Confident manager believes in good startArticle
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Podravka manager Marijan Domovic tells about the prospects of the club and the chances in the CL. The Croats will host Lada on Friday.

Confident manager believes in good start

Manager of Podravka Vegeta, Marijan Domovic, is one of hard working individuals who take care of every single detail inside the best Croatian women’s club. He has great management experience from handball, but Domovic also worked in football for the club Slaven Belupo.

Domovic talks to about his experience, his team, rivals and he also tells us what he expects from the CL.

Tatari is one of the most experienced Podravka Besides working as the club manager of Podravka for many years, you also worked a long time as the director of the football club Slaven Belupo. What is a difference between these two jobs?

Marijan Domovic: I’m very privileged to have experience in working for two high quality sports clubs. Football and handball are two popular, but also different sports. Podravka Vegeta has been the best Croatian women’s club for 15 years and Slaven Belupo is one of the best football clubs in Croatia.

Though there are similarities, it is almost impossible to compare these two jobs. Football demands much more work in organisation, preparation for matches and everything else. A football club needs bigger staff and also bigger budget. Anyway, experience from handball helped me a lot in football, and vice versa. It was rumoured that the budget of Podravka Vegeta was cut. However, less money seems to produce even better results. Are you satisfied with the support coming from the sponsors and local community?

Marijan Domovic: Podravka Vegeta is one of rare top European clubs with a budget significantly less than in previous seasons. It is far from the budget of the best European clubs. We are very happy and proud that the famous company Podravka has been our main sponsor since 1964. We also have some other sponsors. Unfortunately we do not receive support from our local community, city or county.

Last season we brought home one of the best and one of the most successful coaches of Europe, Zdravko Zovko. It was good foundation of quality work and also of future results. This season we brought three great reinforcements: line player Ana Dokic, back player Andrea Penezic and goalkeeper Paula Ungureanu. They are all quality players and outstanding people who improved our team and our game. Podravka showed an impressive performance at the qualification tournament in Estella. What do you think about your team in this season?

Dokic is new, but she has big CL history with GyőrMarijan Domovic: Bozica Palcic, Miranda Tatari and Kristina Franic are only three players who have been in Podravka longer then three years. Our plan was to bring new players every year. With the last three reinforcements we formed a good team.

I think this is one of the best teams ever in the history of Podravka Vegeta. If we manage to keep coach Zdravko Zovko and players for the following seasons, I’m convinced that we can achieve great results. Of course we expect to play an important role in the CL this season already. Group C with Lada, Larvik and Oltchim… Your expectations?

Marijan Domovic: In my opinion Group C is the toughest group on the highest quality. Lada, Larvik and Oltchim are champions coming from strong handball countries such as Russia (World champions), Norway (Olympic champions) and Romania.

Our main goal was to qualify for the CL and we already achieved it. If we will have the opportunity to be among the two best teams of our group, for sure we will grab it. A third position and the Cup Winners’ Cup would not be a disappointment either. Anyway, all matches in our group will be tough. Little details will decide which two teams will go through. The first opponent this season will be Lada. What do you think?

Marijan Domovic: Lada are the best team of the current World champions, Russia. It speaks for itself. Lada have many top players such as Bliznova, Postnova and Muravyeva… We recognise their quality, but we will play in front of our fans and we want to win this game. Podravka Vegeta have quality to make it. If all our players give their maximum on Friday I’m convinced that we will defeat Lada.

TEXT: Ivan Ambros