Martins: What a feelingArticle
«Go back

NEWS REPORT: One of the youngest players to take to the court in the VELUX EHF Champions League scored on his debut for FC Porto Vitalis in their defeat to Plock

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Men's News

Martins: What a feeling

If we look at the current VELUX EHF Champions League squads, we won’t see many more 16-year-old players, like the one Porto had making his debut against Wisla Plock last Saturday.

Nikola Eklemovic and Miguel Martins, the young Portuguese sensation, were seated side by side in the post-match press conference, which is at least peculiar, as Nikola is more than twice his opponent’s age. Everyone applauded Miguel when he came in during the 25th minute,  yet it was even better to see the youngster score a minute later, with a perfectly placed standing shot from outside that showed refined technique, leaving Wichary (Wisla’s goalkeeper who had a tremendous second half) glued to the floor.

The player did not show off his emotions too much, however, he also did not deny them in the press conference “that feeling is indescribable; it’s definitely a goal I will never forget”.

With number ten on his back, the jump from the youth teams to the senior squad that happened just a few weeks ago did not affect him too much, although he did feel the atmosphere of the European top flight.

“I saw every Porto match in the Champions League before, so it’s amazing to have been here playing today beside these experienced players. It’s a whole other level; you can feel it once you get on the court,” said Martins.

20:24 was the final result of the match against the Polish side, yet could not help but notice the changes in the Dragons’ squad.

We can see Professor Obradovic feels he can rotate his players a bit more, and Pedro Spínola (who came back from an injury) is only another option for the coach.

“My team didn’t feel like they could win tonight, missed four penalty shots, some counter-attacks and this is something that can’t happen, moreover when facing a very experienced team like Wisla,” added Obradovic after the game.

No one was expecting for the Dragons to react so well to their first year in this competition, and everyone recognises their evolution, including Manuel Cadenas, Wisla Plock’s coach.

“Porto are much better than what they showed here today, I know it only by watching the match against Kiel. A first half like that is worth a whole season when you ask me.

“This year is giving them a lot of experience, and Obradovic did great to improve his team like he did, because they evolved a lot during this campaign already,” said Cadenas, praising his opposite number.

FC Porto could not count on Tiago Rocha last Saturday and are still waiting for Alvaro Ferrer, the former Atletico Madrid player who still cannot contribute to the team this season due to injury.

These are only two between a few valuable players the Dragons cannot have on the court due to injury and this is why Obradovic keeps referring to that fact.

As if this was not enough, besides the defeat, there was another downside for the blues on Saturday, as Mick Schubert’s finger was in a really bad state after a defensive effort, and so far we don’t know how long the valuable Danish winger will be out for.

Despite the negative points of the Dragon’s season, they are truly enjoying the highest level of European handball, so they are moving on to their next Champions League match with their heads held high, proud of their campaign and with the will improve once again in the reverse fixture in Poland on Thursday 21 November.

TEXT: Carlos Jorge Santos / cor