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16.08.2013, 13:16
"I'm happy if the girls give 100 percent in every game"
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Maja Savić, three-time winner of the EHF Champions League, coaches Montenegro at the Women's 17 EHF EURO in Poland. The handball star is positive about her team's expectations but does not want to put any pressure on her players
 

"I'm happy if the girls give 100 percent in every game"

The upbeat has already been successful: Montenegro’s women’s 17 team beat France 27:26 in its first match at the Women’s 17 EHF EURO in Poland on Thursday (15 August).

It was the first time that a Montenegrin women's 17 squad took to the court since the 2007 Women's 17 EHF EURO which the nation finished 13th ranked.

However, many a players were part of that team who would later become some of the key protagonists in European women’s handball.

Milena Knežević became the tournament’s top scorer with 65 goals – just five years later her ten goals in the final against Norway secured Montenegro’s first EHF EURO title.

Also part of the team were Majda Mehmedović, Andrea Klikovac and Sara Vukčević – all three of them were part of the squad that was nominated for the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.

And the 2007 coach was Dragan Adžić, the man who then steered Montenegro to silver at the 2012 Olympic Games and to gold at the EHF EURO 2012.

Nowadays Montenegro’s youngest handball talents are coached by yet another great of the country’s handball players as Maja Savić, three-time winner of the EHF Champions League, took on the job early in 2013.

And it might be another chance for some players to rise to the top, as especially right back Đurđina Malović is regarded as being equipped with the skills that make a great player.

Waiting for the true potential to unfold

Montenegro’s aim is to get to the main round, despite the difficult group with Denmark, France and Netherlands, they have been drawn to.

However, that goal is far from being imperative.

"By qualifying for the Women's 17 EHF EURO in Poland we have already made an important step for Montenegrin handball," says Savić.

"At the championship we will see what we are really capable of. I think the girls physically are ready.

"Given the fact that for them this is the first major competition, and that our rivals have a lot more experience, we'll see how they will deal with this role."

Savić added that she, as coach, will be happy "if the girls will give 100 percent in every game."

The 2012 Olympic silver medallist, who retired from professional handball after the London Games, said that her team, unconsciously, “will be under some pressure”.

"The team is already nervous, although I do not put any pressure on the players. My goal is to have as many tough games.

"We have a really good generation, and I think there will be players for the future of Montenegrin handball," Savić said.

Montenegro got the ticket for the Women's 17 EHF EURO by qualifying at the home tournament in Bar, drawing 24-all with Denmark and beating Austria (29:21) as well as Estonia (53:13).

After having already overcome France, Denmark and Netherlands are the remaining opponents.

The first two teams of each group qualify for the main round.


TEXT: Saša Jončić / ts
 
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