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19.11.2015, 08:50
Same old leader, some new names
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In the preparation for the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland, the expectations in FYR Macedonia continue to lie on the shoulders of back court ace Kiril Lazarov
 

Same old leader, some new names

Three years ago, FYR Macedonia achieved their best result at an EHF EURO to date when they finished fifth at the championship in Serbia.

These days, with less than two months to go until EHF EURO 2016 in Poland, the country’s third consecutive participation at this level, things do not look the brightest.

The national team week at the beginning of November was marked with injuries and several key players did not play. On the other hand some new players received the chance to show what they are capable of – but eventually the results at the tournament in Umag did not surprise anyone.

FYR Macedonia lost 21:29 to Croatia and drew 30:30 with Montenegro

Same leader - new names

Kiril Lazarov was in charge of the ‘experimental squad’ at Umag and youngsters Filip Taleski, Darko Dimitirevski, Stefan Drogrishki, Filip Kuzmanovski and Zharko Peshevski were the replacements that came in for the injured. Perhaps the biggest burden was on Zharko Peshevski who had to replace both line players who missed this part of the preparation phase.

Even though Peshevski impressed in Umag, it is the line player position that will cause some concern for head coach Ivica Obrvan as his first choice line player Stojanche Stoilov is likely to miss the EHF EURO 2016 because of an ongoing shoulder injury.

Furthermore Naumche Mojsovski, who is currently without a club after his contract with Qatari side Lekhwiya ended, as well as Petar Angelov and Velko Markoski were not nominated by Obrvan.

Taken these developments into consideration, it is already possible to second guess some of the  the players which will be on the final list for Poland 2016.

Most probably the first choice goalkeeper will be Borko Ristovski, while the second spot will be decided between Petar Angelov and Nikola Mitrevski. Also, it is not entirely unthinkable that Metalurg goalkeeper Daniel Dupjacanec will get the call as he has been in great shape in the VELUX EHF Champions League matches so far.

On the line, and in the absence of Stojanche Stoilov, it is expected that Nikola Markovski will be the first choice on this position, while Zharko Peshevski thanks to his recent good performances, will get the opportunity to play in Poland.

On the wings Dejan Manaskov, Goce Ojleski are sure at the left wing position while Goce Georgievski and Nikola Kostevski will keep the right side.

Once more the back court line will be led by one the best players in the world, Kiril Lazarov, who is in a great shape so far this season. His younger brother Filip as well as Vlatko Mitkov, Nemanja Pribak, Filip Mirkulovski, Jonovski and Taleski will cover the remaining positions.  

The destiny of Naumche Mojsovski will be decided later, as the centre back has to find a club first.

The draw saw FYR Macedonia being seeded in Group A with three strong opponents, France, Poland and Serbia.

With the current state of the squad, the odds are not in favour of FYR Macedonia when it comes to the matches against title holders France and hosts Poland.

Most probably the decisive match for the team in the fight for a main round spot will be the clash against their neighbours Serbia.


TEXT: Amina Idrizi / ts
 
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