«sep 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«oct 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«nov 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910
«dec 2017»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
27282930123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
«jan 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«feb 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627281234
567891011
«mar 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627281234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678
«apr 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
«may 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«jun 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
2345678
«jul 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«aug 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

16.11.2015, 22:16
Serbia venture to unlock their true potential
«Go back »Print Version


EHF EURO INSIGHTS: Nemanja Savic thinks that despite the Supercup signalling more problems than positives, solutions for Serbia’s troubles are within reach and addressable on time ahead of the EHF EURO 2016
 

Serbia venture to unlock their true potential

Serbia have put in a lot of effort over the past months to get back on track to their winning ways.

With the EHF EURO 2016 on the horizon, the new concept under coach Dejan Peric has seen an amount of positives, as well as taken several low blows, with a few injuries as well as Momir Ilic’s absence from the team.

The preparation tournament results at the beginning of November have signalled the warning signs, as Serbia lost all three of their matches; against Slovenia, Germany and Brazil. However, the Supercup was another opportunity to test the worst-case scenario in terms of team roster – no Ilic and no Stanic in the team – as well as to give several up-and-comers a chance to impress.

Back court promise

The return of Zarko Sesum sparked belief within the team, as the Göppingen left back stands as the first name on the list to replace the quintessential Momir Ilic.

Sesum’s ability to play at the heart of the back court trio, as a playmaker, as well as contribute on both ends is of great importance to Peric’s system.

Furthermore, with an abundance of back court choices, Serbia will have no worries in terms of depth.

With the likes of Sesum, Ilija Abutovic, Momir Rnic, Petar Djordjic, Luka Mitrovic and Uros Elezovic in his selection, Peric will have plenty of rotation possibilities, especially with Nemanja Zelenovic and talented Milos Orbovic now providing feasible alternatives for Marko Vujin.

Despite good back-up options, last-second injuries to Drasko Nenadic and Nenad Vuckovic prevented Serbia from fully executing their game plan at the Supercup. The long-serving middle back Vuckovic is a mainstay in solidifying the defence, which is essential for Serbia’s chances.

However, the imminent return of the Bundesliga duo is bound to provide some much needed variety in rotation.

Line players to step up

Playing for Vardar has done wonders for Mijajlo Marsenic’s confidence. The line player has emerged as a solid all-round alternative for the seasoned Rastko Stojkovic.

22-year old Marsenic is enjoying a growing reputation at his club and national team, and his progress is apparent, as he contributed in both defensive as well as attacking phase with seven goals scored at the Supercup.

However, the biggest weight of expectations will still be upon Stojkovic’s shoulders. The valiant Meshkov Brest luminary is playing in the form of his life ahead of the EHF EURO.

Fresh blood on the wings

The left wing position has shown great strength in rotation, alongside the newly named captain Ivan Nikcevic, as well as the tenacious up-and-comer Nemanja Ilic. Nikcevic’s model-professional dedication and motive has never questioned, and his end-to-end relentlessness and efficiency is sure to give Serbia some much needed solidity.

Ilic has been on the fringes of the national team setup for some time, and has taken his opportunity to shine as a solid alternative to the evergreen left wing dynamo.

Since making his national team debut last year, during the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification, 20-year-old Darko Djukic has made the right wing slot his own.

The flamboyant Besiktas winger has shown quality to become the first choice in the Serbia setup, with the highly talented SG Flensburg prodigy Bogdan Radivojevic at least as equally effective as his alternative.

Vojvodina star Strahinja Stankovic is also set to provide added quality on tap, and a variety of options in rotation.

No problems between the posts

All the good news in goal. The legendary Darko Stanic is now likely to re-join the team following a hiatus from the national team since 2013, while in absence of the stalwart; Obrad Ivezic has been a pleasant surprise in Serbian goal.

Boosted by the crucial save to come away with the all-important one point playing Montenegro away in June, Ivezic was ever-dependable over the course of the three-day Supercup in Germany.

Problem areas

As much as the back court is being adequately equipped in depth, it is the foremost problem area.

Despite the 11-goal rout sustained from Germany (26:37), the Serbian defence has stood out decent enough to build upon. Nonetheless, Germany have shown how easy it can be at times for a fast, organised offence to break it down.

However, with Ilija Abutovic a defensive specialist for Vardar, he just might be the igniting spark in creating a lock-down defensive partnership, especially as Nenad Vuckovic completes his recovery.

Having Abutoivic, Marsenic, Stojkovic, as well as Vuckovic at the heart of their 6-0 defence, with enough focus and cohesion, the Serbian centre block definitely has the potential to become their main trait.

With the back court still in question, lack of coherence in executing attacking duties has left a somewhat bitter taste, with two months until they play the Poland in their opening match of the EHF EURO 2016.

While not among the fastest teams around, the Serbian attack has been known for great discipline and tactical execution to make up for the lack of pace – namely, taking it slow. However, the approach inherited problems originating in the entire back court, mainly due to the slow transition, resulting in the lack of efficiency.

Long-term deficiency of a real playmaker has been additionally emphasised, now that Dalibor Cutura retired to become team manager. This absence of creative force has put a big question mark on Serbia’s attacking prowess.

Being an advocate of having versatile players on the court, instead of a two-man rotation - with the option of moving Sesum to the centre back position - Peric might have the winning combination in the back court trio of Abutovic, Sesum and Vujin.

This leads to another issue. Marko Vujin has been resting on his laurels for way too long, having come short of being the menacing bomber he is at THW Kiel in the shirt of the national team.

To his defence, Vujin’s two-dimensional running and inability to create chances for himself tends to leave him out of shooting positions and easily picked up by an opponent.

However, tenaciousness and the right amount of attacking movement to disjoint opposition’s defense towards right even for a split second, might be just enough to uncover the earth-shattering potential Vujin has and do wonders for his confidence.

With everything said, for Serbia the promise is certainly there. Peric’s work begins in earnest to address the issues and make the effort that is upon them worthwhile. Serbia will go to the EHF EURO 2016 with a mission to live up to their potential, having sternest of challenges straight from the get-go, facing Poland, France and FYR Macedonia.


TEXT: Nemanja Savic / ts
 
Share
CONTACT FORM