Website Review: Metalurg Skopje

I had a nice surprise the other day when I was looking for information on Metkovic Cup. The champion of Macedonia, Metalurg Skopje, has one of the best websites of the Balkan handball powerhouses.

Graphic design is eye friendly and clean. The translator button is a nice touch, but it works only partially. If you browse the galleries, you’ll notice the outstanding quality of the pictures, all taken with aesthetic sense. Therefore, the very large news display on the front page does not bother me at all,  as they have good reasons to show off.

This is a joint website of both the Women’s and the Men’s team. If you click on the picture of a team member, you will get a gallery containing all the photos of that specific player. This, I hadn’t seen before.

– “Latest scores”, “next match”

+ Facebook page, news updates

In the meantime

Buducnost is upgrading its website, but nothing noteworthy.

Gyor published the new official picture of the team and a “behind the scenes”  from the photo session.


Season Preview Interviews

The website does a series of interviews with key actors of the teams playing Champions League this season. Here are the juicy parts and the alternative translation:

Herbert Muller, coach of Thuringer HC:

I think we have a good squad as well for this year, but you don’t have to look only titles, but have to see the team development.

=>> It was plain luck we won the title last season, no one in the club expects us to actually win points in the group stage.

I think the team fits from it’s team spirit, but here at Schmelz the final piece was still missing to win one of the close matches. Shots that went in last year now didn’t go in. We have to work on that.

=>> This is not FTC, so don’t expect us to score from the 9m line.

Galina Gabisova, goalkeeper of Rostov Don:

In the previous season many things were not as they should have been. I played a little, so there was no relation between us (her and Suslina), but this season things will change.

=>> CL is the least of my worries. If I get to play 10 min every other match, that will be my trophy.

Simply, I decided in the last moment to stay at home. My parents had a little role in this decision, but I also wanted to stay and prove that in Rostov, I’m number 1.

=>> There’s a rumor Inna will retire soon.

Jana Krause, goalkeeper of Buxtehuder SV:

At the moment I`m very satisfied here and feel very good in the team, but I`m also very ambitious. I don`t know what will be after two years. Then I will be 26 years old, where the best years for goalkeepers begin. It could be interesting to make new experiences in a foreign country, but I haven`t thought about this yet.

=>> Englert, Woltering, I’m coming!

It is a dream to reach one of the CL groups with Buxtehude. I played two seasons with Nürnberg in the CL, and that was a greatly experience and feeling to play against the best teams and players in Europe and the world.

=>> I realize those days are gone now and Women’s Champions League is degrading. Let’s face it: we are only battling with Debrecen for the “worst team of CL award”.

Ana Djokic of Buducnost:

The most memorable match in the previous season was the match against Larvik, because in this match we fought for something that Buducnost has not experienced yet, and that is the entrance in the final of the Champions League.

=>> I am pretending that was not one of the biggest fiascoes in the history of the Balkan peninsula.

How do you see the future of Buducnost?  I see my team in the top of the Champions League.

=>> How do I see the future of our Future? Tricky question. I’ll do like Adzic and say something redundant.

Ambros Martin, coach of Itxako:

Finally we have shown that the same teams do not always have to rule Champions League.

=>> Swallow that, Voina!

For the two opponents that we already know I think that Oltchim has improved from last year and Hypo signed a lot of new players, all of them are very good players so we will see what will happen. (Note: they are playing Dinamo, not Hypo)

=>> I have no idea who our opponents are. I just hope we get to kick some Romanian a.. again.

Training Diary: Eyes On Metz

I have had mixed feelings about Metz in the past. I recall their Serbian coach from two seasons ago who spoke French with a disgusting accent and was more explosive than his weight allowed him to be. I felt sorry for them not reaching the ChL last year, when they had the Croatians Franic and Horvat. The transfers payed off and here they are, in the Group Stage again, with other interesting back players.

Marion Limal and Yekaterina Andryushina joined Metz, the latter with a question mark on her physical shape. Well, last week Andryushina performed in Hungary, in a preparation tournament against Debrecen, Erd and Podravka. The team placed 3rd, but Katia did not play in the placement match, which tells us how fragile her condition still is.

Erdi VSE’s page features several galleries from the meet. Here are Amandine, Nina and Svetlana catching up with Lidija who came with her new (and old) club Podravka.

Coach Sébastien Gardillou declared in Le Républicain Lorrain: “In Budapest, we will be in a scouting phase. Then, in Germany, at the Ladies Cup, we will put into practice. We will work on replays of the matches. I would like to experiment the game with two pivots that I’ve been considering for some time. Yvette Broch and Nina Kanto could be our weapons.”

Talking about the charismatic line player Nina Kanto, her thoughts on Katia Andryushina were:  “I have so much to learn from her. I am lucky to speak English so that I can communicate with my new teammates. I offered Katia a book before leaving for Budapest, Russian for Dummies, and some dictionaries so that she can translate Russian to us using simple French  phrases. She made progress during the summer break, I’m proud of her.”

