The Women’s 2013 World Championship hosts welcome the arrival of prolific right back
Serbia boosted by Živković inclusion for FYR Macedonia doubleheader
Serbia coach Saša Bošković has named his squad of 22 players for the upcoming friendlies with neighbours FYR Macedonia on March 21 and 23 on home court in the central city of Kragujevac, comprising all the fit members of the team that finished fourth at the EHF EURO 2012.
The list, however, also includes four new names and one major surprise: Budućnost Podgorica’s versatile right back Jelena Živković, who was reportedly close to opting to play for reigning European champions Montenegro, chose Serbia instead and Bošković was delighted to have his ranks boosted ahead of the 2013 World Championship on home soil as well as for the EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers in autumn this year.
"There is not a shadow of a doubt any more that Živković will play for Serbia, I spoke to her and she said that’s the only national team shirt she wants to wear and play her heart out for," Bošković told Belgrade daily Sportski Žurnal.
"The other new arrivals, Maja Luković, Dragana Cvijić and Ivana Filipović would have been in the EHF EURO 2012 squad if they hadn’t been injured, so they are back in the reckoning and every player will get a chance to earn her spot in the roster.
"No one can take anything for granted, while Sanja Rajović has been sidelined with a surgery but she will be back," he added.
The coach was also overjoyed with the Serbian Handball Federation’s reward to the national team for their EHF EURO 2012 success, as the body allocated a total sum of 100,000 euros for Serbia’s fourth-place finish – easily their best as an independent nation after they had failed to win a single match in their three previous European Championships.
"We were really overwhelmed with the amount, we didn’t expect that much although we were hoping for some kind of bonus. I have called a meeting with the girls to see how to distrubute the reward, I want everyone to be happy with their share so it’s their decision," he said.
Bošković also emphasised the team were looking forward to the upcoming 2013 Mediterranean Games in Turkey in June and pointed out they would only benefit from the demanding build-up for the tournament.
"I know they might find it tough at times to be away from home throughout June and unable to take a single day off, but in the long run it will be very useful for rebuilding and putting all the pieces together.“
The squad for Serbia's test matches against FYR Macedonia
Goalkeepers: Katarina Tomašević (Thuringer HC), Jovana Risović (Maks Sport), Ana Kačarević (Naisa)
Wingers: Svetlana Ognjenović (Metz), Ivana Miloševič (Jagodina), Maja Luković (Red Star Belgrade). Katarina Krpež (Krim Mercator), Jelena Nišavić (Zaječar), Jovana Bartošić (Jagodina).
Backcourt: Andrea Lekić (Györi Audi ETO), Sanja Damnajnović (Podravka Vegeta), Biljana Filipović (Uskudar BSK), Jelena Erić (HC Astrakhanochka), Jovana Stojiljković (Le Havre AC), Kristina Liščević (Metz), Marina Dmitrović (Vardar), Jelena Popović (Bezanson), Ivana Filipović (Mios Biganos), Jelena Živković (Budućnost Podgorica).
TEXT: Zoran Milosavljević / ts
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