In new, tenth SEHA - Gazprom League season, Eurofarm Pelister will be eager to prove everyone what they’re capable of and make a step forward booking a place on the final tournament. Macedonians spent the summer strengthening the team in order to be able to cope with Vardar in domestic competition and achieve goals in the regional one.
In their premier appearance on SEHA courts this season they will on Monday (17.45 CET) welcome Metaloplastika Sabac. Two teams already met twice last season with both managing to grab a win at home. Metaloplastika were in Serbia better with 27:26 after Viktor Maticic netted a seven-meter shot in the final minute while Eurofarm on the other side displayed a dominant performance in Macedonia taking a huge 32:21 win in front of their fans.
Macedonians managed to strengthen their roster significantly during the summer bringing in occasional Croatian national team player Stipe Mandalinic as well as Josip Peric, Tomislav Kusan and Mateo Maras. As they are not playing the Macedonian League (they will join it later in the season along with Vardar), their only official matches in this first part of the season were ones they’ve played in EHF European League where they are currently positioned fifth in a group of six after managing to reach one win (Trebnje) and one draw (Kadetten) as well as three losses (Rhein Neckar Löwen, GOG, Trebnje) in five matches so far. Coach Babic and his guys are clearly lacking matches which might prove to be a problem for them against Metaloplastika.
Serbian vice-champions are, on the other side, positioned first in Serbian ARKUS League Group B with seven wins in 11 rounds. They will in this one surely be highly-motivated to prolong the streak of good SEHA performances as they last season managed to stun some of European powerhouses like Telekom Veszprem and Meshkov Brest on their home court.
We are without doubt up to a great one so make sure not to miss the last SEHA Gazprom League match in 2020!
Zeljko Babic, Eurofarm Pelister coach:
We need matches in order to be able to stay in a good rhythm which is why we’re all really looking forward to the start of SEHA Gazprom League. I can say I’m also looking forward to hosting this Metaloplastika team led by former Serbian national team coach Veselin Vukovic. I still remember those iconic matches of his generation which are one of the reasons why I fell in love with handball. Metaloplastika are running to court well, they are playing an aggressive 3-2-1 defense which they are often successfully transforming to 6-0. They have a really good roster and we’ll definitely have to be on top of our game in this one in order to achieve our goal. We’ve delivered a good performance against Trebnje, players are focused and motivated and despite of everything I honestly believe we’ll deliver yet another solid performance.
Elmir Gradjan, Eurofarm Pelister player:
We are ready for the beginning of SEHA - Gazprom League. Goal is to win the match and we’ll do everything we can in order to do it. We have to focus on our game, especially if we want to achieve that greater goal for the season and that is to qualify for the final tournament. Metaloplastika have a young team capable of delivering a solid performance and we’ll have to be on top of our game in order to not allow them to surprise us. We can’t afford to underestimate them.