Volleyball Federation of Montenegro review successful year, honour best and most promising players in 2017

Podgorica, Montenegro, December 27, 2017. The Volleyball Federation of Montenegro (OSCG) hosted on Tuesday a special ceremony at Aurel Hotel in Podgorica to award the best as well as the most promising players of 2017 while reviewing a very successful year for the Volleyball family of the Balkan country.

“This year we would like to praise the younger age groups, since they took three medals from their respective Balkan Championships,” OSCG President Cvetko Pajkovic said, “with silver from the women’s youth competition and bronze for both the men’s and women’s junior national teams. Our senior national teams played the qualifiers for the 2018 World Championships and even though we have had highs and lows in the World League and European League, the progress we have made is evident,” he continued. “All six age-group national teams participated in their Balkan Championships and four played the respective European qualifiers. Back in May we organised the 2017 edition of the Balkan Kids Festival with participation of 150 children from 10 countries, who delivered a real Volleyball festival in the heart of our capital, Podgorica.”

As for club competitions, Luka BAR claimed a women’s double crown, and Jedinstvo Bemax BIJELO POLJE did just the same on the men’s side – achieving this feat for the first time in history. Jedinstvo were the only team representing Montenegro in the 2018 European Cups – they played in the second round of the CEV Champions League and lost in the 16th Finals of the CEV Cup after moving to that competition.

“I would like to single out the organisation of the Jugopetrol Mini Volleyball League for children aged 9 to 12, involving 43 teams and as many as 480 kids,” Pajkovic continued. “I also would like to express my gratitude to our friends from Jugopetrol. On top of this, we launched a national league for children aged 12-14, featuring 22 clubs and 313 children, thus involving as many as 800 children from nine to 14 years of age. This is an obligation for all of us to achieve something even more remarkable in future. The ambitions for 2018 are high. We want to be bigger, to be better and to use the qualifications for the 2019 European Championships in the best way, but we have to be realistic and we all know that for implementing any such plans, we need support from the state authorities. We are all volunteers and love this sport, but to achieve something more on the international scene, enthusiasm is just not enough. It takes time, great work and money.”

“Finally, I would like to thank the State, the Ministry of Sports, and the Montenegrin Olympic Committee for their great help and understanding. We also pay great gratitude to all sponsors who have supported and helped us both financially and through their services as well as to all business partners. We also thank the journalists and the media who have been following us with so much attention. I thank everyone from the OSCG and the Presidency. I would like to congratulate our best and most promising players on the results they have achieved and on these recognitions and wish you even more success in 2018,” Pajkovic concluded.

Pajković handed a special trophy for the contribution in the organisation of the Jugopetrol EKO Mini Volleyball League to Mr Veselin Gačević, Director of Operations and Logistics Division of title sponsor Jugopetrol.

Jovan Delić and Milana Rovčanin, playing for Jedinstvo Bemax BIJELO POLJE and Luka BAR respectively, received from Mr Pajkovic the awards for the best male and female players from the 2017 domestic season.

“The award means a lot to me, and it is rewarding all of my efforts. I would like to thank my club, since I am pleased to be a part of a team that has achieved such a historic success. I hope that this season we will be able to repeat this result,” said Delić, who this year was on the extended roster of the men’s national team.

As for Rovčanin, she claimed the award for the second straight year after securing a domestic ‘double’ with Luka BAR. “I am honoured to receive this award. We claimed another ‘double’ with Luka BAR, but we did not start this season in the best way. There is a rejuvenated team, but there is still plenty of time and space to play and improve,” Rovčanin said.

As for the most promising players in 2017, Mina Dragović from Morača and Nemanja Peruničić from Budućnost Capital Plaza were the eventual recipients of these awards.

“It means a lot to me, a reward that crowns my work throughout this year. It will inspire me to continue to work hard, and now the expectations are even higher. This year was great for me, I hope that the next one will be just the same,” said Dragović, who won silver with the youth and bronze with the junior national teams at the 2017 Balkan Championships. She was also a member of the senior national team in the qualifications for the 2018 World Championship and played in the 2017 edition of the European League as well.

“Many thanks to my club and teammates, without which I could not have achieved this. Thank you also to the Federation for choosing me as the most promising Volleyball player in 2017. I will try to justify this recognition and fulfil all expectations,” said Peruničić, who this season was a member of the pre-youth, youth and junior national teams of Montenegro.