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18.02.2013, 14:31
Montenegro's young stars learn from the champion
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Three-time Women's EHF Champions League winner, Maja Savić, has been appointed national team coach for the women's 17 squad
 

Montenegro's young stars learn from the champion

Half a year after Bojana Popović became Budućnost Podgorica's sports director, another Montenegrin handball legend, who also finished her career after winning silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games, has found a new job in the handball world.

Maja Savić, three-time winner of the Women's EHF Champions League (twice with Danish team Slagelse DT in 2005 and 2007 and once with Budućnost in 2012), was appointed national coach for Montenegro's women's 17 handball team.

Talking to eurohandball.com, Savić admits that it was decision she had been hesitating to make in the first place.

"After the end of my career, I was a bit saturated with handball and I really needed a break. I also thought that my daughter Vanesa would stay in school in Denmark and that I was going to travel a lot because of her," she said.

"I didn’t want to accept to do something to which I can’t dedicate all of myself and give my maximum.

"However, Vanesa didn’t get a Danish visa, and some of my plans have changed. That’s why I accepted the invitation of Montenegro's handball federation president, Predrag Bošković, and why I took the job.

"I said to myself 'why not?' It’s a nice generation of young players, there are promising people to work with. It was a challenge for me to try something new,” the 36-year-old former left wing said.

Comparing working in professional handball with working with a younger age category team, Savić said that 'working with professional players can be much easier while also being more difficult at the same time.'

"I believe that kids listen more than players who already know some things about handball. The youngest players are easier to direct in a way how one thinks it should be done. It’s the most beautiful work.”

Over the weekend (16/17 February), Montenegro's women's 17 national team beat Bosnia and Herzegovina and two friendlies.

Savić's debut matches were already part of the preparations for the 2013 Women's 17 EHF EURO in Poland from 15 to 25 August.

"I accepted the job with a desire to qualify for the championship in Poland. Most other countries have more games and stronger competition at this level than we have," she said

"Because of that the goal is to make it past the qualification and have more games for our young players.

"However, the priority is, of course, to build up players for the senior team."

A mother on the one, a coach on the other side

Montenegro will host the qualification tournament (22 to 24 March) in Bar, where they will play Denmark, Austria, and Estonia. The two top-ranked teams will qualify for the final tournament.

As new coach of Montenegro's women's 17 national team, Maja Savić now coaches her own daughter, Vanesa.

She started playing handball in Denmark for Slagelse's junior teams, when her mother was playing there, and later she played for Viborg, when her mother moved there.

"Despite the fact that I'm working with her, I hired a private coach for strength and fitness and he is working with Vanesa six days a week.

"I want to do my best to give her everything a player can get for half a year, to try and see what happens next. I want to see, if she can became a top player. I think she has the potential, the height (184 cm), and a good arm. We will see, we have six months to see what’s her maximum.”

However, Savić also said that there will be no extra bonus for Vanesa: "I have a whole team to think about."


TEXT: Saša Jončić / ts
 
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