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08/08/2020 09:00
Serbian Nenad Mihajlovic to help revive women’s Volleyball in North Macedonia
News from the National Federations

Skopje, North Macedonia, August 8, 2020. When the gold medal in as many as three final matches of the CEV European League Men was so close, yet unreachable in the end, many Volleyball enthusiasts wondered, and some of them even believed this was the maximum result that Macedonian Volleyball could achieve. But the two victories at the first ever CEV EuroVolley appearance in Ljubljana last year, and especially the dazzling one over eventual European vice-champions Slovenia, caused an avalanche of actions that until recently seemed unrealistic for the small Balkan country.

Sometimes it happens in sports, appetite grows, but the first impression is that goals are not too ambitious; on the contrary, they are achievable. In these circumstances, the events are coming one after another as pictures placed on a movie tape.

Encouraged by such positive atmosphere and with the wish to use the momentum for further development, the leaders of Macedonian Volleyball have made a strategic decision to start the process of creating a women’s national team that in the future could compete for participation in major European events too. Guided by this idea, the Volleyball Federation of North Macedonia applied and eventually seized the right to organise the 2022 edition of the U19 Women’s European Championship. The gathering of the most talented Volleyball players on the continent in two years from now is an obligation for good organisation, but also a chance for the revitalisation of Macedonian women’s Volleyball. Quantity has not been an issue so far, but in the next period, quality needs to follow as well. The pleasure of having that noble but difficult task belongs to Nenad Mihajlovic, a relatively young Serbian coach who has experience in working with age-group players.


Nenad Mihajlovic working with young players in Skopje - the first step to revitalise the women's national team in North Macedonia

“My goal is to take a big step forward with women’s Volleyball here. That is a big challenge for me. That is why I want to choose the girls with the greatest potential and to guide them all together in the right direction, and that means to make national team players out of them. We need to work hard, we will have camps, Balkan Championships, we will make a detailed plan to train as much as possible, and then play friendly matches with strong teams like Serbia for example,” says Mihajlovic who is already in Skopje and held the first training in the busy August period. After the capital, Mihajlovic will visit Bitola, Stip and Strumica, in order to choose 22-24 players who will participate in the final act of the training process in this term, and that will be a camp in Krushevo. The other girls from the list with more than 80 names will not be out of the process, but will be followed by Macedonian coaches and it is possible that they will join the national team if they make progress.

“There is a lot of potential here and a lot of work in front of us, especially as far as the technique goes. I want to bring here the Serbian Volleyball culture that is so famous and successful, and that means Macedonian Volleyball will move forward as a result,” says Mihajlovic, who has already imagined the big picture and the style of his new team.

Everyone agrees that it is not an easy, but for sure, it is an inspiring task. For Mihajlovic to create his own product, and thus to repeat and upgrade the successes in Serbian Volleyball, where he has won a club senior championship title with Vizura BEOGRAD, and for the Volleyball Federation of North Macedonia, on the other hand, after a long time, to return to the European stage with a women’s team. Of course, this is a long way for both Mihajlovic and Macedonian Volleyball, but even the longest journey begins with the first step. No doubt, it will be a journey filled with undisguised enthusiasm.

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