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29.10.2013, 15:59
Matic unveiled as Serbia’s new coach
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NEWS REPORT: Former winger officially takes over for EHF EURO 2014
 

Matic unveiled as Serbia’s new coach

Having announced earlier this month that Vladan Matic was bound to take over as Serbia coach, the Balkan country’s handball federation (RSS) on Tuesday officially presented the former international winger at a press conference in the team’s Kovilovo training base near Belgrade.

Matic, who also remains in charge of Slovenian team Celje Pivovarna Lasko, fielded questions for the first time as the head of Serbia’s coaching staff, which includes close friend and assistant Dejan Peric who arrived as part of the package to hone the skills of fellow goalkeepers.

"I left Serbia in 2001 and it’s an honour to be back 12 years later in the quest to help my country and the men’s national handball team," said Matic, who scored 234 goals in 108 appearances for the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and won bronze medals with them at the 1999 and 2001 World Cup tournaments.

"Having been abroad in Hungary and then Slovenia, I am used to challenges and I really look forward to working with this team. In Dejan Perić I have a friend as well as an associate and I have full confidence in him, just like in the entire RSS staff," he added.

"We can be a euphoric nation and I am aware that fans always expect big accomplishments, but we have to be realistic and accept that there are plenty of nations out there capable of achieving success. Our first priority will be to play entertaining handball as ever."

Peric, who notched 212 international appearances under his belt representing Yugoslavia as well as Serbia, echoed Matic’s views.

"It’s an honour and a privilege to be here and in these times friends and colleagues like Matic are hard to come by.

Working with the national team is the biggest form of recognition one can hope for as staff and we will do everything we can to prepare the team for the upcoming challenges," Peric said.

RSS prepared to grant Peric and Matic the best working conditions possible

Serbia were drawn in a delicately balanced EHF EURO 2014 Preliminary Round group alongside France, Poland and Russia, meaning that the 2012 European Championship runners-up will have to be at their best if they are to advance into the main round in January’s 16-nation tournament in Denmark.

Their hopes will largely rest on the form of captain and top scorer Momir Ilic, who is enjoying an excellent first season at Veszprem after moving to the Hungarian side from THW Kiel during the close-season.

The versatile left back expressed full confidence in Matic and Peric, who replaced Ljubomir Vranjes after the former Sweden international, born from Serbian parents, steered Serbia through the last two games in the EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers when he helped the team clinch crucial wins against Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"We ended the qualifying campaign happy to be part of this Serbian team and we are now delighted to have Matic and Peric in charge, hoping we will carry on where we left off in July.

"I have complete faith in both of them because they know what it takes to get to the top and we will do our best to make an impact," said Ilic.

RSS general secretary Bozidar Djurkovic added: "The Serbian Handball Federation will do all it can to make sure that Matic and Peric have the best working conditions and having come through as a team stronger than ever after winning the EHF EURO 2012 silver medal on home court, we now look forward to defending that accolade in Denmark.

Our preliminary round group guarantees fascinating matches."  


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljević / ts
 
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