«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
«sep 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«oct 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«nov 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293012
3456789
«dec 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
«jan 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«feb 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728123
45678910
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

25.01.2018, 21:10
Vardar, Krim and Buducnost – present, past and future
«Go back »Print Version


FIRST-HAND INSIGHT: Nemanja Savic is taking a look at three Balkan teams, their different visions and aims for the season but also their intersecting paths ahead of the Women's EHF Champions League Main Round
 

Vardar, Krim and Buducnost – present, past and future

The constants became few and far between in the ever-changing world of women’s handball.

It has been seven years now since a Scandinavian team has won the Women’s EHF Champions League, while the last time a Russian team went all the way was a full decade ago.

Yugoslavia is no more, so is the school that pioneered one of the most distinct, innovative handball styles in history.

However, the remains are still present, rooted deep in the DNA of Vardar, Buducnost and Krim, as the three proud representatives of handball played in the Balkans.

With all the right ingredients in place: physical, mental, as well as social, these three teams took the illustrious Yugoslavian handball legacy even beyond. They have endured the much-needed and inevitable evolution, while staying true to their roots. The cumulative score of nine Women’s EHF Champions League Final appearances among them over the last 17 years speak volumes in favour of that.

Philosophy

All three teams have taken distinctly different paths and timeframes for their success, however.

For Krim, it already happened in their illustrious past. Buducnost have seen success and dominated the Women’s EHF Champions League not long ago. For the last year’s finalists Vardar, it is all about now.

The Skopje club have been at the very top of women’s handball for five years. But the ultimate success has somehow eluded them.

Being a relatively young club in the competition, with significant resources available, Vardar are going for all or nothing. The best available players are there, but having spared little resources and replaced five coaches in as many years, the club have showed little patience in their quest.

Having failed to stick to any of the coaching methods, Vardar are not bereft of any identity. The players are actually the most responsible for team’s style and playing philosophy, and coach Irina Dibirova seems to be onto something here, encouraging the approach.

With the players available, it is all about finding the right balance, which can be a daunting task, managing that amount of talent.

The past half a decade has witnessed the birth of a new force in women’s handball. The years to come will determine if Vardar can write such an illustrious legacy as Buducnost or Krim before them.

A matter of time and piece

Two Women’s EHF Champions League trophies confirm Krim’s path as a successful one, and building a new winning generation is a matter of time and patience.

Meanwhile, the Slovenian team gained reputation of a selling club. Many world class players were developed at Krim, through quality work and game time, however, they often hit the exit door in quest for bigger and better, before they are ready to write history with the Slovenian club.

But not all of them leave for good. Some stay, or even come back, like in the case of the long-serving goalkeeper Sergeja Sefanisin and the talismanic captain Tamara Mavsar.

These players are all pieces of Krim’s puzzle, seeking the perfect blend of youth and experience. They go very close this season, and have surprised many in the past. Trust me, we will all know when they find it.

Dragan Adzic is a man of iron will and principle. His approach is methodical, relying on discipline, dedication, focus and the good old-fashioned hard work.

Iron will and discipline

Last season, Buducnost bid farewell to their biggest stars to prioritise home-grown talent as the pillars for the clubs long-term strategy. But what makes Buducnost the prime example of iron will and discipline even in times of transition?

Putting the work in to reap the benefits later, no matter the cost, has never failed at Buducnost. Their style of play is perhaps one of the most distinct to appear of late. Low scoring, high intensity game, backed by the powerful backcourt and rock-solid 6-0 defence.

The game plan nurtured for years is now evolving on the same principles, but with a new generation taking over. Time and patience is a rare commodity in today’s handball, but Buducnost believe in a bright future, which may be just around the corner.

There are significant differences in the paths of the three Balkan teams. But, looking at the bigger picture, as well as the history, similarities begin to be more pronounced, with each time placing special emphasis on youth.

Each of the Balkan teams has a young prospect with the world at her feet. Moreover, we are not just talking promise, but exceptional quality here. These idiosyncratic talents have pure handball in their blood and genuine love for the club in their hearts.

The prodigy

Formed around their clubs’ distinct handball philosophies, these players are rooted in tradition, but with eyes set squarely on the future, and ready for whatever today may bring. Their time has come. It is now.

One of the holding pillars of Buducnost’s long-term vision is Djurdjina Jaukovic. The strong left back has emerged as one of Europe’s finest talents, upon making her senior debut back in 2013.

The rampant 20-year old left back boasts a lethal range, power and exceptional defensive skills, having already surpassed 100 goals in the EHF competitions. The baton has been passed on to Jaukovic as the leader of her generation, with the time working in her favour, but still a lot to learn regarding confidence and consistency at the highest level.

A good centre back is a rare find, let alone an exceptional one. However, Krim have managed to identify a generation-defining talent in Tjasa Stanko.

This crafty centre back impressed from the get-go, scoring nine goals on her Women’s EHF Champions League debut. Slovenia has not witnessed the similar level of performance from a 20-year old playmaker in almost a decade, with Stanko well on her way to become the leader for her club and national team alike.

The youngster is making headlines, as well as turning heads, with her flamboyance, creativity and movement, all in a very efficient manner. Such responsibility and maturity, signals a bright future ahead for the playmaker.

Despite having state of the art coaching and youth facilities at their disposal, very few youngsters make it to Vardar first team. Having the highest ambitions in the Women’s EHF Champions League season after season, the Macedonian powerhouse requires a world-class squad with no apparent weaknesses.

However, the Macedonian gem Sara Ristovska is taking every opportunity to prove she falls under that category, playing her third season for Vardar.

The dynamic right wing impresses with speed, intensity and exuberance, while her style of play inspires comparisons with the fabled Vardar teammate Jovanka Radicevic. This season, Ristovska became a national team regular, while impressing with six goals scored away against Larvik.

Having shown the maturity and quality from a tender age, Vardar have a promising future with Ristovska in the team.

Intersecting paths

However, the origin is not the only thing intersecting the paths of these teams.

Vardar stars Andrea Lekic and Andrea Penezic made their name during four seasons at Krim; while former Buducnost legends Jovanka Radicevic and Dragana Cvijic have been donning Vardar’s crest since 2013.

Krim left wing Tamara Mavsar spent a season at Vardar, while Jelena Despotovic,  Women’s EHF Champions League winner with Buducnost, began the current season at Krim.

Moreover, the three regional rivals found their place in the main round together for the fourth time, with the elite competition continuing this weekend.

For the record, two out of four times Krim, Vardar and Buducnost were in the main round together, the latter two made it to the final, with Buducnost winning the competition in 2014/15.

Vardar are still paving their path to glory, and judging by the undefeated record so far this season, 2017/18 might just be their season.

Meanwhile, rebuilding Buducnost and Krim each have an exciting project in their hands, as well as a pair of Women’s EHF Champions League titles, inspiring awes of the aspiring generations.


TEXT: Nemanja Savic / ew
 
Share
CONTACT FORM