Now, let's talk about wp in Serbia. 12 times World League champions, 7 times European, last Olympic games gold winners, and 3 times World Cup and Championship winners. Wow! That is really impressive! What do u think about that, and what is the secret of success?
It is an incredible success, and I am proud of it, as is the whole Serbian nation. In the 2014-2018 period, the national team of Serbia managed to win gold medals at the Olympics, World Cup, European Championship, World League, Mediterranean Games, in all competitions that exist and some have been won several times. It is the greatest success of the world collective sport ever and I am very glad because during that period I was a member of the Board of Directors of the Water Polo Federation of Serbia, while the President was the celebrated goalkeeper Milorad Krivokapic. As for the secrets to success, of course, there is. If I told you now, it would no longer be a secret ????. The secret is in the system. Without a proper system of work in a cycle of at least 8 years, there is no way to produce such results. For a shorter period of time, a result can be made, but a generation that has coincided at that moment, but it is all instant ... a serious system of work must be built at the state level and coaches, judges should be educated. .that's enough ... but it's workable.
The fact that two experienced and respected wp officials from Japan are subscribed to Serbian wp channel means that many teams count with your team, including our giant Asian Japan. How close you are with Asian teams in terms of international relations, and are there any famous players or coaches who play in Asia from Serbia?
Coaches and players are some of the most respected in the water polo world, partly because of the results and partly because of sports knowledge and learning in Serbia. Currently, coaches from Serbia are led by national teams of Kazakhstan, Singapore, Iran, and Uzbekistan (of course ????), in China there is Petar Porobic who is from Montenegro, which until recently was part of Serbia. Of the Serbian players you have in Georgia and Kazakhstan and they are the leading players in these teams. If I skipped anybody, I apologize. At the forefront of American in men and Australia in women's competition are also Serbs. Until recently, Germany and France were also led by Serbs ... I think this is the best assessment of the quality of our work.
Why there is a big difference between men's and women's team results?
For a very long time, there was no female water polo in Serbia. I think it is because of the men's team that has been spent a lot of money because at one time we were champions in all categories, from the youngest to the seniors, at the world level. All these competitions and preparations required a lot of money and therefore everything was subordinated to men's water polo. On the other hand, the problem is that in Serbia 90% of girls practice volleyball and there are very few female athletes for other women's sports. A few years ago, my friend Dragana Ivkovic, head coach of the national team of Serbia, pushed this story about women's water polo and they are progressing relatively quickly. In a few years, I believe that Serbia will be at the top. But again I tell you, building a system is neither an easy nor a short job.
What other interesting facts could be added?
I would add that in Uzbekistan there must be an urgent system of work and a better system of competition, there should be more competition within the country and in this way we encourage children to come and train water polo. Also, I personally try to give everyone a chance to be part of a national team.
What did You like most in Uzbekistan?
We are now in a very bad time for the whole world, the age of the Coronavirus. I am delighted with the way your President is fighting the virus. Nothing is strictly forbidden but a recommendation and it works very well. There is not too much pressure on the people and the people respect it and the measure is adhered to. In many countries, the pressure is too big and the people are angry and dissatisfied. I also like the sights in Taskent because you have a rich history. Quite a few people know English, which pleasantly surprised me. The children are well educated and easy to work with. I still wish to visit Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, but if cooperation continues, I will surely do so.
In what terms our wp women team should improve themselves?
The team I coach is progressing at a high rate of speed, thanks in large part to support from the Olympic Committee and the Swimming Federation. Our team is very young and promising. I believe in this team and they believe in me, which is most important. I think that with this kind of work and the arrival of several more new girls from the young team, in two or three years they will show their full potential. In any case, we are preparing for the qualifications for the Tokyo Olympics, and I believe we will prepare well despite this problem with the Korona virus.
What can you advise us on improving the wp to increase the interest in our country?
I have already said that, increase the number of competitions and give the opportunity to every child who trains to compete for a place in the national team. Marketing of course. Coach training, refereeing ...
Last question - You and Milan Aleksic - are You guys brother by heart or by blood? We are bloodline relatives. We are not at heart because he is a supporter of Partizan and me for Red Star*, which is very important for the Serbs.
Partizan and Red Star - two leaders in Serbian football *