PREVIEW: The 38-year-old Slovenian-born right back is expected to help his new team in the World Championship play-offs against Greece
Vugrinec makes debut for FYR Macedonia
Right after the end of the domestic championship on the last weekend of May, the Macedonian men’s national team started with its preparations for the upcoming play-off matches with Greece for a spot at the World Championship 2015 in Qatar.
Since Wednesday last week the team has been gathered in the city of Ohrid, with FC Barcelona right back Kiril Lazarov and goalkeeper Borko Ristovksi having joined the team this week.
After having assumed Macedonian citizenship, HC Metalurg right back Renato Vugrinec will be eligible to play for the national team and is expected to celebrate his debut against Greece in the first leg on 7 June.
"Renato Vugrinec is among the top scorers in the Champions League which surely makes him a great player. Thanks to him I expect that our national team will gain more quality and experience," said FYR Macedonia’s centre back Filip Mirkulovski.
For many years the Slovenian-born Vugrinec had been a key player in his home country’s national team, scoring 616 goals in 187 matches. In this season’s VELUX EHF Champions League he netted 95 times and was the competition’s top scorer until the VELUX EHF FINAL4.
Following a long-term knee injury that had ruled him out already for the EHF EURO 2014 the national team’s playmaker Naumce Mojsovski (pictured above) is also back on the handball court.
However, it is likely that head coach Ivica Obrvan will have him rest on the bench for the first match, leaving the possibility open that Mojsovski takes to the court in the second leg on 14 June.
Besides counting on experience, Obrvan has also nominated a number of young players with Fillip Talevski being one of them.
"We have several young players in the team and one of them is Filip. His time is about to come and he is going to get great experience out of this gathering” said the experienced line player Vancho Dimovski.
"On paper we are the favourites against Greece in these play-off matches. Of course, we would like to qualify for the final tournament and therefore we will try our best to decide this encounter as much as possible in the first match so that we can have a calm return match in Skopje."
FYR Macedonia’s squad for the World Championship 2015 Play-offs against Greece:
Goalkeepers: Borko Ristovski (Al Ahly Sport Club), Nikola Mitrevski (Metalurg), Stefan Kimovski (Metalurg Junior)
Wing players: Dejan Manaskov (Metalurg), Goce Oljeski (Metalurg), Goce Georgievski (Metalurg), Zlatko Mojsoski (Metalurg)
Line players: Stojance Stoilov (Vardar), Nikola Markoski (Metalurg), Vancho Dimovski (Metalurg),
Back court players: Naumce Mojsovski (Metalurg), Filip Lazarov (Vardar), Ace Jonoski (Metalurg), Velko Markoski (Metalurg), Filip Mirkulovski (Metalurg), Nikola Stojshevski (Redberslid), Nemanja Pribak (Vardar), Kiril Lazarov (Barcelona), Renato Vugrinec (Metalurg), Martin Velkovski (Metalurg Junior), Martin Manaskov (Metalurg Junior), Filip Taleski (Metalurg Junior)
TEXT: Amina Idrizi / ts
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