TRANSFERS ROUND-UP: Many transfers have already been confirmed during past months, however as the action steps down and the holiday season steps in, many rumours came into fruition, as we bring you the scoop.
Kielce plot new generation, Szeged and Barca look ahead
The season’s end is here, and the anticipated round up of transfer activities of the Europe’s finest is back, as players join their new clubs and announce upcoming moves.
Many transfers have already been confirmed during past months, however as the action steps down and the holiday season steps in, many rumours came into fruition, as we bring you the scoop.
Kielce to build on their success
The newly-crowned VELUX EHF Champions League winners Kielce have no plans to rest on their laurels after winning the elusive trophy for the first time in club’s history.
Polish powerhouse went on a real shopping spree to lure some of the best young talents in Europe.
Speaking of the best, the Best young player of the VELUX EHF Champions League 2015/16 Darko Djukic, will wear the yellow shirt next season, after impressing for Besiktas. Left-handed dynamo Djukic, will be the heir to Ivan Cupic on the right wing accompanied by the German star Tobias Reichmann.
Another young Balkan star to join Kielce is Zagreb’s “Karate kid” Filip Ivic, who will present a viable alternative to Slawomir Szmal in goal. However, Szmal’s advancing years will mean Kielce will have to acquire another option in goal, which they wasted no time doing by securing services of young Serbian prospect Vladimir Cupara for the 2017/18 season.
The same season will see another Dujshebaev arrive in Kielce, as the Polish club announced the signing of Vardar’s right back star Alex Dujshebaev, who will still have one more season to say goodbye to Skopje.
Dujshebeav will pose a formidable threat in the backcourt consisting of VELUX EHF Champions League MVP Dean Bombac, as well as their newest acquisition – young Croatian left back starlet Marko Mamic.
Szeged, Barcelona prepare for end of an era
Pick Szeged have begun preparations for the new post-Bombac era, as the backcourt maestro joins Kielce.
Facing the departures of several key players such as Rajko Prodanovic (joining Meskov Brest) and Niko Mindegia, Szeged cunningly flew under the radar to secure the signature of another dynamic Slovenian playmaker Stas Skube.
They also surprised many by acquiring PPD Zagreb’s playmaker Sandro Obranovic, albeit on loan, while the capture of Vardar’s Sergei Gorbok has already been announced.
However, upon Piotr Wyszomirski’s decision to seek other ventures, Hungarian runners-up will add another Croatian to their ranks, after Kielce’s second choice goalkeeper Marin Sego agreed to move.
Barcelona pulled a Balkan swap in goal, as the departing Bosnia-born goalkeeper Danijel Saric will be replaced by the Macedonian legend Borko Ristovski.
While still at Blaugrana, Cedric Sorhaindo put end to all speculation about his next move, by pledging his future to Barcelona. The powerful 32-year old line player signed a four-year deal with Barcelona, which will expire in 2020, thus allowing the Frenchman to complete a full decade at Blaugrana, having joined in 2010.
Pessoa joins Suslina and Leynaud in Vardar goal
By securing CSM Bucharest’s Women’s EHF Champions League final heroine Mayssa Pessoa, Vardar will acquire their first-ever Brazilian player. Pessoa will complete the staggering goalkeeping tandem, alongside Amandine Leynaud, who has decided to extend her contract, while Irina Suslina has no thoughts of retiring, after announcing she will be happy to stay in Skopje until her current contract runs out in two seasons.
Furthermore, Pessoa will bring invaluable experience to Vardar, having previously won the World Championship 2013, as well the Women’s EHF Champions League; joining the likes of Jovanka Radicevic and Andrea Lekic who have also lifted the elusive trophy before joining Vardar.
Polish runners-up decided to look elsewhere following Ivan Nikcevic’s five-season reign on the left wing side. However, Wisla opted for a player of the similar mould as the legendary Nikcevic, and have found one in Zagreb’s nimble left wing Lovro Mihic.
The 22-year old crafty Croatian starlet will come to Plock with a big shoes to fill, as he will be expected to emulate Nikcevic’s influence in both fast breaks as well as 5-1 defence, which became their signature trait during Manolo Cadenas era.
Mihic had a chance for a fitting farewell at the last match of the season, against Dubrava, when he lifted the Croatian champions trophy alongside his other two departing teammates Filip Ivic (Kielce) and Luka Stepancic (PSG).
Speaking of the end of an era, Gabor Ancsin ended his six-year stint at Szeged to join bitter rivals Vesprem this summer. The towering right back has scored more then 130 goals for Szeged in VELUX EHF Champions League alone; while his top class performances have allowed him to become a valuable Hungarian national team member, alongside his new teammate Laszlo Nagy.
Veszprem move may prove key in Ancsin’s career so far, as the 26-year will have the opportunity to follow the footsteps of legendary Nagy, with a view of replacing the legendary 35-year old, when the time comes.
See you soon
While still in Skopje, ahead of the summer holiday break, Vardar’s assistant coach David Davis made a touching tribute to the season behind us, and the players who are leaving the Macedonian team, including Sergei Gorbok who is joining Szeged.
“This is the last day of the season. People will move to other teams, people will go to the national teams, people will go on vacations. Happy day and night. Everybody’s happy and enjoyed the moment,” said Davis on his own website.