MIROSLAV KOCIC: FOR ME IT IS A BIG CHALLENGE TO BE PART OF HC METALURG’S TEAM
Miroslav Kocic is HC Metalurg’s new reinforcement on the goalkeeper position and he comes as a substitute for Rade Mijatovic who continued his career in Hungary. Kocic is one of the best goalkeepers in the SEHA-league and he plays in the Serbian national handball team. Together with Darko Stanic and Nikola Mitrevski, he is going to be part of the goalkeeper trio of the Macedonian champion.
We asked Miroslav Kocic few questions and he was glad to answer them.
If you do not take into consideration the one-year stay in Teramo (Italy) and the short period in the Asian Champions League, the contract with HC Metalurg is your first serious international experience. So, did you have any other opportunities before or maybe you were interested to play only in Serbia?
– Yes, I have played in Italy for one year, but I realized that their league was not my cup of tea, so I returned to Serbia. Then, I did not want to go anywhere else at any cost, but I was waiting for the real chance. And exactly HC Metalurg’s offer was that chance and I did not have any second thoughts about it.
Being part of a team that plays in the EHF Champions League is a good motif for everyone. But, is this the real reason that forced you to accept the offer from HC Metalurg?
– Of course, being part of a team that plays in the Champions League was one of the reasons why I accepted HC Metalurg’s offer, but there are other, too. For me, it is a big challenge to be part of HC Metalurg which is one of the best organized clubs in the region and also to practice and to work with a coach like Lino Cervar. This is an experience that every handball player from the region of the former federation dreams of.
Darko Stanic, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, plays in HC Metalurg. Is there a psychological pressure on you, especially that you have been undoubtedly amazing on the goal line of your ex team, HC Vojvodina?
– Yes, my role in HC Metalurg is going to be different from the one I had in HC Vojvodina, but I don’t feel any pressure and I even think that it is going to be much easier for me being next to Darko. The season is very long and we are going to have many matches. There is a room for all the three of us. The most important thing for us is to be a team and to work for the benefit of HC Metalurg. We are not going to count minutes, but it is more important to do our job when we stand on the goal line.
The handball in Macedonia has a different dimension from the one in Serbia. Here, everyone who has the quality of a good player becomes the favourite of the fans and a celebrity. Are you ready to win the hearts of HC Metalurg’s fans?
– I know that the handball is the most popular sport in Macedonia and that is quite popular in the media, too. I am really glad about it and of course, I will try to leave a good impression on the court and out of it, and I will try to win the hearts of our fans.
Are you nervous before your debut in the EHF Champions League, which is an extremely difficult competition that needs a lot of responsibility, where you pay for every mistake?
– I am not nervous at all. I must admit that I cannot wait for the first matches to begin and I really want to feel the atmosphere when Metalurg plays their matches at home. I have heard a lot of things, and now I will have the opportunity to experience that.
What do you think, what chances does HC Metalurg have in the group phase and after it?
– The group is very good and we are going to have an interesting season. I think that HC Metalurg, together with THW Kiel and Paris Saint Germain, is the main favourite for a place in the Last 16 phase, and everything after that is an excellent achievement.
The derby-matches with the team of HC Vardar are an unavoidable part of the season and the Macedonian handball public lives for them. How much do you know about the derby and are you looking forward to being part on some of those matches?
– I know that the matches with HC Vardar are one of the biggest handball derbies in Europe. I know that there is a lot of sports tension on them and that the teams are preparing for weeks. That is why I am happy that I am going to be part of those matches and that I am going to feel that atmosphere.