With fan support we can do anythingArticle
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INTERVIEW: Vardar's leading light in their debut VELUX EHF Champions League is confident that his side can go all the way to Cologne

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Men's News

With fan support we can do anything

A player widely regarded as one of the best wingers in the world, Timur Dibirov, has fully recovered from an eye injury suffered in the VELUX EHF Champions League Last and showed that he is 100% ready for the quarter-finals against Flensburg with an MVP performance as Vardar won the SEHA league over the weekend.

He believes that with the support of the fans it is possible for Vardar to reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4 at the first time of asking.

ehfCL.com: You were playing many years in Chekovskie Medvedi. How hard was for you to adapt in the new team? Did you get used on the life in Skopje?

Timur Dibirov: I’m very happy because the adaptation period in the new team passed quickly and I’m very thankful to my new team for this. I started working very quickly with Vardar and I can say that I’m feeling great here. Everyone here shows a very respectable attitude towards me and this is a wonderful feeling. It’s great to live in this city, I already feel like Skopje is my second home.

ehfCL.com: Vardar will play for the first time in the club’s history in the quarter-finals final of the VELUX EHF Champions league. What were your expectations before the start of the competition?

Timur Dibirov: I knew that Vardar is one big project and while I honestly believed and hoped, I didn’t think that the team would show such great results in the first season. The result that my team achieved passed my expectations, and this makes me very happy. I also think that Vardar will not stop here and will only improve in the future. Our previous matches showed that when the whole team wants to win, anything is possible.

ehfCL.com: How do you fell after the eye injury? How hard was for you to watch your teammates fighting in Hamburg and not being able to help them on the court?

Timur DIborov: I don’t want to think of the injury anymore, that is already behind me and I’m happy that the recovery period passed very quickly and now I’m trying to get in good shape as soon as possible and be 100% fit in order to help my team in the quarter-finals. I also must say that it is much harder to watch your team playing from the stands. I was very nervous and experienced every attack and defence of my team and it is definitely not good feeling when you cannot help your teammates.

ehfCL.com: Before the draw, everyone in Vardar secretly wanted to play against Flensburg. What is the reason behind this?

Timur Dibirov: All teams that are playing at this stage are very strong and is it silly to wish for any of the opponents. Maybe the reason is that we haven’t played with this team in the group phase, while we played with some of the other teams like PSG, Barcelona, but still I think that all of the teams are very strong.

ehfCL.com: Stojanche Stoilov is missing the next match. How serious is this loss for the team?

Timur Dibirov: That is very big problem for the team. Stoilov is great player and also a very good person. He is a very important part of the team. Every player is an essential piece of the team and when someone is missing it is serious problem not only in playing manner but this is psychological problem.

ehfCL.com: Do you feel like a leader of the team?

Timur DIborov: I’m not the one who should speak about this, but this is mostly what people that watch us are saying. I personally feel that I’m part of the team and I think that all 16 players are supposed to be leaders in the team.

ehfCL.com: How much has your team changed after the arrival of Guttierez?

Timur Dibirov: There is much to speak about this and how I personally feel for the contribution of this amazing person. He shows professionalism and the fact that Vardar are in the quarter-finals is a credit to him. He brought confidence into the team, tactical changes and everything we see now is a result of his work. He is a master in everything.

ehfCL.com: Who is responsible for the great success of Vardar?

Timur Dibirov: This is definitely 50 per cent thanks to our fans, the other big part goes to the coaching job and of course the collective who is composed of people that want to win and give their maximum on the court. For these people, handball is not just a job, but also life.

ehfCL.com: Do you think that it is big advantage that Vardar will play their second game at home?

Timur Dibirov: Playing the second match at home is a big advantage in this stage of the competition but we saw in Hamburg that playing at home guarantees nothing. That is why I think that the quarter-finals are composed of two halves, one in Flensburg and the second in Skopje. As Flensburg coach Vranjes said: we should expect a 120 minute fight and both teams will not gain a lot from playing on their own court. However, I believe the crazy support we get from our fans will be an advantage for us.

ehfCL.com: What is your message to the fans?

Timur Dibirov: We have had a fantastic season and no matter how the match will end, this will be the last match in Skopje. That is why I want to say that the last match should be the most memorable and only they can help us to victory. If they are not with us then we will not manage on our own. That is why we need their support, which I’m sure will be fantastic.

TEXT: Amina Idrizi / cor