«sep 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«oct 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«nov 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910
«dec 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
27282930123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
«jan 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«feb 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627281234
567891011
«mar 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627281234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678
«apr 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
«may 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«jun 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«jul 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«aug 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

28.12.2013, 14:41
Serbia's Ilic ready to hand over the mantle
«Go back »Print Version


EHF EURO COUNTDOWN: The prolific left back, who led his country's charge to the EHF EURO 2012 silver medal, says it's time for young talents to take over as the driving force at the upcoming European Championship in Denmark
 

Serbia’s Ilic ready to hand over the mantle

With EHF EURO 2014 around the corner, Serbia have started the penultimate stage of their preparations for the 16-nation tournament where they will defend their runners-up finish at the previous tournament, where they excelled as the host nation in front of passionate and success-hungry fans.

Repeating the feat in Denmark, who beat them in the 2012 final, might be a tall order but there was no shortage of optimism in the Serbian camp as they gathered on 26 December.

Although the Serbians will miss centre back Nenad Vuckovic, who will be sidelined for six weeks with a wrist injury, their captain and top scorer Momir Ilic is confident that they will be able to make an impact and once again feature as contenders for a podium finish.

"It’s going to be a fiercely competitive event but I never aim to finish fifth in a major tournament so we have to set the bar high and go for glory," Ilic told reporters as the bulk of the team arrived in Belgrade.

"All our players based in Germany are in terrific form and that is certainly good news. The younger players, namely Momir Rnic, Marko Vujin and Petar Nenadic should lead the charge now, while I am focused on building imbedding all my individual qualities into a team effort to do well," said the 32-year-old, who has played for his country under eight different coaches and is now instrumental at Hungarian giants Veszprem.

The current head coach, Vladan Matic, will have his baptism by fire at the EHF EURO 2014 after taking over from interim coach Ljubomir Vranjes, who guided Serbia through the latter stages of the qualifying campaign after Veselin Vukovic made way for the Sweden-born former centre back.

Former international winger Matic has rounded up two-thirds of his provisional 28-man squad, while those plying their trade in the Bundesliga will join their teammates on 2 January before they start the final stage of the team’s European Championship build-up.

Serbia are in a delicately balanced group alongside France, Russia and Poland. Ilic believes that the opening match against the unpredictable Poles (13 January) could be pivotal for Serbia's hopes of reaching the main round and then progressing to the medal rounds.

"We will head into that game firing on all cylinders because a good start is vital in a competition with little or no room for error.

"It seems that the wheel of fortune is finely balanced in our clashes with Poland and having lost our last encounter, it should be our turn to win,” he said.

Adding silverware to the tropy cabinet

Serbia will play two test games before taking off to Denmark. They will meet neighbours FYR Macedonia and Montenegro in a three-team tournament in Skopje and Matic acknowledged that creating a good atmosphere was a priority in a limited time-frame ahead of the European Championship.

"There is no room for much philosophy or inventing new tricks because EHF EURO 2014 is around the corner.

"We have to rely on tried and tested players and their current form, meaning that we will use half a dozen or so training sessions and the two friendlies to generate a good atmosphere in the locker room,” Matic told Belgrade daily Sportski Zurnal.

Right back Nemanja Zelenovic, who has already played under Matic at Slovenian champions Celje Pivovarna Lasko, could be one of the trump card up his coach’s sleeve.

He pointed out that this month’s success of the women’s team, who won the silver medal at the World Championship 2013 on home court, should inspire the men’s outfit to add something to the country’s handball trophy cabinet.

“Their achievement should drive us to greater heights and bolster our appetite for success,” Zelenovic said. “It seems that we work as a tag team because they flourished after we won the EHF EURO 2012 silver medal.”

Prior to their friendlies against FYR Macedonia and Montenegro, Serbia will play an exhibition match in Belgrade against a team selected by the country’s leading handball journalists and headed by Partizan Belgrade coach Aleksandar Brkovic.


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / ts
 
Share
CONTACT FORM