NEWS REPORT: Gorenje playmaker thrives in his role, relishing the chance to challenge for the EHF Cup trophy in Berlin.
Skube holds the key to Gorenje brilliance
Gorenje Velenje have been playing a trademark fast, technical handball throughout their EHF Cup campaign this season, which saw them defeat the likes of Team Tvis Holstebro and Haslum on their way through to the EHF Cup Finals in Berlin.
In a team that shows an amazing cohesiveness between the young regional and Slovenian players, it is no coincidence that players from the Balkans feel no strangers playing the dynamic game more characteristic for Scandinavian sides.
However, the building blocks of the Gorenje's success contain the very essence of Yugoslavian handball – starting from the centre back motor of the team, orchestrating the play - Stas Skube.
"My style of play is centred around being the creative force of the team, and the organiser of my team's play. I use my speed and creativity to get what I want on the court.
I also have a good court vision and technical approach to the game, and anticipate situations well, score and pick out passes to my teammates," said Stas Skube to eurohandball.com.
Holding the baton
The centre back conductor Skube has made Gorenje's game a symphonic orchestra since his debut in 2013, culminating with the chance to win their first continental trophy this season.
Being with only 176 centimetres an uncommon back court choice, Skube has often been compared to another on-court maestro for his style of play - Ljubomir Vranjes.
"It is an honour, but I don’t burden myself with comparisons. It all serves to show you don’t necessarily have to be big and strong to play good handball.
"With the physical features I’ve got, I have to be aware I'm not going to be able to respond very well to a lot of physical handball. I have to play this way, but I also enjoy it.
"I don't perceive my height disadvantage as such. Actually, I feel it’s an advantage, especially playing like I do.
"It allows me to be one step ahead when it matters the most, and come on top in duels against bigger and stronger opponents," said the masterful playmaker Skube.
Up to the challenge
Despite missing out on the VELUX EHF Champions League this season, Gorenje Velenje have found a motivation to show they are on par with Europe's finest in the EHF Cup, recording their best result since 2008/09 season, when the team played in the final against VfL Gummersbach.
The EHF Cup Finals draw lines buoyant Gorenje against the favourites - Füchse Berlin. Being the competition's best scorer by a long shot with 75 goals, Skube surpassed his previous best of 72 shots that hit the net in the VELUX EHF Champions League last term.
"I’ve had this injury last term, which basically ended my season with the team. I was so disappointed to miss out on the season finale, but it made me much more determined to kick in as soon as I’ve recovered,"
"I want to prove my merit against the best teams. The final tournament is the perfect opportunity to do so. Slovenian championship is still some way from the top European leagues, and I take every opportunity to test myself with the teams from abroad.
"I would trade all my goals for a chance to lift the trophy in Berlin, and share the feeling with my friends in this amazing team," said Skube playing down the importance of being competition’s top scorer
Happy with the draw
With his goal and assist rate nothing short of amazing, Skube will be the man with the answer whether rampant Gorenje’s technical prowess can stop the "Foxes" from reaching the final in front of the home fans in Berlin.
"I am very happy with the draw. We will be playing against the strong team of Füchse in front of their home crowd.
"With the concentration of quality, any team can win the EHF Cup. There are no favourites, or outsiders as such. I am confident our team relish the challenge and a chance to show what we can do on the court," concluded ambitious Skube.
EHF Cup Finals Tickets
Handball fans across Europe can purchase their place at the 2015 EHF Cup Finals through the official website of the high-profile event www.berlinfinals.de.
TEXT: Nemanja Savic / me
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