Strlek delighted to join Vive Targi KielceArticle
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Croatian winger reunited with compatriots in Poland

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Strlek delighted to join Vive Targi Kielce

Polish champions Vive Targi Kielce have enjoyed an outstanding season, having won the national league and cup double alongside reaching the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16.

Emulating those achivements requires boosting their already respectable squad and that is exactly what they have done in signing Croatian international winger Manuel Strlek, who has confirmed a four-year contract with one of Europe’s rapidly growing outfits.

Strlek, a prolific left winger who was part of the Croatian team that won the bronze medal at this year’s EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia, was delighted to reunite with his compatriots Denis Buntic and Zeljko Musa.

“They spoke to me about the club and told me how at home they felt at Kielce, which made all the difference when I weighed my options because their opinion means the world to me,” the 23-year old Strlek told Croatian media after parting company with his hitherto club Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb.

“Kielce has become a distinguished European name and I feel I will be a part of creating history. I spoke to the club’s president several times in the last few days and realised that the team, which is growing stronger every year, is aiming for the pinnacle of Europe,” he added.

Apart from the Croatian trio, Kielce has two other players from the former Yugoslavia in their ranks – Serbian pivot Rastko Stojkovic and Slovenian playmaker Uros Zorman. Strlek believes the Balkan quintet and the prevalent core of home-grown Poles are a perfect blend for the club, aiming to maintain their domestic supremacy over traditional rivals Wisla Plock and make an even bigger impact in Europe. “We speak similar languages and therefore we also think alike, which is a basic prerequisite for new arrivals to mould into the team seamlessly,” he said.

“The club is well organised, professional and ambitious while its players and fans are passionate. I heard the fans here are handball-crazy and it’s so important for every player to play in such an environment.”

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic