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03.10.2012, 18:13
Montenegro look for new goals
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2012 Olympic silver medallist face FYR Macedonia in two tests
 

Montenegro look for new goals

Following the historic success at the London 2012 Olympic Games, when Montenegro's campaign in women's handball was crowned with the silver medal, a new era has now begun for the team.

The long-term goal, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, is still far away. And in the meantime the team of head coach Dragan Adžić (pictured) has a lot of challenges ahead, the first being the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia where Montenegro will play in Group D with Russia, Iceland and Romania.

"After such a great success, it now might be difficult to start a new campaign. However, we are professionals, and the goal for all athletes is always to try to achieve better results," left back Marija Jovanović said.

"It’s difficult to do better than we did in London, but we should not stop at that. Now we have a younger team and I think we have a great reason to put in front of ourselves an even bigger goal and to be more motivated to work with this team and make something great."

On Tuesday, 2 October, Montenegro started the first part of their preparations for the EHF EURO - without world class players Bojana Popović and Maja Savić who retired after the Olympics. And even though Bojana is on the preliminary list of 28 players for the EURO, it is difficult to think she will change her mind and come back to play in Serbia.

While both will be missed, Jovanović stressed that the team is still ready to face every challenge.

"We had plenty of opportunities to play without Bojana Popović and Maja Savić (in the past). In my opinion, not many teams in Europe have such a fighting spirit and character as we do. That’s has to be our force in the future."

On Thursday and Friday (4 and 5 October) Montenegro will play two test matches against FYR Macedonia in Ohrid. 

For those tests coach Adžić cannot count on Ana Radović who announced that she will not play for Montenegro anymore. Katarina Bulatović and Milena Knežević are treated for injuries in in Podgorica.

"Our team without Bojana Popović and Maja Savić will certainly look different. The players who will take their places will have to increase their responsibility, but I believe that this team can continue to represent Montenegro in the right way and can also continue to ensure participation at major events, such as it was the case when Bojana and Maja were in the team,” Adžić said.

FYR Macedonia gathered on Monday and immediately left for Ohrid. Coach Gino Strezovski nominated 18 players, strongly building his team around local players as only four of the nominated women play abroad: Matilda Atanasoska in Germany, Elena Gorgievska in Montenegro, Biljana Crvenkoska in Italy and Ivona Cvetanovska in Greece.

Montenegro's team roster:
Goalkeepers: Sonja Barjaktarović, Marina Vukčević, Katarina Perović
Wings: Biljana Pavićević, Majda Mehmedović, Radmila Miljanić, Jovanka Radičević
Line players: Suzana Lazović, Ana Đokić, Sara Vukčević
Backs: Marija Jovanović, Sandra Nikčević, Anđela Bulatović, Jasna Tošković, Andrea Klikovac, Jelena Marković 

FYR Macedonia's team roster:
Goalkeepers: Tanja Andrejeva, Dijana Naumovska, Ivona Cvetanovska, Ivana Zafirova
Line players: Robertina Mečevska, Nataša Mladenovska, Marija Serafimovska
Wings: Simona Grozdanovska, Dragana Pecevska, Dragica Mitrova, Matilda Atanasova
Backs: Mirejata Barjamovska, Dušica Gorgievska, Zorica Despotovska, Marija Šteriova, Biljana Crvenkoska, Ivana Sazdovska, Elena Gorgievska


For more EHF EURO 2012 news go to www.ehf-euro.com

Also join us on www.facebook.com/EHFEUROWomen


TEXT: Saša Jončić / ts
 
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