Current SEHA GSS League's champion Vardar is entering the new season with the strongest roster 'red-black's have ever had. They have managed to finish the last season with 2 titles and this season goals are set even higher. Team from Skopje wants to make a step forward in EHF's CL - reach F4 in Cologne, win both domestic titles and maintain dominance in SEHA GSS League.
Russian international Timur Dibirov has in the last season become club's icon playing probably his best season ever speaking of club level handball winning multiple individual awards. Vardar will now be favorite in each game they play which will make everything a bit harder.
- SEHA GSS League is not just Vardar, Metalurg, Tatran, Veszprem or Zagreb. There are also other quality teams and I think even 6-7 teams can reach F4 tournament. All teams have managed to make a step forward speaking of both team's roster and club's organization. Veszprem's entry has made League even better and stronger. It will be really hard to defend the title because each team will try hard to beat champions on one hand and on the other we have additionally reinforced which puts a bit of duty and pressure on our back.
Vardar has last year managed to win two titles - SEHA GSS League and Macedonian National Cup. Dibirov was by that SEHA GSS League's MVP, part of CL's All-Star team and SEHA GSS League's second best scorer. How difficult it is to defend titles and even make step forward?
- We have forgotten all of our individual awards - new season brings new challenges. If you live in the past you'll never get any better. Coach always says that what is behind us is over and that we now have to work hard for what is waiting us. We can't talk about how successful our season was until the end of it, results will then say everything, concludes Dibirov.
Vardar has this season signed a quality replacement on each position. New players are experienced with hard matches as well as titles behind them. It means a lot for a team.
- We are all professionals and know their qualities. Last year Vardar was like a family. We were not favorites in some matches but we've managed to win them in the end with our heart, desire and motivation. Now we have got the quality, a lot of new players, and we've on top of all that worked hard in the pre-season.
But, such good players bring a bit of pressure too.
- There's pressure because we all know fans expect us to reach Cologne and it gives us huge motivation. I can't even tell how happy I would be if we could in the end celebrate together.
Vardar’s plans for the upcoming season?
- We must not 'fly high'. We need to stay on the ground and focus. It would really be nice to reach all our goals this season. It would satisfy us all.
Macedonian club has started the season with a 26-21 victory against Vojvodina in Novi Sad but true challenges are still ahead of them.
- We'll play better in each upcoming match because preparations are over and now we will work more on tactics. It would be nice to start the season well in our clash against Metalurg on Saturday, announces Dibirov.
Macedonian clash in SEHA GSS League between Vardar and Metalurg is scheduled for Saturday at 20.15 at Kale sports hall.