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TUR M: Ivan Miljkovic still got the fun of playing

by WoV
source: plusliga.pl

Ivan Miljkovic played this year’s Jan Strzelczyka tournament. Sydney Olympic champion, multiple medalist at World and European Championships, World League winner, Ivan finished his national team career. At club level, however, he intends to continue playing. During his stay in Poland, he gave an interview.


Ivan Miljkovic

Why did you even show up in the Jan Strzelczyka tournament? Your squad wasn’t complete (Fenerbahce lost all three games).

We came to Rzeszowa only because we promised we would and we didn’t to break the promise. There were a few injuries in our team. Eksi Arslan is struggling with injury and he didn’t come to Poland. That’s why the coach has given a few young players the chance to play here.


You took part of the memorial in Rzeszówa for the second time. What do you think about this event?

It was definitely worth the trip. We had the opportunity to deal with teams aspiring to the Polish championship as Resovia and Jastrzebski Wegiel.


Three years ago, Jastrzębski Wegiel played in 1/16 in the final of the CEV Cup against Olympiacos Piraeus. The Greek team won two matches and advanced to the next round. How do you remember those confrontations?

I’m sorry, but it was a long time ago. However, I can say that the player that impresses me in the current team of Jastrzebski Wegiel is Martino. It’s a really promising player. I think two or three players from the team presented a lot of skills. Wegiel has a coach who gained a lot of experience over the years. If Bernardi is able to transfer his experience to the team it should give appropriate results.


After the World Cup match against the United States in March you decided to end your representative career. What will you remember the most of the fourteen great years in the team of Serbia?

I feel lucky, because not everyone could make his debut in the Olympic Games in the age of 20 and immediately win the Olympic gold. The great thing was for me to be able to play for years in one of the best teams in the world and achieve success as big as the European Championships, World Championships medals and the World League.


And when you are going to finally end your career?

At the club level I will play volleyball as long as I want. My health is permitting me and I still have a lot of fun to play. I still have the desire to play, so I see no reason to quit playing for the moment being. Every time i go out to the court, I try to give my maximum. I’m not going to give up yet.


Turkish League is the right direction for you?

In Turkey, I feel great. My family and I have a really good life in Istanbul. The club invests more and more money in volleyball each year, so I guess I have no reason to complain. League level is not high, but the Turkish players are not able to keep up the level of play.


Finally, I have to ask you again about it – Are you confident about the near future of the Serbian national team after you left?

If you look at the results of our team this year, practically speaking, it has not achieved any success. The only notable result was the very promotion to the Olympics in London. After 17 years of being constant  world leaders the team has come to a weaker moment. Sooner or later it had to happen. You see, everyone has their time. I confess that I did not even watch the performances of our team during the last Olympics. Why? I just didn’t feel like it.

Read more interviews here

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