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03.04.2015, 13:10
Former Serbian international makes debut for Montenegro
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NEWS REPORT: Goalkeeper Radivoje Ristanovic and line player Branko Kankaras, also Serbian-born, reinforce Montenegro's men's national team ahead of the EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers against Israel, with the match against their native Serbia yet to come
 

Former Serbian international makes debut for Montenegro

Montenegro's men's national team will face Israel in the Men’s EHF EURO 2016 Qualification at the end of April with almost the same squad that took to the court against Serbia and Iceland back in October. Almost? Yes, almost.

Two new – Serbian born – players will reinforce Montenegro in the away game on 30 April in Tel Aviv and on 3 May in Bar: line player Branko Kankaras and goalkeeper Radivoje Ristanovic.

"It’s an honour and pleasure to play for the national team of Montenegro. My family name ‘Kankaras' has its roots here, and my father was born in Niksic (a city in Montenegro).

"I'm glad that the federation has recognised my qualities. I hope we will have a successful qualification and that I will live up to (MNE head coach's Obradovic’s demands," Kankaras said.

While the double-header against Israel mark Kankaras' debut for Montenegro, the subsequent qualifier against Serbia in June will be a special match for the 26-year-old line player.

"Serbia is the country where I was born, where I lived and lately played for my club HC Vojvodina. But, this will not diminish my desire to beat Serbia with the Montenegrin national team and fight for a place at the EHF EURO 2016.

"Of course, I'd love to see both Montenegro and Serbia to be among the participants in Poland."

Kankaras is not the only debutant. As goalkeeper Rade Mijatovic is injured and unlikely to be fit for the upcoming qualification matches against Israel, former Serbian international Radivoje Ristanovic will play his first match for the country in which he has spent the last five years playing for HC Lovcen-Cetinje.

"I'm really looking forward to playing for Montenegro," Ristanovic said.

While Kankaras and Ristanovic claimed a place in the squad, head coach Obradovic will not rely on players that have been part of the national team for several years.

Players such as Drasko Mrvaljevic, Mladen Rakcevic, Marko Simovic, Zarko Pejovic, Stevan Vujovic, Nebojsa Simic will not play the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification against Israel.

"As many of my colleagues, I was in the situation that I had to rejuvenate the team. I don't want to close the door to anyone but I want them to play for their clubs and demonstrate their quality," Obradovic explained.


TEXT: Saša Jončić / me / ts
 
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