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21.03.2014, 13:38
With young spirit against Russia
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PREVIEW: FYR Macedonia throw off their campaign in the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Qualification
 

With young spirit against Russia

The Macedonian women’s national team leaves no doubt that it takes its first matches in the current Women’s EHF EURO 2014 Qualification seriously.

Being drawn to a group of only three, alongside Germany and Russia, FYR Macedonia did not play in Rounds 1 and 2 back in October 2013 and now face Russia at the start of their campaign on 26 March at Russia and on 29 March on home court.

The team started with its first preparations as early as January when they played three matches against Tunisia.

Despite losing all three of them left wing Dragica Mitrova, who plays club handball for Skopje side Metalurg, sees the team making progress.

"The good thing is that our shape is going in the right direction and the atmosphere in the team is on a high level which brings optimistic thoughts before the qualification matches," she says.

Since these test matches head coach Risto Magdincev had the opportunity to summon a considerable amount of his internationals every Monday for training at Skopje’s Boris Trajkovski arena.

18 players who compete domestically were present, with only – for obvious reasons – those playing abroad missing out.

The final preparation phase started on Thursday, 20 March and Magdincev has announced the squad he summoned for the qualification double-header.  

The national team faces the tricky situation that some players decided to quit playing for the national team.

Biljana Crvenkovska, Mirjeta Bajramovska, Dragica Kresoja, Natasa Kocevska and Matlida Atanovska for different reasons decided to retire from international handball, while an injury sidelined goalkeeper Dijana Naumovska for six months.

"I think that the experienced players could have helped the national team in the qualifications for the European Championship and then quit playing, but this is their decision which we all should respect.

"At this point our squad suffered many changes and it is composed mostly of young players which are not experienced, and we will see at the end of the qualification whether this is an advantage or weakness," said line player Robertina Mechevska.

The first qualification match will be played on 26 March in Rostov-Don and three days later the return match in FYR Macedonia follows suit.

"We are preparing and I hope that everything we are doing during this preparation period, we will manage to show in the qualification match with Russia. This will be very hard match for us, but I believe that we can make it a success," Gjorgievska said.

In Rounds 5 and 6 in the middle of June 2014 FYR Macedonia will meet Germany.

The FYR Macedonia squad

Goalkeepers: Natasa Antik (WHC Metalurg), Ivana Zafirova (Kastrioti, Kosovo)

Wingers: Jovana Sazdovska (WHC Metalurg), Dragica Mitrova (WHC Metalurg), Simona Nikolovska (WHC Metalurg), Sanja Ristovska (WHC Metalurg)

Line players: Robertina Mechevska (WHC Metalurg), Natasha Mladenovska (WHC Metalurg), Lenche Ilkova (Üsküdar B.S.K.)

Back court players: Elena Livrinikj (WHC Metalurg), Damjana Jovanovska (WHC Metalurg), Ivana Sazdonvski (Vardar SCBT), Elena Gjorgievska (Buducnost), Andrea Beleska (WHC Metalurg), Gabrieal Velichkovska (WHC Metalurg), Dusica Gjorgievska (WHC Metalurg), Simona Grozdanovska (WHC Metalurg), Zorica Despodovska (HF Lugi)


TEXT: Amina Idrizi / ts
 
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