By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
The new season is around the corner, and Crvena Zvezda has formed an almost completely new team. This time, coach Dusko Ivanovic had the opportunity to work with the squad over the summer, and the good thing is that most of the roster was completed quickly, but some first team members joined the team later due to obligations in the national teams at the World Cup.
Nevertheless, three days before the first competitive game in the premier round of the ABA league against Igokea, Ivanovic is satisfied.
“We had an incomplete pre-season because several players played in the World Cup, but I think we completed the preparations. We were able to physically prepare well and set up systems in defense and attack. The new players showed in the friendlies that they have the quality we thought they had. It’s just a matter of time to fit in. It takes time for all these players, and there are a lot of them, to find their right place, but I’m quite happy with this what we have done so far,” said the experienced coach.
Four players performed at the FIBA World Cup (Mike Tobey, Marko Simonovic, Dejan Davidovac, and Yago Dos Santos), so they only joined the team after the competition. Certain members of the team also had problems with injuries.
“That’s a small problem. When we started preparations, we reached a certain point with a satisfactory form, but as soon as a new player came, we would automatically lose our rhythm and look for a new fit, but what’s there is what’s there. Everything takes its course. It’s an integral part of sports, especially preparation and small injuries that disturb the players and the team. We still have a few days until the start, and I hope we’ll be ready.”
Crvena Zvezda announced that they are aiming for a place in the Final Four of the Euroleague.
“I’m in a big club and that’s where the goals are always the biggest. We’ll go game by game, then we’ll see how far we can go. The primary goal is to win the first match, so we’ll see what happens.”
Eight new players arrived at the club over the summer, and Dejan Davidovac and Nemanja Bjelica also returned. Only Nemanja Nedovic, Branko Lazic, Stefan Lazarevic, Dalibor Ilic, Luka Mitrovic, and Ognjen Kuzmic remain from last season.
“I’m sure we’ve signed good players, but a set of good players doesn’t mean a good team. We need to work to build it. We have 10 new players and it’s a completely new team. A few guys were there last year, but in any case, we need time now, but we don’t have it and won’t ask for it. We have to be ready to start.”
Nedovic: I don’t remember Euroleague quality being higher
Nemanja Nedović returned to Crvena Zvezda last season and will continue to be a part of the team in the upcoming one as well. He clinched his first trophies in red and white, but the ABA league slipped away.
The Serbian guard hopes to reclaim the regional title but also aims to make a significant stride in the EuroLeague. In the previous season, the Belgrade team was on the verge of making the playoffs.
“Whenever you lose a trophy that was once held, there’s a hunger to regain it. Our focus is on that, but I believe it’s time to make a mark in Europe, and this team was put together with that purpose. It won’t be easy at all; we’re all aware of the high quality of EuroLeague teams and how long and demanding the seasons can be. If our health holds up and we meet the expectations, I believe we’ll achieve our goal,” Nedović said.
He acknowledges that the competition in the EuroLeague has become stronger.
“I don’t remember Euroleague quality being higher. Maccabi retained their entire team and came close to the Final Four last season. They only made a few player changes, just like Real Madrid, who brought in Faku. Olympiacos consistently performs at the top, and Monaco kept nearly the entire team while bringing in a former EuroLeague All-Star player. We’re putting in a lot of effort, maybe even more than others, with the confidence that we’ll be prepared.”
Crvena Zvezda will be relocating from the legendary Aleksandar Nikolić Hall to the Stark Arena for the next season. The club has already sold almost all of its season tickets (over 12,000).
“I have a preference for the Pionir Arena; it holds sentimental value for me because of Red Star. However, for other reasons, I believe the Arena is the right move, primarily due to the large number of fans and the high number of tickets sold. On the other hand, when the Pionir is packed and it’s 30 degrees outside, playing here becomes quite challenging. We’ll welcome the change, and I’m confident we’ll enjoy the atmosphere created by both Belgrade clubs,” emphasized Nemanja Nedović.