Ilic happy to have another shot at glory with VeszpremArticle
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INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: Serbian left back Momir Ilic is looking forward to the latter stages of this season’s VELUX EHF Champions League while also hoping that his country can get back to winning ways on the international scene

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Men's News

Ilic happy to have another shot at glory with Veszprem

When an 18-year old Momir Ilic started playing handball at local club Samot in Serbia’s central town of Arandjelovac, few pundits could have imagined that he would go on to become one the world’s acclaimed players enjoying unprecedented success in the last few years.

The 32-year old left back, who won three EHF Champions League titles with THW Kiel before moving to his current club Veszprem, also steered Serbia to their first handball medal as an independent nation when they finished runners-up on home court at the EHF EURO 2012.

At the halfway mark in Europe’s premier club competition, Ilic proudly sits at the top of the scorers’ list with 39 goals from five games, having netted six in last weekend’s enthralling 24:23 win at Vardar Skopje to keep Veszprem’s perfect group phase record intact.

In an exclusive interview to, Ilic looked back on his time at Kiel and spoke about his current stint with Veszprem, while he also revealed what it would take to get Serbia back to winning ways after the EURO 2012 success was followed by a slump. What is it like for you at Veszprem?
Momir Ilic: Fantastic and I'm delighted to be there. Naturally, moving to another club is a challenge for every player and I am no exception, but I blended it very quickly. Veszprem is a superbly organized club, just like Kiel and they are very similar in that regard. What prompted your move from the Bundesliga to Hungary?
Momir Ilic: Veszprem’s ambitions. It was clear from the start that the club’s ambitions always revolved around success in the Champions League while it’s also a great place to live so I didn’t have any doubts. You reached the VELUX EHF FINAL4 last season and this term you surely expect to go at least a step further?
Momir Ilic: Our objective is to emulate last term’s success, for a start, and reach the FINAL4. As you saw last season, anything can happen there as Flensburg, probably the last fancied team who reached the showpiece event, snatched the trophy ahead of strong favourites Kiel and Barcelona. You also must be enjoying your new role at Veszprem, which has enabled you to be the VELUX EHF Champions League top scorer at this stage of the competition?
Momir Ilic: I'm enjoying myself thoroughly and as for my role, it is one with plenty of responsibility. We rely and depend on each other on the court and must always function as a unit in other to live up to the coach’s expectations. Missing out on the World Championship in Qatar is surely a massive blow for Serbia and hence a good start in the EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers (Serbia beat Montenegro 25:21 and Israel 26:22) was vital?
Momir Ilic: Yes, we were stung by the failure to qualify for Qatar 2015 but that’s history and we can’t change it. We now have to look at the next 18 months positively and reach the European Championship in Poland, while we are also hopeful of securing a berth in the 2016 Olympics. The coach, Dejan Peric, has 18 months to make this team gel and improve and I think we have every chance of doing that. Peric will certainly benefit from the vast experience of the team’s senior players, including yourself?
Momir Ilic: Yes, we are always there for him to make things easier when and if possible. It’s all about results and we must all work together to achieve them. How much would Serbia benefit, its league and the national team, if a Serbian club was to reach the Champions League Group Stage?
Momir Ilic: It would make a big difference. For a start, it would improve the local league because it would force all the clubs to push forward and make it more competitive. Young players would also get a chance to shine on the big stage and that, in turn, would inject fresh blood into the national team.

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / ts