In the meantime, we managed to defeat the team of Buducnost twice (something we could not achieve in the past 2 seasons) and we defeated the European champion CSM Bucuresti twice. Jovanka Radichevic is part of the Champions' League All-star team. All of this, and the series of 5 victories, is history, as well as the triumphs of our rivals. We turn a new page and we start from scratch. We respect all rivals and we will give our best in each match to achieve our goal.
This season, the Macedonian champion will start another "handball adventure", reinforced with new players, and old ambitions. Placement on the F4 tournament is the first goal, and the second one is the European crown. Today, the team had its first meeting, and only the players without national team obligations were present. Six players will play the Olympic tournament in Rio within 4 different national teams - Jovanka Radichevic and Andrea Klikovac (Montenegro), Amandine Leynaud and Alexandra Lecrabere (France), Maisa Pessoa (Brazil) and Camilla Herrem (Norway).
The coach Indira Kastratovic will have to consolidate our team to make a winning combination. She was a finalist and a winner of the Champions' League as a player, and now she has the same opportunity to achieve the same success as a coach.
Preparations started without the whole team. We will have to wait coupe of more weeks to have a true picture of the team. Do you think the team now has all "bargaining chips" to have the most successful season?
"We will have the true picture of the team at the end of August because all girls will be present. This year is crucial for us, and we have everything we need to achieve what we want, not only we, as a team, but the whole country too, and that is to play the final and win the European crown" – says Indira Kastratovic.
The girls that will come back from Rio will be completely physically prepared, and the others will start preparing these days. Would this be a problem?
"I think it would not be a problem. We have time to set up the shape, physically and mentally, until the middle of October when Champions' League matches start. This season, all teams have this problem, and I believe we will overcome it easily."
The problem from the past with not playing enough quality matches against strong opponents is still present. How will you deal with this?
"This has been a constant problem. Again, we will try to play as many matches as we can. We will invite some teams to come here, and we will be guests of other teams. The national championship is weak, and we do not have any quality rivals in the neighborhood too. Larvik will be our guest on 03/04.09 and we will play 2 matches. That is not enough, but we will be able to see our shape. At the end of September, we will play again with some team. We are looking for a solution of this problem and we have some suggestions for overcoming it. Other teams from the neighborhood have the same problem, so we can solve it together."
Do you expect more from some of the players?
"My expectations from all players are equal. Now, we have a perfect team that wins, which is the most important. I will not mention any player, because everyone could have an excellent day, and we all have to contribute to the club's success, which is the most valuable thing."
After Rio, the adjustment period will be short. The European championship will be held in December in Sweden. Will you be able to maintain the high game level with so many international players who will also have obligations with their national teams?
"We are the only team with international players. We make plans, we try to avoid injuries and we will try to maintain a high game level. After December, we will try to fulfill our expectations" – says Kastratovic.
Vardar will be the leader in its Champions' League group. Our rivals are Astrakhanochka (Russia), FTC Budapest (Hungary) and one of the qualifiers: Bera Bera (Spain), Hypo (Austria) and Gomel (Belorussia).