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24.05.2013, 18:34
Vranješ takes over as Serbia coach
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Former Sweden playmaker succeeds Veselin Vuković at the helm
 

Vranješ takes over as Serbia coach

Following weeks of speculation who might replace Veselin Vuković as Serbia’s coach, the country’s handball federation (RSS) named former Sweden centre back Ljubomir Vranješ as his successor.

The 39-year-old Vranješ, born in Gothenburg to Serbian parents, prevailed over former Partizan Belgrade winger Vladan Matić and the RSS said Vranješ would take charge of Serbia while he continues to be at the helm of Bundesliga side Flensburg-Handewitt, where he has a contract until 2017.

“We had to choose between two outstanding professionals who both expressed the desire to stay in charge of Serbia after the on-going EHF EURO 2014 qualifying campaign,” RSS president Velimir Marjanović said in a statement circulated to the media.

“The RSS managing board’s electronic vote determined Vranješ as the new coach and we are pleased that both candidates showed tremendous courage and determination to take over at a time when Serbia needs to secure an EHF EURO 2014 berth in the remaining two qualifiers,” he added.

The Serbians, who won their first handball medal as an independent nation when they finished second at their home EHF EURO 2012, are third in Group 7 with five points from four matches, behind Russia and Austria.

They visit the Russians on 12 June, before entertaining Bosnia-Herzegovina in their final match four days later.

Vuković parted company with the RSS by mutual consent after collecting only one point from two games against the Austrians, which in turn sparked a rift within the team during and after the doubleheader.

Vranješ, an acclaimed Sweden stalwart who won a haul of medals with the Scandinavians during his international career from 1996-2007, faces a tricky task to get Serbia back to winning ways after the Balkan country also failed to make an impact in the 2012 Olympics and in January’s World Championship in Spain.


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljević / cor
 
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