How do you cope with this?

Zvonko Shundovski: Our fans are used to good results, and have the right to expect us to play well. This is big pressure for us, but for now, our focus is just on good preparation.

ehf-euro.com: In the team you have one big star, Kiril Lazarov, and the tactics usually stem from his performance. Will you change anything for the EURO?

Zvonko Shundovski: Apart from Kiril, FYR Macedonia has several good individual players, like Naumche Mojsovski and Filip Mirkulovski. But our strength is in team spirit, not in individual performance. Everyone knows this, and the individuals play for the team, not for themselves. We are developing many new aspects to our game, but you’ll have to wait until mid January 2012 to see the results.

ehf-euro.com: You'll play just two games in the next 20 days before the EURO. Will be this enough?

Zvonko Shundovski: Our plan was to have 3-4 games during this period, and we’ve already arranged two, with Montenegro and Serbia. I hope at the beginning of January we’ll have one or two more in Skopje. In October we played in a tournament in Norway, with almost same squad.

Further information

Download the Official EHF EURO 2012 Playing Schedule (pdf)

Buy your EHF EURO 2012 tickets HERE.

Ticketing is managed by the Serbian Organising Committees. Should you need further assistance for buying your tickets, please contact via email: tickets@rss.org.rs

Find more information on the tournament on the official website www.ehf-euro.com/SRB2012/

Join the growing community of fans of the event on Facebook www.facebook.com/SRB2012

 


TEXT: Goran Antevski
 
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