Two players and a coach of C’Chartres Métropole Handball compete in the World Cup with Serbia

three. They are three, two players and the coach of the C’Chartres Métropole Handball team, who flew to Katowice, Poland, where they competed against Serbia last week for the world championship.

Left-back Vanja Ilic, defender Ilija Abutovic and Spain coach Toni Gerona can’t hide their excitement at the prospect of rubbing shoulders with the best nations on the planet. In the preliminary group, Algeria (36-27) and Qatar (34-24) won two wins and Germany (34-33) narrowly defeated (34-33) to take the second place.

“Although this is not my first competition, although I have played prestigious European Cup games, I can’t get enough of it. I am still very happy and motivated by the idea of ​​meeting the best players in the world,” explains 34-year-old Ilija Abutovic.

“We used to play side by side. Today we are a team. »

Vanja Ilić (Winger of C’Chartres MHB and Serbian selection)

Serbia is a country on the world handball map. If some time ago they had the bad habit of playing in the President’s Cup, which is designed for early elimination teams, this time the Slavic team has set higher goals. Vanja Ilic, who has been wearing the colors of CCMHB since 2019: “We told ourselves that we want to reach the 1/4 finals. “, the 29-year-old left winger added.

Ilija Abutovic (right) with CCMHB goalkeeper Julien Meyer.
This change in the status of the Serbian selection occurred in May 2020 with the arrival of Toni Gerona on the bench. “We all know our role, it is clearly defined and everyone accepts it,” defender Abutovic said. Ilić will be busy: “He (Girona) created the best conditions for us to express our talent. There used to be good players who played side by side. Today we are a team of very good players playing together. »

The last medal… in Euro 2012

Having the same club and national coach is a clear advantage for the two Chartrains, who find similarities in their different playing systems. Gerona have also been accustomed to relying on another CCMHB player, Aleksa Kolakovic, but the central midfielder has since stayed at home. preparation.

“We save time, especially for communication. Ilija is a real relay for me, one of the elements where I discuss tactics and how to disrupt the opponent. He is a very intelligent player,” the Spanish coach breathes before moving on to Ilic: “He is a very technical player, a fighter who never gives up. Having a brother (note: Nemanja, captain of selection) It is useful for him in the team, the two get along very well. »

Left winger Vanja Ilic plays with his brother Nemanja, the Serbian captain.
The road to the quarter-finals is still long for Serbia of the Three Chartres, but the belief in the group is intact to hope that it will bring back the charm. Last (money) dates of Euro-2012…

Serbia: New status since arrival in Gerona.
Since May 2020, Catalan Toni Gerona has been sitting on the Serbian bench every international break, breaking his habit of coaching C’Chartres Métropole Handball for a few days. At least we can say that he inaugurated his new suit with a win and a draw against France in January 2021: “The team realized its potential then. He saw that he was able to compete with the best nations, “claims one who was chosen by the Serbian federation to bring toughness and a fresh look. Since then, under his command, Serbia is now, despite the unsuccessful Euro 2022 (14th) due to the covid epidemic One of the outsiders of the World Cup 2023. “We have a new status, it’s up to the players to accept it. In any case, they are working hard to get results and we can now look a little further,” concluded Gerona, who has his sights set on the quarter-finals. .

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