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30.10.2013, 09:52
Kastratovic summons young team to shape Montenegro’s handball future
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NEWS REPORT: Two test matches against FYR Macedonia shall give the head coach an insight into which players to take to the EHF EURO 2014
 

Kastratovic summons young team to shape Montenegro’s handball future

Montenegro, the team that surprised handball Europe by leaving behind Germany in the EHF EURO Qualification, is back together again, aiming to get in shape for the final tournament in Denmark in January.

They will play two test matches against against FYR Macedonia on the upcoming weekend (1 and 2 November) for which head coach Zoran Kastratovic, whose contract has recently been extended for another three years, has summoned a young team that is destined to shape Montenegro's handball future.

Besides left wing Petar Kapisoda and PSG Handball right wing Fahrudin Melic, who had already announced their retirement from the national team, Kastratovic did not nominate Zoran Roganovic, Vladimir Osmajic, Marko Pejovic, Goran Lasica and Marko Simovic.

The team's captain, Draško Mrvaljevic, will miss the games as he has to complete his move to Germany following his transfer from Austrian side, Bregenz Handball, to German club GWD Minden.

The rumours are that those players, or at least most of them, will not be part of the squad that will play at the EHF EURO in Denmark, but Kastratovic refrains from revealing anything at this early stage.

"Most of the players who defeated Germany in June are here," he said.

"I wouldn't say we are missing anyone compared to the qualification games in June. However, we have only a small pool of players playing at the top level, so that all the players who played for the national team remain in the competition for the future.

"I would also leave room for those who are wondering if they will be play anymore for national team. It's just an individual decision."

Summoning the stars of tomorrow

There are some new names in the team, young players such as Milan Popovic, Igor Radojevic, Vuko Borozan, Goran Andjelic.

Following a two-year absence, Mulhouse Handball Sud Alsace middle back Bogdan Petricevic celebrates his comeback.

"Here I am again. Of course it's nice to be part of the national team and I believe that in this period I will justify the call from Kastratovic. I hope he will be satisfied and will count on me for the future, I hope also for the EHF 2014 EURO in Denmark," 24-year-old Petricevic said.

"Since the games with FYR Macedonia are not competitive, this is a chance to check out some younger players and to see who can be part of the team for the future," Kastratović added.

One of those who are destined to be a future face of Montenegrin handball is a 20-year-old Vladan Lipovina.

The right back from Spanish side BM Ciudad Encantada scored three goals against Czech Republic in the last EHF 2014 EURO Qualification game.

"We younger players have the chance to prove ourselves. In the two games with Macedonia, we have to fight to take the opportunity that we have been given.

"It means a lot to me to be part of this team, to have a chance to to get a space for the future," Lipovina said.

The first match against FYR Macedonia will be closed for the public (the two teams will play three periods of 20 minutes each), while the second one will be open to spectators.

"This will be good test for players and to assess their form. Every day we spend together means a lot. The result against Macedonia is not our highest priority," Kastratović said.

At EHF 2014 EURO in Denmark, Montenegro will play in Group D against Croatia, Sweden and Belarus.

"The group is strong and being in Denmark is already a great success for us. Every victory in the big competition can be treated as a national holiday.

"We saw at the World Championship 2013 in Spain how the tournament is different from the qualifications. By eliminating Germany we sprung a big surprise, but in Denmark we will have very strong opponents in the group," Kastratovic concluded.

Montenegro squad for EHF national week and friendly games with FYR Macedonia on 1 and 2 November

Goalkeepers: Rade Mijatovic (HC Metalurg, FYR Macedonia), Marko Rajkovic (Valence Handball, France), Nebojsa Simic (HK Malmö, Sweden)

Left wings: Igor Markovic (Lovcen), Milan Popović (Lovcen), Miloš Vujovic (Budvanska rivijera)

Right wings: Marko Lasica (Pick Szeged, Hungary), Mirko Radović (Lovcen), Igor Radojević (Maccabi Kiryat Motzkin, Israel)

Line players: Mladen Rakcevic (A.E.K., Greece), Nemanja Grbovic (Crvena zvezda, Serbia)

Left backs: Vasko Sevaljevic (TSV Hannover-Burgdorf), Vuko Borozan (Karlovac, Croatia)

Centre backs: Stevan Vujovic (Selestat Alsace Handball, France), Mirko Milasevic (Billere Handball, France), Uarko Pejovic (Tatran Presov, Slovakia), Bogdan Petricevic (Mulhouse Handball Sud Alsace, France), Bozo Andjelic (Crvena zvezda, Serbia)

Right backs: Ivan Perisic (Cegledi KKSE, Hungary), Vladan Lipovina (BM Ciudad Encantada, Spain), Nemanja Malovic (GC Amicitia Zürich, Switzerland)


TEXT: Saša Jončić / ts
 
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