National Team Week preview: Phase 2 play-off

Team Week - Makedonci

After finishing the club season, some SEHA players and countries do not have much time to rest. A lot of them are going to be in action next week, as part of the Phase 2 play-off for the World Championship in Germany and Denmark.

As usually, Slovenia is going to be represented by many SEHA – Gazprom League players. The bronze-medalists from France 2017, will not have an easy task- as they are going up against Hungary. They play their first match at home, on the 9th of June, and the second leg away is on the 13th. Veselin Vujovic picked five Celje PL players: Lesjak, Suholeznik, Mackovsek, Mlakar and Gal Marguc. Four Gorenje Velenje players made the list: Medved, Zaponsek, Ovnicek and Potocnik. The tenth SEHA player on the roster is Urh Kastelic from PPD Zagreb.

Two big matches will be played between Croatia and Montenegro, but Croatians can be regarded as the favourites. After the EHF Euro 2018, some players including Ivan Cupic, have decided not to play for the national team anymore, so the list is a bit different this time. Nevertheless, Lino Cervar has a strong side and has included many SEHA players. Zlatko Horvat, Josip Bozic-Pavletic, Leon Susnja, Damir Bicanic and Domagoj Pavlovic are PPD Zagreb's players on the roster, Cindric and Karacic will represent Vardar. Of course, the top scorer of the seventh season- Halil Jaganjac from Metalurg also earned a call from Cervar. The first match is on June 9th in Osijek, and the second one is on the 14th in Montenegro. Montenegro's head coach Dragan Djukic's 28 player list also includes some SEHA players: Zarko Pejovic from Gorenje Velenje, Branko Vujovic from Celje PL, Rade Mijatovic from Meshkov Brest, Luka Radovic from Vojvodina, and of course Vardar's Vuko Borozan.

Serbia's opponent will be Portugal, and the first match is scheduled for June 10th. After a solid performance at the EHF Euro 2018, the next goal is to qualify for the WCh in Germany and Denmark. The list of players for the qualifiers includes: Svetislav Verkic from Vojvodina, Vanja Ilic from Metalurg and Mijajlo Marsenic of Vardar. The second match will be played in Portugal, on the 14th of June. 

Raul Gonzalez selected 20 Macedonian players who will battle with Romania in the next stage of qualifiers. Macedonia hosts the first match in Skopje, on the 10th of June, whilst the second match is in Romania on the 14th. Players from SEHA clubs on the list are: Tomovski, Velkovski, Kuzmanovski and Peshevski from Metalurg. Two Vardar players also make the roster: Stojanche Stoilov and Martin Popovski. 

After beating them in the group stage at the EHF Euro 2018, Belarus will face Austria once again. A couple of players from the Belarusian champions Meshkov Brest are on the roster for the qualifying matches. Minsk hosts the first leg on June 10th, and the teams are going to Austria for the second match on the 13th. Matskevich, Yurynok, Nikulenkau, Shumak, Shylovich, Rutenka and Maksim Baranau are all Meshkov players on the list for Belarus. Nexe's goalkeeper Kristian Pilipovic will represent Austria.

Slovakia will play two friendlies against Israel, as they failed to reach this round of qualifiers. Lukas Urban and Dominik Krok are the two players that made the list for the matches, both representing Tatran Presov, who recently defended the title in the national championship.

Some SEHA players are also in action with other countries. Pavel Horak from Meshkov Brest, Tomas Cip and Jakub Hrstka (both Tatran Presov) will represent Czech Republic against Russia. On the other side, the Russians will be represented by Dibirov and Shishkarev from Vardar and Shkurinskiy from Meshkov Brest.