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18.08.2016, 15:00
Montenegro on the brink of change after Olympic disappointment
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NEWS REPORT: Dragan Adzic has said that he will step down as the women's head coach, while federation president Boskovic hopes Adzic will stay at the helm and lead the team at the EHF EURO 2016
 

Montenegro on the brink of change after Olympic disappointment

After having conceded five defeats in as many games, Montenegro, Olympic silver medallists only four years ago at London 2012, left Rio 2016 without even qualifying for the women's quarter-finals.

It was a huge upset for the EHF EURO 2012 winnners who had even reactivated one of the greatest players of all time, six-time EHF Champions League winner Bojana Popovic, after a four-year-break in their quest for a second consecutive Olympic medal.

The disappointment was of such extent that head coach Dragan Adzic, after the final 29:23 defeat against Brazil on 14 August, took full responsibilty for his team's performance and said he would resign from his position.

"No other coach in handball has worked for so many years in a club and with the national team at the same time. I'm exhausted. My body is simply asking for a break," said Adzic who also trains Buducnost, the 2015 winners of the Women's EHF Champions League.

"I was constantly looking for the best results, at Buducnost and the national team, with very little space and time for rest. I know how that reflected on my health. I gave everything in all these years, in every second of training, preparation and games."

The 46-year-old Adzic has been leading Montenegro since 2010. Under his guidance the women's national team qualified for four EHF EHF EURO events, three World Championships and two Olympic Games. The Olympic silver medal in 2012 and the first place at the EHF EURO 2012 were his biggest achievements.

Adzic will continue to work as the head coach of Buducnost and Bojana Popovic will be his new assistant.

"Montenegrin handball is not just Dragan Adzic. Montenegrin handball has potential. It has a future but it needs some new energy on the bench," he said.

"He left like a gentleman"

Montenegro's top scorer in Rio, Katarina Bulatovic (31 goals), praised Adzic for what he achieved.

"We regret that a man who has done so much, not only for handball but for Montenegrin sport in general, is leaving after five defeats in Rio. We haven't paid him back (for what he did) in the right way and this hurts us further. However, he’s leaving with his head held high, like the gentleman he has always been," Bulatovic said.

For Predrag Boskovic, the President of the Montenegrin Handball Federation, there is still hope Adzic's stint with the team will continue.

"As far as I'm concerned, Adzic is still the coach. We'll talk and see what's best for our women’s handball team.

I understand his dissatisfaction, but I hope that there is room for discussion and a deal and that he will lead the national team at the EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden. In the end, the federation's board will decide about it."


TEXT: Saša Jončić / ts
 
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