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07.04.2015, 22:34
Bosnia-Herzegovina fight full of confidence for EHF EURO debut
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PREVIEW: Bosnia-Herzegovina are set for the defining duels of their EHF EURO 2016 Qualification campaign against Lithuania, hoping to chase down Belarus as the second ranked team in Group 2
 

Bosnia confident of fighting for their EHF EURO debut

One point from two matches and four games remaining in the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification Group 2 leave every possibility open for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

On their way to the final tournament in Poland, they have to face Lithuania at the end of April and the beginning of May, as well as Belarus and Denmark in the middle of June.

As he speaks to ehf-euro.com head coach Dragan Markovic, who masterminded his team to the World Championship 2015 in Qatar, is convinced his team belongs to their second consecutive major event - the EHF EURO 2016.

"Everything remains open for now. We’ve made a big step forward with the 25:25 draw in Minsk. This result puts us in a good position, before we play Belarus at home on 11 June.

"We’ll be well prepared for both matches against Lithuania, knowing one win will open the possibility to fight for the EURO. But it will be no easy task – Lithuania withstand Denmark quite well, showing some excellent play at times.

"If we can take two points from these two games, our home match against Belarus in Tuzla on 11 June will decide who will go to the EURO," says coach Markovic.

Unfit trio remain on the additional list

The team Markovic selected when he took over the national team in 2011 has remained mostly unchanged - suggesting a lot of trust the coach puts in this group of players.

It has raised some concerns however, that Bosnia-Herzegovina have to face the absence of some important names on their squad list against Lithuania.

Among them, KS Azoty-Pulawy right back Kosta Savic as well as Pedja Dejanovic, whose brilliant goalkeeping against Iceland in the World Championship Play-ofss secured the Bosnians a place at the final tournament in Qatar.

"Kosta Savic needs rest after recovering from injury. Nonetheless, the return of Marko Panic is a big boost for us on the right back position.

“In goal Petar Jokanovic, deserved a call-up after impressing for his club Borac Banja Luka. He’ll replace Pedja Dejanovic as well as Nebojsa Grahovac who’s suffering a knee injury - we are trying to avoid over-exhausting them at the moment.

"All of these players will remain on the additional list, and could complete the squad under the right circumstances."

EHF EURO - a huge step forward

Retrospectively of the World Championship 2015 - their biggest success so far - Dragan Markovic reveals the next step for the national team of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"I’m happy that the core of the team endured as few changes as possible since Qatar.

"It allowed me to develop a system where young players, who come into the team for the qualifications - like Muhamed Zulfic, Nebojsa Bojic or Josip Eres - can contribute, and become key as they progress.

"We enter the EURO qualification finally being able to forge ‘the cult of the national team’, among the players and fans alike.

"Participating in the EHF EURO would represent our biggest challenge so far, and a huge step forward for Bosnian handball," concludes Markovic.

Bosnia-Herzegovina national team will gather in Bihać on 24 April, where they will prepare for the duels against Lithuania.

Bosnia and Herzegovina national team to face Lithuania:

Goalkeepers: Benjamin Buric (RK Gorenje), Petar Jokanovic (RK Borac M:tel), Nebojsa Bojic (Derventa);

Wing players: Alen Ovcina (Al-Shamal SC), Mirko Mikic (Borac M:tel Banja Luka), Faruk Vrazalic (HBW Balingen-Weilstetten), Muhamed Zulfic (RK Bosna);

Back court players: Nikola Prce (KS Azoty-Pulawy), Dusko Celica (RK PPD Zagreb), Mirsad Terzic (MKB-MVM Veszprem), Vladan Loncar (MOL-Pick Szeged), Ivan Karacic (HC Meshkov Brest), Josip Peric (Qatar SC), Dejan Malinovic (US Creteil Hand), Marko Panic (Chambery Savoie) Adnan Sivic (RK Sisicia);

Line players: Vladimir Vranjes (MOL-Pick Szeged), Muhamed Toromanovic (US Creteil Hand), Senjamin Buric (RK Gorenje).


TEXT: Nemanja Savic / me / ts
 
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