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05.01.2016, 11:32
FYR Macedonia hope for one last 'big splash' at EHF EURO 2016
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EHF EURO COUNTDOWN #7: A fifth rank at the EHF EURO 2012 was the best result for the Macedonian team to date and with several players nearing the end of their career, the hope for another stunning performance unites the team
 

FYR Macedonia hope for one last 'big splash' at EHF EURO 2016

FYR Macedonia have geared up their preparations for the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland with all players on board and test matches scheduled against Slovenia and Montenegro.

The first match against Slovenia on 4 January ended with a 28:28 draw and with Kiril Lazarov being the team’s top scorer with seven goals, it is once again clear on whom the responsibility will rest come the final tournament.

The second match against Slovenia takes place on 5 January, the matches against Montenegro on 10 and 11 January.

The team’s strength

When it comes to the strongest part of the national team, it is clear that once more the Macedonians will be led by one of the world’s best scorers: Kiril Lazarov.

It is more than certain that some youngsters will get their spot in the final squad, but yet the backbone of the national team remains the same as in the last few years.

Taking into consideration that the current generation of players has been together for several years, the collective spirit turns out to be the strongest side of the Macedonian national team.

The team’s weakness

In the past few matches it was the goalkeepers who did not produce their best performances and were regarded as the weakest link of the team. The first choice on this position, Borko Ristovski, was injured during the first part of the season and his performance at Créteil in France was weak.

In November he transferred to German Bundesliga top team Rhein-Neckar Löwen and it is expected that his form will rise, however, he is not the first choice goalkeeper in the club and his court time is limited.

Furthermore, the actual shape of centre back Naumche Mojsovski remains unknown. Mojsovski spent a considerable part of the season without a club and only signed CSM Bucuresti in Romania less than two months ago.

The team’s star

Just like it has been the case in the past decade, once more the biggest burden will definitely be with Kiril Lazarov.

Lazarov was the top scorer at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia and at the World Championship in Croatia 2009 and scored more than 1,000 goals in European competitions. Any of team’s defences in Group A will have to think about how to stop the Macedonian goal machine.

The hidden gem

In the last preparation games FYR Macedonia missed their first choice line player Stojance Stoilov and this opened a chance for Metalurg’s Zarko Pesevski.

He made good use of the opportunity given to him and showed his full potential when being on court.

Furthermore, if his teammate Daniel Dupjacanec earns a place in the final squad of 16, the two of them could be the ‘hidden gems’ in the Macedonian squad.

The outlook

In Krakow in Group A FYR Macedonia will face world Champions France, hosts Poland and their neighbours Serbia.

There  is hardly any doubt that France and Poland are supposed to be stronger, hence the battle for the third spot in the main round is likely to take place between the Macedonians and Serbia – and the fact that Serbia play without Momir Ilic, Rastko Stojkovic and Marko Vujin may work in FYR Macedonia’s favour.

The EHF EURO 2016 might be the last chance for a successful tournament for the current generation of players, as it is very likely that some of them will consider retiring after the EHF EURO 2016.

Therefore the motivation for the players to go as far as possible in this event is bigger than ever.


TEXT: Amina Idrizi / ts
 
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