01. 11. 2019

INTERVIEW: Nemanja Petric for WoV - "It's good to be back in Serie A1"

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Nemanja Petric has again returned to the Italian Serie A1. According to his words, that is the best place for him to be and play volleyball.

 

We have contacted Nemanja and he accepted the call just after his training session. We took the opportunity to ask him about his new team, Milano.

After spending a season in Russia, you decided to return to Serie A1. How does it feel like to be part of Milano?

Everything is great really. I have returned to the Italian Seria 1, where I had spent 6 seasons before going to Turkey and Russia, so I am very happy to be here again. It’s really nice, Serie A1 is a great league. Milano is a new challenge for me but it’s a great club and I am satisfied so far.”

You had a good start of the season, beating Perugia and Monza, while your team didn’t manage to defeat the reigning champions Lube. How far can Milano go this season?

We had two very good performances against Perugia and city rival Monza. In a game against Lube, we had some difficulties and injuries and our middle blocker had to play as an outside hitter. Of course, Lube deserved a victory. Regarding the goals for this season, we should not think about them, we just need to focus on the upcoming games, we have an interesting team and with a few experienced players that we have, we can make good things this season. Of course, four teams have an advantage compared to the other teams in the league. However, we are going step by step and we also have Challenge Cup in this season.”

Who is the favorite for winning “the Scudetto”?

Well, as I said, these four teams have an advantage but it’s possible that some other team comes from behind and make a surprise.”

In the last season, you played in Russia for the first time in your career. What are your impressions about Belogorie and the league as well?

Honestly, that was a wonderful experience. It’s a huge country, there are many flights and it feels like you are playing the Volleyball Nations League for the whole season, because of these flights and everything. However, it’s nice to play in Russia, there are a lot of quality teams, quality players. It was an honor to play in the Russian league. Maybe I will play there again one day.”

Which league is the best league for you since you played in many European leagues?

The Italian Serie A1, definitely. People here love volleyball. We are just behind football and basketball. Volleyball is a very popular sport in Italy. So, you always need to give your best and the fans here are pushing you to play at the highest possible level.”

 

How does it feel like to be the European champion?

There’s no better feeling for me. I was waiting for it for several years and finally, I managed to make it. There was a bronze medal, we were close in 2017 but fortunately for me, we won the gold medal at the recently finished EuroVolley. In addition to it, I was a captain of this generation which makes me feel proud. To win any tournament, you need to beat them all. The tournament was so long, we didn’t get used to such kind of competition but we had more time to rest between games. It was a big success for us.”

Can Serbia win the spot for the Olympic Games in Tokyo?

I think we can do it. Of course, it’s going to be a difficult tournament since we will be playing five games in five days. We proved to everyone that we are a very strong team. Before the EuroVolley, they were looking at us as the second-line favorites but I am pretty much sure that they will now put as among the main favorites. There is still time to prepare for it and I hope we will achieve our goal.”

Slobodan Kovac succeeded Nikola Grbic at the helm of Serbia. How do you see this move of the Serbian Volleyball Federation?

Nikola Grbic made a good job in the previous years. We must be thankful to Nikola for everything that he did for the Serbian team. Kovac just added small pieces that completed the puzzle and we managed to make a huge success. We are all optimistic ahead of the tournament in Berlin. I am pretty much sure that Kovac will prepare us for this challenge,” says Nemanja Petric for WoV.

 

Check out more interviews.

 

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