The ever-growing love between Zderic and BuducnostArticle
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FEATURE INTERVIEW: Marta Zderic talks personal and professional challenges, becoming the leader of the team, looks back at the season and enjoying life with her ‘second family’ at Buducnost and Podgorica

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Women's News

The ever-growing love between Zderic and Buducnost

One of handball’s genuine heroines is Marta Zderic. After enduring a personal tragedy last season just ahead of her second EHF Women’s FINAL4, the ever-determined Buducnost goalkeeper took little to no time to recuperate. Within a few days, Zderic was reunited with her “second family” in Podgorica.

However, it only strengthened the bond between Zderic and what she loves best – playing handball. Marta helped Buducnost win their second Women’s EHF Champions League title (her first and only title to date) just a few weeks after her mother’s passing. That night in Budapest, the elusive trophy has been lifted pointing high up towards the sky, in her honour.

“I do not know what would’ve happened without the help and support of my friends at the club. I was given all the time I needed, but I knew I had to be with them, and it made me stronger.

“I felt the moment was right, and I feel it still. We are all here for a reason,” said the ever-positive Marta Zderic.

“It was a journey I had to take alone”

Zderic never hid the fact she is enjoying life in Podgorica. The love affair between Zderic and Buducnost goes back to 2013, and is growing stronger each day.

Joining the Podgorica was a dream come true for the Croatian, but life is made of challenges, and the way we respond to them determines how fulfilled we become.

This season, in absence of the former first-choice goalkeeper Clara Woltering, Marta has stepped up to become one of the leaders of the team. As the dust has settled, and the champions’ glory slowly began to fade, it was time to face the new challenges.

“The moment I’d learned of Clara’s departure, I knew I would have to take over and continue on my own. There was no other way for me, other than to embrace the fact the girls now depend on me, as the first choice in goal,” said the 26-year-old goalkeeper, who saw the departures of both her friends and fellow goalkeepers - Clara Woltering and Marina Rajcic last summer.

“It was difficult losing Marina and Clara, especially as they were among of my closest friends,” admitted Zderic.

Backed by everyone at the club Zderic stepped up to the challenge, as her heroic performances earned her the nomination for the Women’s EHF Champions League All-Star Team of the season.

“I was aware of the responsibility, and did it all for my team. It wasn’t easy, but I knew it was a journey I had to take alone,” said Zderic

No ‘me’ in the team

But the final challenge awaits, bigger than any individual accolade is the chance to write history with Buducnost again. The work was upon, both Buducnost and Marta to complete the circle. It all started with their first final appearance back in 2014, and this season, nothing other than repeated success was acceptable for the fans in Moraca.

But everyone at the club knew it was far from certain, and there was a lot of speculation around whether Dragan Adzic’s team would be able to reclaim their title this season.

“We’ve had ups and downs, but the way we rise after every hit we take says everything of who we are as a team. I’ve had a lot of support from the entire team. It makes everything easier if you know you team mates are there for you.

“The first part of the season felt very new for me, almost awkward, but soon everything fell into place, and now it feels very natural to be the leader,” admits Zderic.

The 2015/16 was a season of ups and downs, following the tough defeats from their Women’s FINAL4 rivals, Györ and Vardar, but it was a perfect test for the cohesion and collective strength at Buducnost.

“Now everyone want to beat us, but the challenge is ours to take. We have huge faith in this team. Buducnost is number one, and we need to make the effort to take what’s ours this season.

“Györ are very good this season, but that does not concern us at all. Neither does the home court advantage. From the moment I hear the whistle, all I know is that we need to win.

“We are one big, happy family. I would do everything for this club, and each and every one of these girls is the same. There are magnificent individuals in Buducnost, but there is no ‘me’ in this team, only ‘us’ – and by that, I mean all of us,” concluded Zderic.

TEXT: Nemanja Savic / bc