Teamwork pleases Vardar's coachArticle
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NEWS REPORT: Preparation for a return to European competition was a testing, but pleasing experience for Indira Kastratovic

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Teamwork pleases Vardar's coach

Before the start of the Women's EHF Champions League Main Round (Saturday, 1 February), the competition's newcomers Vardar are touted as big favourites of Group 1 to qualify for the first edition of the Women's EHF FINAL4.

In January, Vardar's tour of Montenegro in the Regional League ended with an expected victory against young team of Danilovgrad (25:16) and a defeat in Podgorica against Buducnost (32:28).

The Macedonian champions coach Indira Kastratovic decided to rest some players against Buducnost. Andrea Lekic and Julija Nikolic were not in the squad, Jovanka Radicevic, Ana Dokic, Begona Fernandez Molinos and Maja Zebic spent the entire time on the bench.

Allison Pineau and Siraba Dembele entered in the second half, while Tatiana Khmyrova had a little playing time.

"Against Buducnost I didn’t want to test my team because we played thr day before against Danilovgrad, and did what we needed in that game. There was no need for the team to get tired, because the most important to us game on 2 February at home against Thüringer HC. We are slowly getting ready for it," Indira Kastratovic told

Coach of Vardar desires to keep the team from possible injuries.

"Buducnost always play a little rougher defence. In addition, against Buducnost I wanted to see the players from the bench too, to see how much I can count on them in the Champions League.

"I saw that I can count on a lot of them. That's why I am happy, the result against Buducnost was not that important,” Kastratovic stated.

In preparation for the main round games with Thüringer HC, IK Sävehof and FC Midtjylland, Vardar played six matches in January in the Regional League. They defeated Krim Mercator, Danilovgrad and twice Lokomotiva Zagreb.

Besides the defeat against Buducnost, Vardar were held to a draw against Podravka.

The final test for the main round will be on Sunday 26 January in the form of a city derby against Metalurg.

"I am pleased with the preparations so far and with the commitments of the players during the games. It was important that girls who played the World Championship came without injuries, because we have many national team player from different countries.

Andrea Lekić came with a small injury, but she will be ready Thüringer HC. That’s why I didn’t want it to push her against Budućnost."

Vardar don’t hide the fact that the goal is to qualify for the Women's EHF FINAL4 in Budapest.

"Our ambitions are high, that's why I want to slowly prepare for the start of the main round. After the match at home with Thüringer HC, we have an away game against IK Sävehof. It is essential to have a good start,” concluded Kastratovic.

TEXT: Sasa Joncic / br