Romania’s Next Generation

Eliza Buceschi 

Born: 1/08/1993

Plays for: HCM Baia Mare

Position: CB/LB

Would improve her: jump, power and collective play

Dreams of: winning a medal with the senior NT, playing in The Champions League, playing in Denmark

Favourite players:  Anita Gorbicz and Cristina Neagu

International competitions: ECh U17 – 2009, European Open 18 – 2010, ECh U19 – 2011

Denisa Dedu

Born: 27/9/1994

Plays for: HC Corona Brasov (former Rulmentul)

Position: GK

Favourite players:  Luminita Hutupan-Dinu and Paula Ungureanu

Dreams of: playing for the senior NT and filling Luminita Dinu’s shoes

International competitions: ECh U17 – 2011, ECh U19 – 2011

Gabriela Perianu

Born: 20/6/1994

Plays for: HC Dunarea Braila


International competitions: ECh U17 – 2011, ECh U19 – 2011

Andreea Pricopi

Born: 20/2/1994

Plays for: HC Corona Brasov

Position: RB/CB/LB

Favourite players: Cristina Neagu, Bojana Popovic and Yeliz Ozel

Dreams of: playing for an important team, abroad

International competitions: ECh U17 – 2011, ECh U19 – 2011


Buceschi – statistics from the 2009 Women’s 17 European Handball Championship, Serbia


Perianu, Pricopi, Dedu – statistics from the 2011 Women’s 17 European Handball Championship, Czech Republic




Buceschi, Perianu, Pricopi, Dedu – statistics from the 2011 Women’s 19 European Handball Championship, Netherlands





A. Pricopi in Adevarul

D. Dedu for

E. Buceschi for

E. Buceschi in Prosport

D. Dedu and A. Pricopi for Buna Ziua Brasov


Successful FY Countries And Their International Players

Itxako’s FB page announces that Mirjana Milenkovic started training in Estella, where she will be Silvia’s alternate in goal. The impressive performance of the Montenegrin players in the European Championship and Champions League has aroused the interest of important markets. On the other hand, better visibility for the Montenegrin NT players was also a factor in some choices that do not seem driven by quality performances. This is a generation nurtured over the past 5 years in the Morača Hall Sanctuary with patience and care. Therefore, handball specialists have surely kept an eye on them during the process.

Here’s a list of trasfers of Montenegrin players:

*Marija Jovanovic: Buducnost (Mne) –> Oltchim (Ro)

*Jovanka Radicevic: Buducnost (Mne) –> Gyor (Hun)

*Mirjana Milenkovic: Biseri (Mne) –> Itxako (Esp)

*Sandra Nikcevic: Podravka (Cro) –> Alcoa (Hun)

*Ana Milacic: Biseri (Mne) –> Metalurg (Mcd)

*Biljana Pavicevic: Biseri (Mne) –> Zito Prilep (Mcd)

*Jasna Toskovic: Naisa Nis (Srb) –>Bekescsaba (Hun)

Croatia’s internationals originate in the school of Podravka Koprivnica. The team reached the ChL Main Round in 2008/2009 and triumphed over Viborg (alias Cyborg, as Romanian journalist C.T. Popescu called them) in the 2009/2010 group stage. All in all, it has always been a tricky team to beat that confirmed at the 2008 European Championship by finishing 6th. I would very much like for them to do well in Brasil and I believe they have all the assets to do so.

*Andrea Penezic: Podravka (Cro) –> Krim (Slo)

*Dijana Golubic: Esbjerg (Den) –> Buducnost (Mne)

*Maja Zebic: Podravka (Cro) –> Itxako (Esp)

*Kristina Franic: Metz (Fra) –> Krim (Slo)

*Andrea Seric: Podravka (Cro) –> Krim (Slo)

*Jelena Grubisic: Lokomotiva (Cro) –>Krim (Slo)

Serbia is a nation with potential future stars, many of them with results in Youth Championships. The fact of not having a team financially strong enough to fight in the Champions League has prompted  players to go abroad. Something similar is happening  at the moment to Podravka and its Croatian players.

*Andrea Lekic: Krim (Slo) –> Gyor (Hun)

*Sanja Damnjanovic: Zajecar (Srb) –> Podravka (Cro)

*Jelena Zivkovic: Zajecar (Srb) –>FTC (Hun)

*Jelena Trifunovic: Jagodina (Srb) –>Metalurg (Mcd)

*Dragana Cvijic: Krim (Slo) –> Buducnost (Mne)

*Zeljka Nikolic: loaned to Biseri (Mne) –> Buducnost (Mne)

* Dijana Stevin: Zajecar (Srb) –> Buducnost (Mne)

* Katarina Krpez: Zajecar (Srb) –> Metalurg (Mcd)

Note: I have only listed the main players of the respective NTs or the players that are expected to shine in the near future. Some of previous years’ transfers (e.g. Penezic) are mentioned as part of the same logic of FYR countries foreseeable success.

Oltchim Rm. Valcea News

Today, I watched the “new and improved” Oltchim for the first time. I had a feeling of sadness the moment I saw Meirosu leading the attack, Bradeanu on left back, Talida Tolnai saving a shot with her face as Marija Jovanovic was defending the center. History repeating. I guess the coach learned nothing from past disappointments and failed to evaluate his new players.

ORV will not reach the CL final this year. In the meantime, the management just stated that it would be unforgivable to miss it two years in a row after the financial effort invested.