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09.03.2016, 12:16
Simovski: "Everyone has to assume responsibility"
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PREVIEW: FYR Macedonia's head coach Sime Simovski talks about the upcoming Women's EHF EURO qualifiers against Slovenia and the challenges he faces in building a successful team
 

Simovski: "Everyone has to assume responsibility"

In 2008 FYR Macedonia hosted the Women’s EHF EURO and claimed the seventh position, their best result to date. The team still qualified for the EHF EURO 2012, but finished last.

And what followed afterwards was an almost deafening silence with squad for any notable success ever since.

Last September Sime Simovski was appointed new head coach.

His start was a rocky one with losses to Croatia and Montenegro in the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 Qualification, but he hopes that the upcoming qualifiers against Slovenia on 10 and 12 March will mark the start to a better future.

ehf-euro.com: Sime Simovski, how would you describe your team at the moment.
Sime Simovski: A lot of things have changed throughout the years, and at the moment we have much younger players that are wearing the national team jersey. There is a difference between the generation that was born in 1983/84 such as Mirjeta Bajramovska, Robertina Mecevska, Natasa Popovska and the generation that represents the country today.

There is a ten-year-gap from which only very few players are playing handball. At this moment, we have some talented young girls in the team, but it will take years of work in order to reach the results that Macedonia had in the past years.

ehf-euro.com: You mentioned Mirjeta Bajramovska, who currently is the best Macedonian player in the European club competitions. But she left the national team...
Sime Simovski: Mirjeta Bajramovska is surely an amazing player and it would be great to have her in this squad because we need a player with her abilities and experience.

She played plenty of good matches for the national team in the past and she also plays great this season at Krim. Anyway, she decided that she doesn’t want to play for the national team and I respect her decision.

ehf-euro.com: Unlike the other national teams, FYR Macedonia is rarely using the national team week for their preparations. What impact has this?
Sime Simovski: The other teams are using these days for test matches, and this surely helps them a lot when it comes to qualifications and all other types of matches. Unfortunately, in our case we have not done this recently.

However, we are trying to improve this situation and our intentions are to get in touch with other national teams and agree on some test games. These types of matches will be very useful for our national team because our players need this kind of experience.

ehf-euro.com: You will have less than one week to prepare for the qualification matches against Slovenia. What do you think about your opponent?
Sime Simovski: We have two matches against Slovenia which will be played within just three days and this will be a huge experience for us. I can freely say that they are good on all positions and especially their backcourt line is great.

When it comes to our team I would like to show a strong defence performance but this also depends on our physical capabilities. Our team is not very tall, so we will try to play more aggressively in order to stop our opponent shots from the backcourt line. In attack I wouldn’t like to play that fast because this will cause a lot of mistakes on our side which our opponent can use to score from fast breaks because they have great wingers.

ehf-euro.com: Who are the key players in your team who will lead the squad in the upcoming matches?
Sime Simovski: I wouldn’t like to mention any player in particular but Elena Gjorgievska has the biggest experience in the squad.

She is the captain of the team. She will feel a bit more pressure but I would love to spread the responsibility because we are not a team that has only one player and depends solely on this player. I would like to see more players giving their maximum and score from all positions forcing our opponents to defend on all sides.

ehf-euro.com: According to you what are FYR Macedonia chances for the EHF EURO 2016?
Sime Simovski: We are not among the favourites but definitely the underdogs, so our chances to get a spot at the EHF EURO are not huge. Therefore we will use this period to test our young squad that will play together in the next years.


TEXT: Amina Idrizi / ts
 
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