Reigning Macedonian vice-champs Metalurg are a club which promoted a lot of young players throughout the recent years serving as a launching platform for most of them as they went on with their careers all around Europe. Filip Kuzmanovski (22) is among club's top three scorers this season with 48 goals in SEHA Gazprom League and 31 in EHF Champions League. By that he is one of the leaders of a new generation not only in Metalurg but in Macedonia in general.
Step by step you became a leader of this Metalurg team. It is a role which certainly has its advantages but also carries additional responsibility. Do you like your new role?
To be honest, it only motivates be and gives me additional strength to work hard and become a better both player and person. I'm not a guy who is looking forward to sitting in the back doing nothing. Responsibility is something I don't mind having and I believe it suits me well. I'm ready for everything it brings - both when we lose or celebrate.
This season you maybe could have played better in a few occasions which would secure you more points of course. Do you think your position in the standings shows the real strength Metalurg has this season?
I'm sure we could have delivered some better performances throughout the season but defeats are not always a bad thing as they often show you the right way and stop you from thinking you are the best which often affects younger players in a bad way. I believe we lacked experience in certain moments but it will come with time and things will start to get better.
Would Filip Kuzmanovski develop into such a good, strong player if there wasn't for SEHA League and its strong matches?
I'm sure I wouldn't although there is still much room for development on the road to becoming a successful and complete player. Playing SEHA League has huge importance for younger players as it is always good to play tough matches against quality opponents and that's exactly what I experienced playing for Metalurg in SEHA League.
Despite all of the problems club is currently dealing with you guys are doing an excellent job proving you don't really miss much to be an even bigger surprise for everyone in the SEHA - Gazprom League?
Trainings and games are a number one priority for all of us and perhaps that's why you can't really sense tough situation club is currently dealing with by just watching our games. We all have this mindset in which we're trying to work hard until it is really no longer possible.
For several months now Lino Cervar has not been on team's bench. Do you miss his style of both trainings and games?
Although we're working under same principles, sticking with the same tactics and exercises I believe his presence meant a lot to this young team. We miss his energy and the way he transfers it to the players.
There are still a few more derby matches waiting for you until the end of the regular part of the season. How do you see your chances?
Our goal in each match is to play well and put in maximum effort. We're not really planning anything in advance. Our only goal is to prove both ourselves and everyone else the results will come in case you put in work.
Can Metalurg get back to top four and book a F4 place?
Of course but to do that we need some other things to start working a bit different. We need the organization to get back on the level it had in the past.
Last year you were the only team which managed to beat Vardar in domestic championship. Your duels are always uncertain no matter the fact which team appear to be better when looking at rosters or current situation in general.
You don't really need extra motivation playing against best team in Europe. In those matches you look to prove your worth, show how much you really can, what you're capable of. Matches against Vardar and good performances in them are always a big confidence booster.