Dolenec: “We will go down in history”

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29 January 2017

Wildly happy after winning the bronze medal with Slovenia (31:30 against Croatia), Jure Dolenec explained his pride to represent his country like this. “I think we can go far with this team,” he added.

What an incredible scenario! Can you tell describe the end of the match?

Dolenec: “It was really a crazy game, we were behind the whole match, they were even leading by eight. But we believed we could come back. We didn’t play well, we didn’t find our game, but in the last ten minutes, it was really amazing. They no longer found a solution in attack, sometimes they didn’t even shoot. And we scored each time after only five or ten seconds. It was really amazing.”

What was going through your mind when you were eight down?

Dolenec: “When you are losing, you don’t have much to do. We defended as best we could. And then we employed a total run-and-gun game. We tried to score as fast as possible every time, we didn’t even look the clock. In the end, it went well. We took a lot of risks.”

This bronze medal is historic, the first for your country in a WCh…

Dolenec: “It’s important for us but it’s also important for our country. We are just two million people and we’re doing a lot of good things, not just in handball, in the other sports as well. For sure, we will go down in the history books with this medal. I’m really happy and very proud.”

What has Veselin Vujovic (coach) done since he arrived?

Dolenec: “First, he changed almost the whole team. In Spain, for our last semi-final (World Championship 2013), only six players from this team are still with us playing. Here we’ve have ten new players. They never played a competition like this one. They didn’t even play 20 matches for the national team. I’m 28 years old and I’m one of the oldest. I think we can go far with this team. Everybody, players and staff included, gave something and the result is impressive. It’s something special for us.”

Is it the best moment of your career?

Dolenec: “It’s a really special month for me. I signed for the best club in the World (leaving Montpellier for Barcelona at the end of the season) and then, I won my first medal for the national team. I need more time to think about that, but for sure these are the biggest things that have happened to me up until now.”

What is the plan for tonight (Saturday)?

Dolenec: “A huge party, that’s for sure; I think we deserved it!”

Photo: Stéphane Pillaud/IHF