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22.12.2013, 15:47
Montenegro put responsibility on young shoulders
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NEWS REPORT: Head coach Zoran Kastratovic reduces the number of players preparing for the EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark from 28 to 22
 

Montenegro put responsibility on young shoulders

As it had been expected, the Montenegrin team taking to the court at the EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark will on average be younger compared to the team that played the World Championship 2013 in Spain and the EHF EURO 2014 Qualification.

This was confirmed by a short list of 22 players announced by head coach Zoran Kastratovic, naming six players less than the initial squad list of 28.

Not listed by Kastratovic anymore are line player Marko Pejovic, right wing Fahrudin Melic, left backs Vladimir Osmajic and Marko Draskovic and right back Zarko Markovic.

Young left back Vuko Borozan will work parallel with junior and the senior team during the preparation period.

"We are continuing the process of rejuvenation. In general, on the list are the players who played in the last two actions," Kastratovic told eurohandball.com.

In April, following the two EHF 2014 EURO qualification matches againt Israel, PSG Handball right wing Fahrudin Melic, had already declared that he wanted spend more time with his family. 

However, he left open a small window for a potential return.

"I doubt that something will change. However, if all our best players would be in the team, which I doubt, I would seriously think to change my decision," he said.

Big chance for young Jocic

Unlike in the cases of Melic, Osmajic and Pejovic, the official squad list lacked the name of right back Zoran Roganovic, one of the pillars of the team's early days after the nation had become independent.

"It's time for the younger players to take responsibility. And I think we should give a chance to young players and try the tournament with them, with the help of a small number of those who were there for a long time.

"If Montenegro's national team will need me again, as long as I play handball, I will always be available. Good luck to the team in Denmark. I hope they will make a good result and I will be on site to cheer for them," Roganovic said.

"Zoran has big sports and human values. He told me the same. And like a true sportsman he said that he is always ready to help the team if necessary," Kastratovic added.

On the short list there is only one new name compared to previous matches: 20-year-old Filip Jocic, left back of Danish second division team HOJ Handbold.

"We follow his development. He will be with us to get a feel for the atmosphere. I think he’s a promising player," Kastratovic said.

"I feel great. I didn’t expect it, I only dreamed about. My greatest wish was to be on the Montenegro list of players. That’s why all the players are fighting and playing handball. My dream came true," Jocic said.

The team will gather on 23 December in Budva. In the preparation period, Montenegro will play of two test matches in Budva against the junior team, and also engage in a tournament in Skopje, on 3 and 4 January, with FYR Macedonia and Serbia.

At the EHF EURO 2014, Montenegro have been drawn to Group D with Sweden, Croatia and Belarus.


TEXT: Saša Jončić / ts
 
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