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24.01.2012, 20:32
EHF EURO 2012 Photo Special
«Go back »Print Version


Inside the Serbian Camp - Exclusive Access: In this unique photo story we followed the Serbian national team on the day of their great victory over Sweden that secured their semi-final spot.
 

EHF EURO 2012 Photo Special

The EHF EURO 2012 web team have been working hard to bring you all the latest news, interviews, features and photos from Serbia – we hope you are enjoying it!

The EHF Photography team of Bjørn Kenneth Muggerud, Axel Heimken, Stéphane Pillaud, Sascha Klahn and Uroš Hocevar have been working hard to bring you the very best handball photography the world can offer.

Today, we present a unique and exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Serbia team and their preparation and travel for their match against Sweden yesterday (Monday 22nd January).

To see the photo gallery visit HERE.

Behind the scenes

EHF Official Photographer Uroš Hocevar travelled to the Serbian team camp at the BG Sport Centre Kovilovo in northern Belgrade and get unprecedented access to the players’ rooms, team meetings, team coach and changing room.

The official EHF photography team of was with the team for the whole of the day on the journey to the Beogradska Arena and then back to the Kovilovo base.

In his own words he tells ehf-euro.com about the experience.

A day with the Serbian team

“I arrived three hours before the coach was due to leave the hotel for the Beogradska Arena and in the lobby was a very relaxed Marko Vujin and Rajko Prodanovic discussing in Hungarian their club teams, who are both Hungarian,” said Hocevar who has been taking photos for the EHF for over five years.

“The whole area around the hotel is secure with no fans allowed in, but families are allowed and staff of course.

“One of the first photographs I took was with Momir Illic and in the foreground is a close protection officer from the traffic police.  They go everywhere with the team and they have really built up a friendly relationship with the players.”

Arriving three hours before the official Serbian team coach left the hotel, Uroš had the opportunity to really see behind-the-scenes of the squads’ preparation for their second match in the Main Round.

Access all areas

Uroš managed to spend some time with Nenad Vuckovic who is preparing to return from injury and will feature in a special gallery later on this week on www.ehf-euro.com.

The relaxed attitude of the players is seen through a variety of images of players relaxing in the Kovilovo reception, and then through the image of Ivan Nikcevic who was receiving a massage in his own room next to Nenad Vuckovic.

“In one of the photos you will see a cat,” said Hocevar who is from Slovenia. “The cat was thrown out of the reception over 10 times whilst I was there – even through the back door with a plate of food, but everyone wants to be part of the team and it kept coming back, but the players don’t mind”.

However, the relaxed atmosphere soon changed to one of nerves as the players prepared for the pre-match meeting – off limits to any cameras.

Following the other games

“All the players were watching the Poland vs. FYR Macedonia match in silence in the meeting room,” said Uroš.

“When I arrived it was really calm and relaxed, but after the team meeting you could really feel the tension - you could touch it.

“The tension was at its peak when the kit bags were being brought out and then put on the coach.  Up to this point I was treated as one of the team, but when we boarded the coach, it was 100% focus, and any diversion from the routine, which included me, was minimised and I completely respected that.  The players were so focussed.”

Upon entering the coach Uroš was allocated the only spare seat and with the flash off and sounds silenced on his camera the photographer went about his work.

“The squad was nervous as the coach arrived at the arena, but when the players saw the fans cheering at them, they started cheering back and the nerves gave way to pure adrenaline and the players started shouting ‘let’s go out there and win for the fans’, it was great.”

After glorious victory

On the way back following the Serbian victory the reserved seating plan was thrown out of the window and it was party time. Upon arriving back at the hotel the staff applauded the players and they were greeted by a familiar face.

“One of the workers at the hotel has been looking after everyone like a mother,” explained Uroš. “She is looking after the players, the officials, the security – everything, so the players are calling her ‘Majka’ (Serbian for ‘mother’).

“On the way out to the arena she wished every player good luck and when we returned she was already there waiting for us, congratulating every player, all of whom embraced her – she was really touched, emotionally attached.”

Even at this stage a photographers job is not finished as, despite all the players thanking Uroš for his job, Veselin Vukovic, coach of Serbia joked to Uroš; “I should authorise the photographs and you should be careful what is published.


TEXT: EHF
 
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