Handball: Yugoslav Legend Vujović Named Slovenia Coach


The 54-year-old former coach of Serbia and Montenegro and Spanish club Ciudad Real, Macedonia's Vardar and Al Sadd of Qatar joins the Slovenian national team from Croatian club Zagreb.

Vujović becomes Slovenia's tenth coach, replacing Denić, who held the position for nearly five years before his ousting on 7 May following several underwhelming performances, including in qualifying for the 2016 European Championships.

Signing a three-year deal, the Montenegrin coach will work to turn the fortunes of the national team around together with new assistant, Uroš Šerbec, a former Slovenian national team player.

"I can prove my expertise in this thee-year period, and I'm also convinced that the national team can make a step forward. Slovenia has a wide range of quality players," the new coach said at a press conference.

Slovenian Handball Association head Franjo Bobinac added that "after the end of cooperation with Boris Denić, who performed his job excellently…we thought that Vujović is the best person for head coach."

Vujović is considered a legend in handball circles across the former Yugoslavia, being a member of the Yugoslav team which won the gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1986 World Championships.

In his career he was a member of three winners of the Champions League, Europe's top club competition, and was voted Yugoslavia's Best Athlete in 1986 and world's best handballer by the International Handball Federation in 1988.

But he also has a turbulent past, having been banned several times by the European Handball Federation (EHF), including for two years in 2002 after an incident in a finals match of the EHF Cup Winners' Cup.

In 2013 he was suspended for the whole season by the Macedonian Handball Federation due to an incident during a match.

Vujović, whose debut match at the helm of Slovenia is scheduled for 10 June against Slovakia, will announce the roaster for the 2016 Euro qualifier on Thursday.

According to Bobinac, the short-term goal is to win the upcoming two qualifiers and make it to the European Championship next year in Poland.

"We want to play good at the final tournament, and to win a berth for the Olympics in the qualifiers in April," he added.