Radnicki makes history. The team from Kragujevac, coached by Uros Stevanovic, stunned many favorites in the European cups. Still, it failed to advance to the LEN Euro Cup’s semifinals after two balanced matches against Szolnok.
Just a few days after the elimination from the European cup, Radnicki won the Regional League, and this success isn’t important only for the club, but for the Serbian water polo too. None of the Serbian clubs didn’t play in the regional competition’s final match before Radnicki advanced to the gold medal match(Serbian clubs entered the league in the season 2014/15).
The only Serbian club at the Final Four wasn’t an underdog in Zagreb. Many believed that Radnicki could achieve a good result. But, Radnicki wasn’t a favorite in the company of three Croatian clubs.
The F4 that was ended in Zagreb this evening was maybe the most balanced Final Four of the Regional League ever. Still, Mladost and Jug were the favorites for the trophy.Mladost failed to reach the final after it lost to Radnicki in the penalty shootout.
Jug advanced to the final, but Radnicki stopped the Croatian champions in their efforts to win 5th trophy in the Regional League.
Aleksa Ukropina, a left-handed goal-getter, was one of Radnicki’s leaders in Zagreb, along with Strahinja Rasovic, Lazar Dobozanov, Marko Radulovic, etc.
“We weren’t favorites, but the winning trophy isn’t a surprise for us”, Ukropina said for Total Waterpolo after the final.
“We have played very well since the start of the season. We had confidence and believed in ourselves at the F4. We knew that we were able to beat favorites Mladost and Jug, but it was hard to predict the outcome. All teams, except Jadran, arrived at the final four tired. Jug, Mladost and Radnicki have played many games in the European cups and domestic competitions in the past few months. Besides, many players had obligations with the national teams.”
“We managed to keep freshness and motivation, and did our best. I think we played best water polo this weekend and deserved the trophy”Ukropina, a member of the national team of Montenegro, said.
What was the key to success in the final?
“We were highly motivated, played aggressive, as we are used to. Besides, a few goals from counter-attacks made the difference and decided the winner”.
In a TV interview, Vjekoslav Kobescak, Jug coach, underlined:
“Our defense was bad again, just like in almost all matches in March. Usually, we win a game when we score 12 goals, but we conceded too many in the final. Besides, we missed several good chances. The fact that we didn’t play well in defense doesn’t diminish the significance of Radnicki’s success. They played very well, both in the semifinal and in the final. They played their game and deserved the trophy. Congratulations. Our next task is to improve the defensive play.”