Woltering and Knežević to stay with BudućnostArticle
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Two of Podgorica's key players have renewed their contracts to stay with the Montenegrin club next season.

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Woltering and Knežević to stay with Budućnost

ŽRK Budućnost T-Mobile can breathe a sigh of relief as two of the club’s principal players confirmed they will stay in Podgorica, despite the interest shown by many European clubs.

Milena Knežević has renewed her contract for four years and will stay where she began her career until at least 2017, whilst German national team goalkeeper, Clara Woltering, signed her third year-long contract with the club.

This season, in her sixth year playing for Budućnost’s first team, Knežević was the club’s top scorer in the EHF Champions League with 86 goals. She was also the league's top scorer of the group matches and was in second position after the main round, which saw Budućnost eliminated from the competition.

Of her decision to stay with Budućnost, Knežević told ehfCL.com: “There were other offers, but there was not much hesitation on my part because I have just started to play handball and my time is yet to come. I wish to spend that time in Budućnost.”

Bojana Popović’s retirement has allowed Knežević to enjoy more freedom and responsibility in Budućnost’s team, making this one of her most beneficial years in the senior competition. Her experience at club level has complemented her national team duties, a fact evident when Montenegro won the gold medal at the last EHF EURO in Serbia and silver at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

At the continental championship last December, Knežević shared second place on the list of top scorers with Anita Görbicz (41 goals) and recorded 29 assists, making her the most successful supporting player of the tournament. She has also been voted best Montenegrin player twice, in 2009 and 2012.

Knežević’s success is not limited to the EHF Champions League and her senior national representative experience – she has won two EHF Cup Winners’ Cup titles (2006, 2010) and three regional leagues with Budućnost. Individually, she was top scorer at the 2007 European Championship 17 in Slovakia and third top scorer at the 2010 Junior World Handball Championships in South Korea. Montenegro won the bronze medal in 2010 and Knežević was named best left back of the tournament.

“I signed a four-year contract because the club has great ambition for the coming years, as was the case in previous seasons. Budućnost is the club I really need to repay and this will give me the chance to do so,” Milena Knežević added.

Clara Woltering came to Podgorica two seasons ago and has been a key player in the team, proving herself vital in their 2012 EHF Champions League title. Woltering’s central role in the club culminated in her being named captain of the team last year.

“I feel good in Budućnost. I am satisfied with the plans for next season – I have the same ambition as the club, so there was no reason not to extend the contract. Of course, I love to play in the Champions League and I will do my best to do what is expected from me,” Clara Woltering told ehfCL.com.

So far, Budućnost has gained two reinforcements for next season: Polish Kinga Byzdra, coming from KGHM Metraco Zaglebie Lubin and from Randers HK, Dane Camilla Dalby.

It is confirmed that at least five or six players will leave Budućnost this summer, but at present only Claudine Mendy has signed a new contract, with Macedonian ŽRK Vardar.

TEXT: Saša Jončić / cg