Urban Lesjak was born and raised as a handball player in Celje Pivovarna Lasko. The 27-year old Slovenian goalie gathered a lot of experience playing for ’Yellow&Blue’ - EHF Champions League winners back from 2004. Back then he was only 14 but now, he is leading his club in matches against European elite. Results in both Champions League and SEHA - Gazprom League are proving that clearly.
"Only serious approach can help us reach positive results any time we step out on the court. Without it anyone can experience problems against any opponent both here and in Champions League. Next opponent is Vardar and it is already clear how hard that will be", concluded Lesjak after a win over Dinamo in Pancevo.
Lesjak answered a few questions ahead of the derby of the round between two European champions, Celje PL and Vardar.
This season you're looking to secure a Final 4 place. How hard will that really be? We only missed a point or two to do that last season or the season before finishing fifth. I hope the time has finally come for us to reach the final tournament and grand finale. Of course, with Veszprem out, our chances are way bigger. They were two-time champions and in their third season they lost in finals which means they clearly opened a place for someone else leaving the competitions. We certainly do have our goals and SEHA Final4 is one of them.
Can you compare SEHA - Gazprom League and Slovenian League. How important is it from players' point of viewOf course SEHA - Gazprom League is better, we have stronger matches. Approach must be serious in every clash. That is very good for young players, for their development and then for the team in general as well. There is almost no free time during the season.
Celje PL entered the season in a good way - win over Kielce, draw against Meshkov Brest in Champions League and a win over their biggest domestic rivals to open the season in SEHA - Gazprom League... I have a good feeling from the very beginning of the season. We have a good team and atmosphere. However, I believe we’re still not playing our best handball. Best form is yet to come and when we reach it I believe Celje will be a team which can beat anyone in Europe. Everything is functioning well so far but we’re still waiting for those highlight moments.
After this season you will be a free agent. Coach Branko Tamse pointed out that he'd like to see you and Ziga Mlakar in the club like Borut Mackovsek did...It's always nice to hear that kind of words from the coach. I am happy in Celje, my town, my club, first goalkeeper. Dream came true for me. Team is getting younger each season. I have some plans, we discussed them already and all I can say at the moment is that the decision will be made in upcoming month or two. My ambitions are high, I’d like to join one of Europe’s top 10 clubs. I can’t hide it. However, I’m aware that might require some additional quality proofs. Some mid-steps might be necessary to reach that final destination in the end.