Prior to the first semi-final of the SEHA – Gazprom League Final 4 in Skopje - Vardar – Meshkov Brest (Friday, 17:45 CET) – coaches and players of both sides gave their pre-match statements in Thursday’s press conference in the Jane Sandanski Arena.
Sinisa Ostoic, SEHA - Gazprom League Managing Director, officially opened the press conference and awarded Metalurg' player Halil Jaganjac as the best scorer of the regular season (100 goals).
Sinisa Ostoic, SEHA – Gazprom League Managing Director:
I am happy we're once again here in Skopje and I assure you everything will function perfectly once again. I also sincerely hope you will enjoy both your stay here in the Macedonian capital as well as quality handball. I have to say we're happy because our league is allowing and helping youngsters develop their talents and prove what they are capable of. Michael Wiederer, the President of the European Handball Federation, is once again here as well and I believe it's a proof of the good cooperation we have with European Handball Federation. Once again, I wish teams all the best and hope you'll enjoy your stay here in Macedonia!
Raul Gonzalez, Vardar coach:
We are happy for the opportunity we got to play the tournament in front of our fans. We must however play fully focused from the very first minute against Meshkov, because they have a good coach, who knows how to prepare his team in the best possible way. Our goal is to make a good use of our defence and offensive transition and of course and to play a good match.
Sergey Bebeshko, Meshkov Brest coach:
We are obviously happy to be here among the four best teams in SEHA – Gazprom League. The organization is once again on the highest possible level and I hope we'll manage to add to all of that, delivering the best performance we're currently capable of. Hard work is ahead of us, no doubt about that, since Vardar are one of the best teams in Europe and now even play in front of their own fans. We have one more day to prepare the best we can and try to celebrate against Vardar tomorrow. As you all know, we've experienced a lot of injury problems lately but I believe we have a strong character and I am sure, we'll play good on Friday.
Stojance Stoilov, Vardar player:
On Friday, we will meet a good team led by a good coach. However, we'll play in front of our fans, in our hall and we are the defending champions. This is why we will do everything we can to go all the way for the second season in a row. Last time Skopje hosted a SEHA Final 4 tournament we were stopped in the final losing against Zagreb and I really hope that won't happen again.
Vid Poteko, Meshkov Brest player:
Our wish was to avoid Vardar in the Final4 semi-final to be honest, but due to a tough rhythm we weren't able to finish the regular season the way we wanted to and now we'll have to play one of the best teams in Europe in the semi-final. Despite of that, of course, we'll do everything we can to beat them and reach the grand finale.