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27.04.2015, 18:27
New Serbian team ready to take fate into its own hands
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PREVIEW: Serbia are setting the foundation for another EHF EURO campaign as they approaching the vital qualification double-header against Iceland
 

New Serbian team ready to take fate into its own hands

The Serbian national team travels to Reykjavik, knowing that a vital win on Wednesday against their toughest opponents in EHF EURO 2016 Qualification Group 4 would give them a decisive edge before they host Iceland in Nis on 3 May).

Having won a maximum of four points from two matches with the new coach Dejan Peric, Serbia top the Group 4 – two points ahead of their upcoming rival Iceland – following wins against Montenegro (25:21) and Israel (26:22).

"We prepare for this match like it’s the finals. We know Iceland will do their utmost to win in Reykjavik. There are very few unknowns, and we are fully aware what they are capable of, and how to counter that threat.

"We want to win both matches and take the fate into our own hands," says Dejan Peric for ehf-euro.com.

National team greater than any individual

Taking over at the most difficult time, Dejan Peric was facing a daunting task of having little to no time to prepare the team for the EHF EURO 2016 qualification matches, but the results in his first two matches at the helm, secured him much needed trust and confidence from the players and the fans alike.

"One thing I have put strong emphasis on, is to have a good understanding with the players. I often travel to see them, and take every opportunity to speak to them – constant communication is key.

"What I’m trying to accomplish is to set the right foundation and system we can utilise for years to come,” says Peric, who won the bronze medal with Yugoslavia at the EHF EURO 1996 in Spain

Only the deserving will play

Some well-known names find their place among the 18 players Peric selected to face Iceland in Reykjavik (29 April), with the likes of Momir Ilic, Marko Vujin and Rastko Stojkovic, as the core of the team blending youth and experience.

"Every player has a role, and it’s been made abundantly clear what is expected of them. The experienced will of course lead the way, but the youngsters are expected to step up when needed, with a view to take over when time comes," says Peric.

In contrast to the past selections, Peric opted to include four players from the Serbian league – Miroslav Kocic and Dejan Milosavljev in goal, the towering line player Mijailo Marsenic, while the absence of Ivan Nikcevic, who has not fully recovered from his injury, opened the way for Filip Marjanovic to impress on the left wing.

"I will select only those who deserve to play, and continue to show their commitment for the national team day in, day out," said Peric of his selection policy.

Djordjic set to make Serbia debut

However, the biggest talking point remains the inclusion of left back Petar Djordjic, who will follow his father Zoran’s footsteps playing in the Serbia shirt. The HSV Hamburg starlet is expected to make his debut in Reykjavik and complete the left back duo alongside stalwart Momir Ilic.

"I’m selecting versatile players that fit into the team with their playing attributes, as well as their personality. Petar is surely that kind of player - the best left back of his generation. He’s got a lot to offer to the national team," said Peric.

Serbian national team to face Iceland in the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification:

Goalkeepers: Miroslav Kocic (RK Vojvodina), Dejan Milosavljev (RK Jugovic Kac), Dragan Marjanac (BSV Bern Muri)

Wing players: Filip Marjanovic (RK Vojvodina), Nemanja Ilic (Fenix Tolouse) Darko Djukic (RK Metalurg), Aleksandar Radovanovic (JS Cherbourg Manche Hand)

Back court players: Momir Ilic (MKB-MVM Veszprem), Ilija Abutovic (HC Vardar), Marko Vujin (THW Kiel), Nemanja Zelenovic (Orlen Wisla Plock), Dalibor Cutura (HCM Constanta), Nenad Vuckovic (MT Meslungen), Petar Djordjic (HSV Hamburg), Davor Čutura (Al Quiyada), Nemanja Mladenovic (Cesson Rennes Métropole Hand)

Line players: Rastko Stojkovic (HC Meshkov Brest), Mijajlo Marsenic (RK Partizan)


TEXT: Nemanja Savic / ts
 
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