Zdravko Zovko as a "Pioneer": "Breaking prejudice about Russia" | Handball Planet

Zdravko Zovko as a “Pioneer”: “Breaking prejudice about Russia”

One of the most sucessful and most payed coaches from the Balkans is Zdravko Zovko, who entered the Russian market as a substitute of Evgeny Trefilov in Zvezda Zvenizgorod. How tough job will be to back title in Zvenizgorod after fourth place in Russian League last season, showing problems with Serbian Jagodina (31:21 – 29:34) in the Round 3 of Cup Winners Cup. Zovko gave very interesting interview to Balkan-Handball.com…

– There are totally different handball methods in Russia. We lost Sen and Vetkova last summer, without findind equal replacement. That is huge problem, but we are searching.  It is still problem to buy players from Europe, even from Balkans. Prejudice about Russia still exist. Zvenizgorod is suburb of Moscow. Moscow is one of the biggest city of the World – Metropolis. TOP Handball is playing here. I will tell you, better than in Denmark.

Do you have problems with “opposition” in Russian handball as the first coach – foreigner.

– I am to experienced coach to know that I am here because of title or at least, Champions League qualification. Of course, problems exist everywhere. I felt a “silent resistance” from Trefilov and Federation, when I came to Zvezda. It is always difficult to work after, fo rme, the best coach with Marit Breivik in women’s handball in the last decade. We talked and now, everything is going on. It is not strange for men. I also had same situation, when I was in Hungary. They also thought there, that domestic coaches are the best – said Croatian coach and add:

– This is a real challenge for me and my coaching staff. Russia will be open for other players and coaches, if we make something good here. This is very interesting country with extraordinary handball.

Men’s League in Russia is playing with 35 seconds per attack. How is that looking for you?

– Very good, brilliant. Handball is very interesting. We watched Krasnodar against Chelbynsk and it was really nice game. I think that this a future of handball. We didn’t see refferes. After 20 minutes, Vlado Sola (goalkeepers”s coach) asked me: “Where are they?”

About Russian Championship, Zovko said…

– There are six very good, proffesional teams. Besides Lada, who is the biggest favorite for me, Rostov, Zvezda and Dinamo Volgograd, also, Krasnodar and Astrakhan are good teams, ready to fight with everybody.


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