Returning players reinforce BudućnostArticle
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Cvijić, Mehmedović and Gjorgijevska join the team following injury-related absences

Returning players reinforce Budućnost

The new year starts with good news for Women's EHF Champions League defending champions Budućnost. After a knee injury had sidelined Dragana Cvijić for seven months, the line player is set to return to the court.

She already played two games on the national level, scoring three goals overall against Biseri and Jagodina. It was the Serbian player's first appearance since the second leg of Budocnost's Women's EHF Champions League final against Györi Audi ETO KC in May 2012.

"Now it’s time for hard work, in order to reach the right form. I had a good time against Biseri and Jagodina, and I am well aware that I will need a lot of trainings and work to get to the level that I know I can reach.

"But lots of work and responsibilities are not hard to cope with in Budućnost, for us that’s ambition and enjoyment at the same time”, Dragana Cvijić said.

Cvijić hopes to be 100 per cent back on track for the start of the Women's EHF Champions League Main Round at the beginning of February.

"Of course, it would be ideal to be in top form for the first match of the Main Round (2 February against Györi Audi ETO KC). I played the last Women's EHF Champions League game on 13 May (2012) against Györi Audi ETO KC.

"It would be nice, after surgery, rehabilitation and all exercises to have a dream comeback against them," Cvijić added.

Regarding the chances of Budućnost in the Main Round in the group with rivals Györi Audi ETO KC, Larvik and Randers, Cvijić said:

"We are aware of the opponents' strength. But, without any fear and no burden we will do our best in every game.

"For us this is an opportunity to move forward, to become better players, to gain experience. And of course, we will fight for victories as we are proud to be champions of Europe."

Left wing Majda Mehmedović and right back Elena Gjorgijevska are also close to return from injuries. On Tuesday (8 January) they took part in a training session for the first time after their forced break.

Majda Mehmedović sustained a right knee injury against Hungary in Montenegro's first Main Round match at EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia, while Elena Gjeorgjievska broke her right foot's ankle bone in October of last year in the very first game in this season’s Women's EHF Champions League against Zvezda Zvenigorod.

"It’s positive is that Elena and Majda have praticed some time with the rest of the team and I expect that by the end of the week they will be able to work at full capacity," coach Dragan Adžić said.

Before the Champions League encounter in Hungary against Györi Audi ETO KC on 2 February  Budućnost will play three games in the national league – away matches against Zaječar (19 January) and Metalurg (21 January) and at home against Vardar (26 January).

Knežević named Player of the Year

And there was further reason for joy in Budućnost as Milena Knežević, who currently tops the Women's EHF Champions League goal scorer ranking with 54 goals, was named Montenegro's Handball Player of the Year.

Budocnost's 18-year-old Jelena Despotović pocketed the award for the best young Montenegrin player while the accolade for the best male Montenegrin player went to Igor Marković (pictured right with Knežević).

"I am not tne only one who deserved this award, but also each and everyone of my teammates. Only thanks to them and all the successes that we have achieved together, this recognition has come into my hands," said Knežević who was also a key player in Montenegro's victory at EHF EURo 2012 in December.

TEXT: Saša Jončić / ts