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28.10.2014, 12:26
Macedonians keen to continue qualification run
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PREVIEW: With four consecutive final tournament qualifications under their belt, confidence is high in Skopje
 

Macedonians keen to continue qualification run

FYR Macedonia are becoming a mainstay at major international competitions. January’s 2015 World Championship in Qatar will be the team’s fourth consecutive final tournament appearance.

While much of the squad’s focus will be on Qatar, they will not be able to rest on their laurels if they wish to qualify for a fifth finals in a row, the Men’s EHF EURO 2016, as they face a tough group including France, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

A good start is important, so the Macedonians will expect a victory at home against Switzerland on 29 October, before trying to get the better of Czech Republic away on 2 November. In recent years, matches against Switzerland and Czech Republic have generally gone the Macedonian’s way and that will give them confidence.

"Our goal is certainly to be in Poland in 2016. These first two games are always important, although I think that all will be decided in the last two rounds next year.

“Such is the system of competition, which gives no time for holiday. We qualify for WCh in Qatar, but we have to think for EHF EURO 2016 also. I believe we have the quality both to play well in Qatar and to secure a place for EHF EURO 2016,” said coach Ivica Obrvan.

Unlike other situations when the team had a few days to prepare, this time the full squad will have only two days to rehearse.

"What we are missing is a few more days to work together. So we will not change anything in our game. We always want to introduce something new, but with no major changes.

“Now we have to recap on what we have done so far and the players have been together for a long time, so they know each other well,” added Obrvan.

With such a small period of preparation, the entire focus is now on the match with Switzerland, then on to the Czech Republic clash.

"We think only about Switzerland. They have a new coach and he will try to introduce new things. This match before the home crowd is very important to us. We know that they have ambitions, but we must not allow any surprises,” said the 48-year-old.

Naumce Mojsovski back in the team

A major boost for the squad is the return of Naumce Mojsovski after recovering from a knee injury, which kept him out for eight months.

The Metalurg centre back believes he is returning to his desired level, but needs more matches to get back into his routine. In his last game against Switzerland, Mojsovski scored nine goals.

"I hope to have my old form back, though I feel that I need some more matches. Goals scored does not have to be a guide for my form, it is important that this change of direction, that my distinctive twist is slowly returning, so I am available to coach and I think he will use me,” said Mojsovski, one of 13 Metalurg players in the squad.

Two youngsters involved

The team that will play against Switzerland and Czech Republic it mostly the same as June’s World Championship play-off games against Greece. There is only one change, as Marko Neloski replaces Nicola Stojcevski.

Macedonian youth team player Neloski has recovered from a shoulder injury in time and will be looking to build on his performances at the Men’s 18 EHF EURO, where he was a key player alongside Filip Taleski.

Both were invited for preparation of the senior squad in the past, and now Ivica Obrvan continues to rejuvenate the squad.

FYR Macedonia will welcome Switzerland on 29 October in Skopje, before they fly to Czech Republic for the game on 2 November in Zlin.

The Мacedonian squad selected for Rounds 1 and 2 of the Men’s EUF EURO 2016 Qualification:

Goalkeepers: Borko Ristovski (US Creteil, France), Nikola Mitrevski (Metalurg), Petre Angelov (Vardar)

Wing players: Dejan Manaskov, Goce Ojleski, Goce Georgievski (all from Metalurg), Zlatko Mojsoski (Prilep),

Backcourt players: Naumce Mojosvski, Ace Jonoski, Velko Markoski, Marko Neloski, Filip Taleski, Filip Mirkulovski, Renato Vugrinec (all from Metalurg), Filip Lazarov and Nemanja Pribak (both from Vardar), Kiril Lazarov (FC Barcelona)

Line players: Stojance Stoilov (Vardar), Vanco Dimovski and Nikola Markoski (both from Metalurg)


TEXT: Goran Antevski / cor
 
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