Urban ahead of Vardar: ‘Goal is to open the season with a win!’

Tatran Presov preview

In the second match of the new SEHA – Gazprom League season, Slovak Tatran Presov will on Saturday (16:00 CET) welcome Macedonian Vardar 1961. Tatran’s last win over Vardar dates all the way back to 2013, while their last home win over multiple SEHA champions happened a year earlier.

Despite of history books definitely not pointing their way, new coach Marek Gernat and his guys will certainly look to start the season in the best possible way, surprising favored guests and snapping their 13-game winning streak in duels between these two teams. Macedonians will, on the other hand, surely look to open the season dominantly after failing to reach the final tournament last season. Their roster underwent significant changes recently and coach Vlado Nedanovski will have to find a way to incorporate all the new players into the team, give everyone a chance to prove what they are capable of, while at the same time aiming for wins whenever they are out there. Sounds complicated but if anyone can pull that off – that are the ‘Red&Blacks’.

Vardar won’t be able to count on Stefan Atanasovski, Andrej Dobrkovic and experienced goalkeeper Borko Ristovski in this one. It will be interesting to see whether that will prove to be the key for Tatran or will Macedonians once again showcase their winning, championship mentality opening the season with an away win in Slovakia.

Marek Gernát, Tatran Presov coach:
We are preparing for the match thoroughly. We’ve worked on our defense, and watched videos trying to prepare properly for every detail. We are facing a tough opponent with great experience. Goal is to deliver a good, fighting performance and stun Vardar. I’d like to invite our fans to come and enjoy this encounter as I believe it will be a great match to watch. We’re looking forward to this one.

Lukás Urban, Tatran Presov player:
A very high-quality opponent awaits us - they have really good players on the back positions as well as on the wing positions. By that, they also have Stoilov on the line but despite of all that we’ll do our best to win the match at home. I also hope our fans will be there to support us. It’s the first SEHA – Gazprom League match of the year and it would be great to open the season with a victory.

Vlado Nedanovski, Vardar 1961 coach:
We’ve watched some of Tatran’s games in preparations for this match and I feel like their playing style didn’t really change much under the new coach. We’re still preparing for what will be a long and packed second part of the season. Stefan Atanasovski, Andrej Dobrkovic and Borko Ristovski will remain sidelined for this one. We’ve however already discussed our goals for the season and they remain the same.

Milan Lazarevski, Vardar 1961 player:
We know a lot about Tatran as we played them in Struga during the summer. In the meantime, we’ve managed to bring in some really quality players. Slovak champions have a roster full of quality players but I feel like it will all depend on us and our performance. We have to enter the match in the best possible way on both sides of the court proving why we have a favorite role going into this one.