Yesterday morning, the best Lithuanian club EVK Zaibas announced that the MVP of the World U20 Championships in Prague, Marko Radulovic, had temporarily joined the club and welcomed the talented player, who hasn’t played an official game since January. The news echoed strongly.
Radulovic left Radnicki and moved to Novi Beograd, but he won’t get the right to play for Novi Beograd before the upcoming transfer window.
According to the information we collected, Marko Radulovic was supposed to play at the finish of the Nordic League and the Lithuanian Championships.
Still, he won’t play in the official competitions, but only in a friendly tournament organized by the clubs.
EVK Zaibas, Novaky (Slovakia), Dinamo Lviv (Ukraine), the national team of the Czech Repubic, Bytom (Poland) and Lodz (Poland) have launched a series of friendly tournaments this season.
Each club organizes one of the tournaments. This weekend, the fourth one will be held in Bytom, and Radulovic will reinforce EVK Zaibas at that tournament.
We spoke to Blagoje Ivovic, the elder brother of Recco’s captain Aleksandar Ivovic about EVK’s reinforcement and the club’s plans. Last season, Blagoje Ivovic finished his playing career at EVK Zaibas and stayed at the club as the head coach. He clarified the situation with Raduovic’s arrival.
“We came up with the idea to invite Marko Radulovic, a member of the Serbian national team, to promote Lithuanian water polo in the region of eastern Europe. At the same time, our players can learn by playing and training with the player of the Serbian national team.
He was invited just for several weeks to train with EVK Zaibas and play a friendly tournament, which is not under LEN’s and the national federations’ competence.
Marko Radulovic will not play in the Lithuanian water polo championship or Nordic League tournament, as it was mentioned in the article. According to the regulations of the Lithuanian Championship regulations and the Nordic League regulations, new players cannot be registered in this part of the season.”, Ivovic, who played in Jadran, Budva, Ortigia, Sport Management, etc during his long career, said.
60 games in the season
Many don’t know much about Lithuanian water polo, but this sport has progressed in the country in the past few years. The mentioned series of tournaments have an important role in that progress.
“We don’t have many clubs in Lithuania. Therefore we agreed with the other clubs to organize this series of tournaments. Each participating club is the host of one of the tournaments. With this series, we get additional 30 games in the season, which is very helpful for developing the players and the team. EVK Zaibas will have about 60 games – 30 in Lithuanian competitions, Nordic League and LEN cups competitions and 30 in friendly tournaments this season. Such a large number of matches means a lot to us. The results prove that the team progresses playing more games than before”,
At halfway through the series of tournaments, EVK Zaibas is atop the table. In the rest of the season, it will battle for the trophies in the domestic championships and the Nordic League.
Good results on European stage
EVK Zaibas’ output in this season’s LEN competitions is proof that Lithuanian water polo is moving forward. The Lithuanian champion played in three stages of the qualifications.
EVK Zaibas surprised many in the first round of the Champions League qualifications. The Lithuanian champion finished 3rd, behind Mladost Zagreb and Jadran Herceg Novi and ahead of Enka Istanbul (which played in the LEN Challenger Cup semifinals) and Novaky and advanced to the second round.
EVK Zaibas lost to Brescia, Panionios and Mladost in the second round in Athens, but beat ASC Duisburg and qualified for the second round of the LEN Euro Cup, and ended its journey there in a group in Szolnok. The home team, Crvena Zvezda and Montpellier were better than the Lithuanians.
All in all, the club can be satisfied with the results on the European stage. EVK Zaibas offered strong resistance to the favorites and suffered only a few convincing losses.
“We will play in the European competition next season, too. We started composing a team for the next season. So far, we have agreed with two foreigners, both from Serbia. Luka Bosic (who played for the Serbian youth national team – Ed.), renewed the contract. Ilija Prekogacic, who played for Vojvodina, will join us. We want to stay on the European stage as long as possible in the next season, we will weee in which competitions, depending on the qualifications and the format of the competitions.”