In good and bad, Vardar keep spirit alive
It was another busy summer for HC Vardar 1961, who underwent a serious makeover, the second in as many seasons, with nine players coming in and eight leaving for other pastures.
But the Macedonian side kept their spirit and their gritty attitude on the court intact, as displayed in the first game of the EHF Champions League Men this season, against Brest.
Down four in the first half, Vardar mounted a 6:0 run that turned the game on its head. Yet their 76 per cent attacking efficiency was not enough, as they still lacked depth and clarity in attack, which ultimately proved their undoing.
Vardar might still be one of the most experienced sides in the competition – third in the average age ranking, at 27.7 years old – but there was only so much right back Marko Vujin (six goals), right wing Ivan Cupic (three goals) or goalkeeper Borko Ristovski could do to prevent Brest’s 24:22 win.
However, Vardar still look like a tough nut to crack, irrespective of their opener woes.