An impressive comebackArticle
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Budućnost’s middle back Ana Radović is back stronger than ever after a shoulder injury.

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An impressive comeback

With a fantastic 40:36 victory in Ljubljana against Krim, Budućnost is back on track in the race for the semi-final spots of the EHF Women’s Champions League.

On Sunday the team of coach Dragan Adžić could secure second place in Main Round Group 1, with the option of still winning the group. In order to secure second place, Budućnost must beat Oltchim at home in their in “Morača” hall by at least two goals.

After a three months pause due to a shoulder injury that happened in Montenegro’s opening match at the EHF EURO 2010 in Denmark and Norway against Russia, Ana Radović played her first Main Round match in Ljubljana.

In an interview with, Radović talked about her comeback against Krim, when she was one of the key players on court, and about the upcoming game against Oltchim. In a match with an incredibly large number of scored goals, you had a very important victory in Ljubljana. In your opinion, could that match have been crucial in the race for semi-final places?

Ana Radović: It’s too early to say whether it was crucial or not. That victory was just one step towards the semi-finals. In our group it is still not decided who will advance. We still have two games in the "Morača" sports hall that are more important than the one against Krim. And we will be under big pressure, because we are playing at home. Are you surprised over Itxako’s victory against Oltchim in Romania?

Ana Radović: This season, Itxako has surprised everyone in the Main Round. So by now good results of Itxako are no more surprises. I was convinced that Itxako would go for a victory in Romania, and the Spanish champions proved to be a very good team, who are able to deal with everyone. The result against Oltchim was a confirmation of that. On Sunday Oltchim is coming to Podgorica with a new coach, Radu Voina. They must not lose any remaining game if they want to keep their chances for the semi-finals. What do you expect from the game?

Ana Radović: It will be one of the toughest games of this season. We will be under big pressure, especially because we play at home, despite the fact that that normally should be our advantage. Oltchim have no option to winning, for them the game is one of “to be or not to be”. They brought back to the coach of the national team who knows the team very well. So it is possible that they will play in a different way than before and he will surely put all pieces together properly.

For us, it is crucial to stay calm, and not to be preoccupied with our opponent’s game. Instead we must stay focused on our game, do what our coach says, and not play in a hectic way. Whenever we fulfilled what the coach wanted from us, everything was positive.

Physically I would say that we are ready, and the most important thing now is to be mentally ready and to play defence like we can. If we succeed with that, I think everything will be OK. Of course we also rely on the support of our loyal fans who have been our “eighth player” through all season so far. In Ljubljana you played your first game since 7 December 2010, when you suffered a serious shoulder injury in the game against Russia at EURO 2010. With three scored goals you were one of the best players against Krim. Did you expect to play from the start?

Ana Radović: I knew that I would get my chance to play, but didn’t know that I would be in the starting line-up. For me it’s not important whether I start the match or I'll come in later from the bench. The most important is that I have recovered from the injury, and that I'm with the team again. It was strange, since I was three months off court, and I returned in a very tough match. I had a game rhythm like other players, but I had a great desire to do my best and I told myself that I had to give the maximum. Are you surprised with your excellent game in Ljubljana?

Ana Radović: No, because I worked very hard. I did all the trainings as told. I was giving 100 percent in our training sessions. And it is common knowledge that if you do that, you can count on having a good game. Also I had the support of everyone in the team and the coach, they all encouraged me, and helped me to get back to normal.

It’s very hard mentally to return to the court after a three month break, due to the fear that the injury has not healed and will be in a worse condition afterwards. But the support I received from everyone in the club made a difference. How do you look back to your injury at the European Championship?

Ana Radović: It was my first major tournament, and I was absolutely physically ready, perhaps in the best form in my career. But in sports no one is ever safe from an occurring injury.

I felt sorry because I couldn’t help Montenegro and Budućnost in the first three Main Round games in the EHF Women’s Champions League. But I was part of it, I tried to support the team. No way, however, that that would be near the feeling of being on court yourself.

Follow Ana Radović’s second match of her comeback when Budućnost will take on last year’s finalists of the EHF Champions League, Romanian champions Oltchim Vâlcea. The game will be broadcast as a free-of-charge live web stream on

EHF Women’s Champions League, Main Round, Round 5
Sunday 13 March 2011, 19:30 hrs (local time)
Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) vs. C.S. Oltchim Rm. Vâlcea (ROU) is the official Internet TV platform of the European Handball Federation and offers free live streaming as well as a video on demand service.

TEXT: Saša Jončić