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05.07.2014, 09:20
Macedonian handball’s next great hope
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FEATURE: Filip Taleski excited to take the next step in his career and lead his nation into battle at the Men's 20 EHF EURO in Austria
 

Macedonian handball’s next great hope

The future of Macedonian handball is in safe hands as long as the small country on the Balkan Peninsula is producing players of the caliber of Metalurg’s Filip Taleski.

When his family moved in the nation’s capital Skopje, Taleski made his first steps in the sport and has developed into a player often compared with Kiril Lazarov and Pepi Manaskov.

“I started with 1996/97 age group in Metalurg’s handball school with the basic handball steps and this is when my passion towards this sport appeared.

“I trained very hard and often it occurred that only the coach and I were left training in the hall. I played in junior and youth categories and this season with Metalurg Junior we played in the national play-offs against Vardar and Metaurg and this was great experience for our young squad,” explained the 18-year-old.

Thanks to his great form in the Macedonian championship, Lino Cervar decided to take him to Kiel for the quarter-final second leg of the VELUX EHF Champions League, where Taleski made his debut in the competition, scoring three goals in the game. Taleski also took part for the first time in the senior national team for the 2015 World Championship qualification play-offs with Greece.

“My first appearance in the Champions League was against my favourite and also strongest team in Europe.

I entered in the last 15 min of the match and I scored fast my first goal in this competition. After being involved in my first foul, I started to play very relaxed and used the given chance. I couldn’t wish for a better Champions league debut. This was a great experience and I look forward to the upcoming season,” said the left back.

Stepping up

Taleski and another great young player Marko Nelovski signed their first professional contracts with the Macedonian champions this summer.

“I feel comfortable playing with both junior and youth categories but a real challenge for me comes when playing with senior players because in this case the wish to prove myself is very big.

“I feel great that I signed my first professional contract and I’m really happy that this happened in the club were I started my career. I have great collaboration with the older players in the team and I try to learn as much as possible from them.”

In qualification Group 7, which FYR Macedonia hosted, Taleski took the responsibility in the most critical moments and he was the best Macedonian player scoring 27 goals in three matches paving his sides way to the upcoming Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2014 in Austria.

“In the qualifications we had great support and it was amazing to feel the atmosphere which helped us to qualify. We had decent competitors and I must mention that Iceland had a great squad, but I’m glad that with our great performance we managed to take first place.”

Looking forward to the championship, Taleski believes that they have a chance against the strong opponents from Group A.

“Our squad is composed of many talented players and I can say we are a good generation. The luck was not on our side as we have to face the strong and favourite teams of Spain, France and Norway. We already played against France and we have bad experience with them as we were defeated by 15 goals, but I believe that with a good performance we have a chance in Austria,” concluded Taleski.


TEXT: Amina Idrizi / cor
 
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