Shumak: ‘’It’s time for first SEHA points of the season!’’
Recent history of clashes between Celje Pivovarna Lasko and Meshkov Brest is full of spectacular endings and there should be no reason for fans not to see yet another match of that kind on Wednesday (19.00 CET) in Zlatorog sports hall. Last season they met four times in SEHA and Champions League combined with both teams managing to celebrate once along with two draws. During the pre-season Meshkov were able to beat Slovenian rivals 31:29.
Situation is however quite different when comparing it to last season. Some of the main players from both teams decided to move on with their careers like Zarabec, Janc and Zvizej on one as well as Atman, Kristopans and Jamali on the other side. Despite of many roster changes Celje appear to be off to a good start after opening SEHA win over Gorenje and beating Maribor Branik in Slovenian Super Cup. Visitors are on the other side coming to Slovenia after an unexpected loss against Tatran which surely puts a little more pressure on their shoulders. Belarusian champions will need to take advantage of experience of their best players like Nikulenkau and Igropulo in this one, especially knowing that they will only two days later meet SEHA - Gazprom League reigning champions Vardar in Skopje.
Branko Tamse, Celje Pivovarna Lasko coach:
We’ve opened the season in a great way celebrating against Gorenje in Velenje and winning Slovenian Super Cup match against Maribor. The time has now come for us to play first SEHA home match with a very strong opponent coming to visit. Meshkov is a very good team full of top-class individuals. It is true they went through some roster changes during the summer but so did we. I expect fans to be there for us once again. I heard many people are buying season tickets and I only see that as an obligation for all of us to give everything we’ve got for them. I believe we’re in this match prove what we’re capable of and finish it with a positive result. Health status appears to be quite good ahead of this one with only Groselj and Gal Marguc dealing with some minor injuries at the moment but we hope to have them on the match-day roster.
Kristian Beciri, Celje Pivovarna Lasko line-player:
We’re happy that we’ll finally play a match in front of our fans. I believe they’ll once again be here for us against a strong opponent like Meshkov and against our former teammate Vid Poteko. I am looking forward to this matchup to be honest. Result is of course important but main goal in this part of the season is for everyone to stay healthy, especially Vid who has been dealing with certain problems lately.
Sergey Bebeshko, Meshkov Brest coach:
Celje experienced quite a lot of roster changes during the summer with some role players from last season carrying main roles today. They will however do everything to keep their style playing fast and dynamic handball running the court throughout all 60 minutes. We’ve played against them during the pre-season and we won that match mostly due to longer bench we have at the moment. Despite of that, we are aware it won’t be easy to play them in front of their fans. We’re dealing with some injuries at the moment but it is great to see Vid Poteko in the roster for this match as we’re seriously counting on him this season. We of course know that he way sidelined for 3 months and we respect that which means we’ll slowly bring him in saving him for key matches of the season. Good thing is we’re finally having a lot of players to choose from, players eager to prove their worth and that can only be a good thing.
Viachaslau Shumak, Meshkov Brest line player:
Two challenging away matches are ahead of us as we will within three days play Celje PL and Vardar. We’re ready for such rhythm. Celje have a young team but that does not mean we won’t experience difficulties against them and our encounter back from August is a clear proof for that. However, we will surely play to win. It’s time for first SEHA points of the season.
Match will be broadcasted on EHF TV, Arena Sport channels as well as Sport TV (SLO).