Having a SEHA - Gazprom League debut at only 15 years of age means a lot considering the level of talent a certain player possesses and that’s exactly how old Jovica Nikolic was back in October 2017 when Vojvodina coaching staff decided to let him show what he’s capable of at such a young age against no one else but one of league’s strongholds – Meshkov Brest. Since then, Nikolic’ path was filled with nothing but progress and development recently securing him a place in M18 EHF EURO 2018 ideal lineup despite the fact Serbia finished only eighth.
Because of all this, Nikolic is definitely a player team from Slana bara sports hall can build upon in years to come, especially with coach Boris Rojevic who has already spent a lot of time helping younger players develop in the right way since his arrival from Jugovic Kac three years ago.
It’s far from common for a player to be chosen to an ideal lineup of the tournament despite his team finishing eighth. What do you think about your team performance in Croatia?
We did what we came to do getting through to the Main Round which secured us a place on 2019 WCh in Macedonia. That was from the very beginning of the tournament our main goal. I believe we could’ve gone even further maybe, but sometimes you need a bit of luck to achieve something bigger. I didn’t expect I’ll be a part of the ideal lineup of the tournament, to be honest I didn’t even think about it but I can say I’m satisfied with the way I performed in Croatia.
Awards like this can sometimes have an overall negative impact on younger players. How do you think players can prevent that from happening?
From my point of view, I can say my inner motivation won’t change a bit. This can only impact me positively because it comes as a proof that I can play on an even higher level. Season is long and I’m sure I’ll have loads of chances to prove my worth.
Do you feel like you’re well prepared for the season ahead since you finished with U18 campaign only 10 days ago?
I had a few days to rest and now I already participated in several training sessions with the team. I already know most of the guys as well as our coach and his ideas so it wasn’t a problem for me to get back into the system. I feel like I’m definitely ready for a new season.
First up in this season’ SEHA Gazprom League campaign is Serbian derby in Nis. What are your expectations from this match?
It will be interesting to see where we stand at the moment. It’s however tough to say who is favorite and what will the clash be like in general. What I’m sure is that we’ll give our best although we’re dealing with some injuries at the moment.
Where do you see Vojvodina ahead of the beginning of the new regional season?
Believe me, I’m also curious to find that out. League consists out of some really great teams we must give everything we have against in order to endanger them as well as some teams I believe we can play competitive matches against like Izvidjac, Tatran, Zeleznicar and Metalurg. One thing is clear, we won’t surrender until the final whistle no matter who stands on the opposite side of the court.