Mid-October is usually reserved for national teams. After a month and a half of exhausting handball for their clubs, the players don’t tend to enjoy many breaks. A lot of them will represent their national teams at the start of EHF EURO 2020 qualifiers.
Croatia and Serbia were drawn together in Group 2 along with Belgium and Switzerland. Serbia will open the qualifiers against Belgium on the 24thof October and will also play against Switzerland on the 28th. Their team features many SEHA players. Goalkeepers Dejan Milosavljev (Vardar), Svetislav Verkic (Vojvodina), Darko Djukic, Petar Djordjic (both Meshkov Brest) and Predrag Vejin (Zeleznicar 1949) made the list, whilst Stevan Sretenovic (Zeleznicar 1949) and Jovica Nikolic (Vojvodina) have been listed on the extended roster. Croatia will have the same opponents as Serbia, but on different dates. Lino Cervar’s men will face Switzerland on the 25thand Belgium on the 28thof October. Zlatko Horvat, Josip Bozic Pavletic, David Mandic, Damir Bicanic are all PPD Zagreb’s players on the 18-men roster. New Nexe signing Halil Jaganjac also made the list along with Marin Sipic. Igor Karacic from Vardar is also there. Another PPD Zagreb player will be in action in that group and he will face some of his teammates and the coach- Arber Qerimi will captain Belgium!
Macedonia has been put in Group 3, together with Turkey, Greece and Iceland. Raul Gonzalez has picked the following SEHA players to face Turkey (October 25th) and Greece (October 28th): Martin Tomovski, Martin Velkovski (both Metalurg), Stojanche Stoilov and Martin Popovski (both Vardar). One more SEHA player will be a part of the Group with Macedonia, as Can Celebi from Nexe represents Turkey.
Belarus has been drawn in a very interesting Group, together with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland and Czech Republic. Two SEHA countries: Belarus and Bosnia and Herzegovina will play each other on the 25thof October, which should be one of the most important matches of the campaign for both sides. Then, on the 27thof October, Belarus will face Finland, as Bosnia and Herzegovina have Czech Republic the same day. Several Meshkov Brest players will represent their country, including Charapenka, Matskevich, Yurynok, Bachko and of course Maksim Baranau. Also, the extended list of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s roster includes many SEHA players: Senjamin Buric (PPD Zagreb), Vedran Delic, Mario Pavlak, Mateo Rodin (Izvidjac), Marin Vegar (Steaua Bucuresti) and Vladan Loncar (Nexe).
Romania will have two extremely difficult matches at the start of the qualifiers. First, they travel to Portugal on October 24th and then they host the reigning World champions France on October 28th. The newest SEHA country features some players from Steaua Bucuresti: Alin Rosu, Tudor Stanescu and Javier Humet.
Slovakia has missed the previous couple of tournaments, and they will be eager not to let that repeat for the EHF 2020 Euro. They have a tough group with Italy, Russia and Hungary as their opponents. They will start the qualifiers going against Hungary away (October 24th) and Russia at home (October 27th). Dominik Krok and Lukas Urban from Tatran Presov will be on the roster.
Other countries include SEHA players as well. Veselin Vujovic, Slovenia’s head coach, has picked Urh Kastelic (PPD Zagreb), Gregor Ocvirk (Vardar) and Vid Poteko (Meshkov Brest).
Czech Republic have included Tomas Cip and Jakub Hrstka from Tatran Presov on the list.
Four Russian players from the SEHA – Gazprom League will play for their national team: Timur Dibirov, Daniil Shishkarev, Dmitrij Kiselev (all Vardar) and Alexander Shkurinskiy are on the list.