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INTERVIEW WITH FILIP MIRKULOVSKI, BACK LINE PLAYER IN METALURG, AND MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL TEAM

04.01.2014 12:00
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This text is taken from “Nova Makedonija” newspaper.

All of us should be proud of this successful year.

The previous year was very successful for Metalurg in every aspect. SC “Boris Trajkovski” was filled to its full capacity on each match, and my team-mates and I tried to live up to the expectations. The previous year was another experience in the Champions League for us, and we are about to secure the entrance in the Last 16 three years in-a-row. It is a big thing indeed. All of us should be proud, stated Filip Mirkulovski (30), who wished to obtain his master’s degree in 2014 besides the other wishes for health, happiness and love, and he also wished to repeat the biggest achievements with Metalurg and the national team, such as the entrance in the quarter final of the Champions League (the biggest achievement of a Macedonian men’s sports club in any Champions League), and the fifth place on the European Championship.

– When it comes to the European Championship in Denmark, I do not want to talk about it before the start of the matches. As a national team, all these years we have showed that we have a huge character, and I can say and promise for sure that we will give our 100 % on each match. We will see where this will get us – said Mirkulovski who so far has played 93 matches for Macedonia (a high ranking on EURO 2014 will mean a celebration of 100 played match for the national team) and scored more than 200 goals.

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He says that he will remember this year after two good and one bad moment.

– One of the good moments in my private life, of course, is the birth of my daughter Jovana who was born on the big Christian holiday St. Trifun, and this made me the happiest father in the world. From professional point of view, it was the Metalurg’s placement in the quarter final of the Champions League which altogether is my biggest achievement in my career. One bad memory has been my knee surgery which luckily went well – says Mirkulovski who is the winner of the “13 Noemvri” award for the past year.

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Loyal to Metalurg.

The main features of Mirkulovski are his vicarious defense and the sharp attack. The European club handball scouts many times have showed their interest in Mirkulovski’s services, but he is still loyal to his Metalurg.

– This past few years, ever since we have been playing on the highest level, I received many offers from the European clubs, but I refused them all because I have the same conditions in Metalurg where the people involved in and out of the club value and reward the quality of the Macedonian players. That is why at the moment we are having 13 members of the senior national team in the club. On the other hand, Metalurg is a club with great ambitions which overlap with mine. I play in the Champions League with Metalurg. What more can I wish? – explains Metalurg’s number 13, and he believes that this number brings him luck, because he has had this number on his back since he was in school.

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Then and now.

More than a decade, Metalurg has been working with its schools, and three years ago they merged into “Metalurg Handball Academy”. Hundreds of children have been practicing there, and one day they will take the place of Mojsovski, Mirkulovski, Dimovski, Jonoski, Markoski … The first generation has already been on track. The players of Metalurg’s second team, Metalurg Junior, are the fruits of the school of Metalurg.

– The conditions now are completely different from those in the past when I began to practice handball, at least in this club. Now, the conditions are much better. The children with whom they work have indeed special training conditions. In comparison, when I was 19 I started practicing every day, and by then we had practice only three times a week. Now, the 15-16 year-old children are practicing even two times a day, and a lot of attention is paid to them. In Metalurg, they put a lot of effort in the youth schools. I am really glad for this. I can say that we have talented children like never before, but it depends on them if they are going to become excellent players. They have great foundation and working conditions, and they should only use them well – noted Mirkulovski.

Rome and Mavrovo

The handball enabled Mirkulovski to travel all around Europe, but given that these travels all come down to the relation plane-hotel-sport centre and vice versa, he has never had enough time to walk around and to see the attractions.

– There is no country in Europe, at least those with handball tradition that I have not been to. It is clear that on these travels we do not have enough time to walk around. However, I would like to go to Italy, particularly Rome fascinates me with its long history as a centre of a great empire – says Mirkulovski for whom Mavrovo, in Macedonia, is a place for relaxation and relief, and he often goes there on a day or twо.

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I am on seventh heaven when Jovana smiles.

Given that he sometimes has two practices a day, Mirkulovski does not have much time to relax. When he has some free time, he is running again, but this time with the joystick in his hands.

– The greatest joy in my life is my daughter Jovana and when she smiles or makes some face, I am on seventh heaven no matter how sad or disappointed I am. As everybody else, I enjoy the victories of my club and the national team and of course all the beautiful things in my private life. As a professional, I am often very tired and hardly ever you can meet me somewhere out. The best way for me to relax is sitting at home, or maybe playing Sony Playstation with my friends, but I sometimes can read a good crime novel by Agatha Christie – says Filip Mirkulovski who finds music as a relaxing thing before an important match.

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It is much easier with “Bauerfeind” and “Re-Medika”.

– Injuries make me sad, but with Metalurg’s partners and sponsors, such as “Bauerfeind” and “Re-Medika”, which supply us with medical aid, wristbands, relax –socks, shin pads, and also a medical care, check-ups, diagnostics, physiotherapy, massage, and etc., it is much easier and quicker to overcome the injuries, says Filip Mirkulovski.

I was a really talented basketball player.

Fili Mirkulovski (height 189 cm) is one of the best and most vicarious players of Metalurg and of the Macedonian national team, but his first sport love was the basketball.

– I can say that I was a very talented basketball player. Since I was a great sports enthusiast, I simultaneously started practicing handball. I remember one thing that happened then and it always makes me laugh. Instead going to a handball practice, I went to a basketball practice. Of course, there was not any basketball practice at all, and I missed the handball practice too, and also I did not manage to be on time either because the practices were on different locations. Ivano Balic is one of the reasons why I have chosen the handball. He is the player who was my role model and I used to watch again and again all his matches, and I tried to copy his style of play and his handball magic. I think that his play was the reason why the handball became so popular – said Filip Mirkulovski who revealed that basketball helped him a lot in creating his defense style in handball when he can be very tough for the opponent.

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Although Mirkulovski is a qualified solicitor, he does not see himself in that profession. He is a complete sports addict who cannot imagine his life without practice, matches, or dynamics.

– If I did not play handball, I would definitely play basketball. Sport is my life and I cannot imagine how it would be like without the handball and without sport in general – said Mirkulovski who watches football besides handball and basketball, and he is a Real Madrid fan since he was a child.

Tanja Dimitrioska.

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