Zagreb name Veselin Vujovic as new coachArticle
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NEWS REPORT: The Croatian champions recruited the former Yugoslavia’s trophy-laden left back as successor to Boris Dvorsek ahead of their VELUX EHF Champions League opener against THW Kiel.

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Zagreb name Veselin Vujovic as new coach

HC Prvo Plinarsko Drustvo Zagreb wasted no time in finding a replacement for Boris Dvorsek and employed the services of world handball icon Veselin Vujovic, who could not have asked for a more exciting start to his career as the Croatian champions’ coach.    

The 53-year-old from the ancient Montenegrin town of Cetinje, who won the 1984 Olymlic gold medal and the 1986 World Championship with the former Yugoslavia as well as three Champions Cup titles with Metaloplastika Sabac, was officially unveiled on Sunday by Zagreb’s director Anton Ancic and manager Bozidar Jovic.

The stunning twist in Vujovic’s career came only a week before Zagreb’s Group A opener at home to THW Kiel and Vujovic made it clear he was as hungry as ever to add more silverware to his trophy cabinet.

“It is a great honour to be here, this is a massive challenge for me because I still have the adrenaline required for this job and my appetite for trophies is undiminished,” Vujovic told a press conference in the Croatian capital.

“Zagreb is a club whose tradition is unmatched and down the years they have  has bred a production belt of top quality coaches and players. Hence any coach given the opportunity to work here should feel as privileged as I do.”

“Back in my playing days, Zagreb tried to sign me from Barcelona but it wasn’t meant to be at the time. However, here I am as coach and looking forward to guiding this young and talented team. I believe whole-heartedly that our cooperation will be fruitful and long-term,” he added.

Vujovic, who enjoyed a good coaching spell at Macedonian giants Vardar Skopje, will face the immediate task of consolidating Zagreb after a patchy start in the regional SEHA league cost Dvorsek his job.

He will make his debut on Wednesday in a SEHA league match against Serbian champions Vojvodina Novi Sad, a perfect dress rehearsal for Sunday’s eagerly awaited clash with German and European giants Kiel.

Progressing to the VELUX EHF Champions League knockout stages should also be within the realm of Zagreb’s limits as their group, apart from Kiel, also includes HC Metalurg, Naturhouse La Rioja, Paris Saint-Germain Handball and Meshkov Brest. 

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / cor