giovedì 4 settembre 2014

Hungary, Italy center of busy transfer summer

© Sandor Stuber /

With a new club season in Europe around the corner, the transfer period draws to a close. A tumultuous summer with some major changes will have its impact on both the Hungarian and Italian league while others are left behind weakened by the absence of some great players. And then there were French runner-up Marseille and Montenegrin champion Jadran Herceg Novi who will present clearly stronger teams next season. After the disappointing 6th place at the Champions League Final Six in Barcelona Italian champion Pro Recco struck back in the summer big time. But they were not alone. Elsewhere it was Budapest-based OSC who made the headlines in Hungary by announcing that new sponsor A-Hid ignited a busy summer with multiple signings ahead of a very competitive season. The start was striking as OSC quickly announced the addition of no less than 6 players from Hungarian champion ZF-Eger, including multiple 2013 world champions while also inking Montenegrin veteran Drasko Brguljan from Vasas and centre-forward Joe Kayes who returns from the Australian national league but previously acted in the Hungarian league playing for Szeged. However the top 2 teams of last season, ZF-Eger and Szolnok, did not hold down either. Not at all!

A big part of the new group of players for OSC including Adam Decker, Gabor Kovacs, Bence Batori and Miklos Gor-Nagy together with sponsor A-Hid at the media presentation.

Both sides strengthened their teams in sensational fashion with mainly Szolnok making headlines by bringing back the top 2 players of the Hungarian national team in captain Daniel and brother Denes Varga while also landing veteran lefthander Norbert Madaras who returns to his home country after having spent the past 10 years playing for Pro Recco in Italy. Another striking transfer for last year's runners-up in Hungary was made by the signing of goalie Viktor Nagy which led to the strange situation of having both national team goalkeepers to play for the same team this season.

Norbert Madaras returned to Italy last weekend as Pro Recco thanked the lefthander for his 10 years of service displaying all trophies he celebrated with his longtime employer.
Photograph: Pro Recco.

And then ZF-Eger. The Hungarian champion looks more than ready to defend yet another national championship after having signed internationals Norbert Hosnyanszky (returned from Szolnok) and Marton Szivos (Szeged) and in addition welcomed Serbian national team goalie Branislav Mitrovic, who serves as great replacement of Dávid Bisztritsányi who left for OSC, and also signed sensational Serbian shooter Milos Cuk and talented Montenegrin centre-back Uros Cuckovic, both coming over from Partizan. The third foreigner arrived in the person of lefthander Boris Vapenski who shifted from 2013 European champion Red Star Belgrade and came off a successful pair of seasons in Serbia claiming back-to-back national championships and Serbian cups while in the first season also winning the Euro League Final Four in Belgrade. And so after the scares following the group of 6 who joined OSC the fans in Eger can still look forward to an exciting season in the highly competitive Hungarian league.

Milos Cuk when playing for Partizan.

As usual Italy was another center of attention and not surprisingly national champion Pro Recco made the headlines in an attempt to set up a team that is sure to fight for the Champions League title. An impressive list of players is set to join the team that will also have a new coach in an equally exciting move as Serbian great Igor Milanovic was appointed head coach after the initially signed Alessandro Bovo decided to stay with runner-up Brescia for personal reasons.
Around the head coach appointment Italian and Serbian media announced several big signings as the big Serbian trio of Filip Filipovic (Radnicki), Andrija Prlainovic (Red Star) and centre-forward Dusko Pijetlovic(Kazan) all join the already impressive roster or Recco. But that was not it. Young gun and Italian prodigyFrancesco di Fulvio made headlines when he announced to leave Brescia and sign with the national champion while also Serbian lefthander and one of the biggest talents around in the game today, Dusan Mandic, was signed. However Mandic will still play for Partizan this season and make the move to Italy next year.

Filip Filipovic is one three Serbian superstars set to return to Pro Recco, in case of Filipovic, leaving Radnicki.
Photograph: Vojislav Petrovic.

How about the other teams? Plenty of action around as Acquachiara made several moves, marked by the leaving of Luigi di Costanzo who moved back to Canottieri Napels, Dragan Draskovic who signed with Jadran Herceg Novi and centre-forward Olexandr Sadovyy who is one of the group of players signed by company 'Sport Management', in fact the newly promoted team of Verona. In return the club, led by former great Franco Porzio welcomed, among others, Matteo Astarita from Promogest, Matteo Gitto from Florentia, centre-forward Fran Paskvalin from Budva and Giuseppe Valentino who left Brescia.

Runner-up Brescia saw Di Fulvio and Valentino leaving but welcomed Deni Fiorentini from Pro Recco, while also signing Lorenzo Bruni from Bogliasco and Federico Pagani who comes over from Como. Como meanwhile appointed former Croatian great Ratko Stritof as head coach and signed Croatian internationalKristijan Milakovic from Mladost as a great scoring addition. In other transfers Lazio welcomed emerging USA international Josh Samuels who spent the previous season with Budva while 'Sport Management' set up a competitive team by signing no less than 7 players, headlined by Alessandro Di Fulvio (Florentia),Djordje Filipovic (Radnicki), goalie Goran Volarevic (Promogest) and veteran Predrag Zimonjic(Civitavecchia).

Other major transfers include the following movements:

- Montenegrin centre-forward Boris Zlokovic joined former club Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE) leaving Radnicki in one of the most anticipated moves of the summer.

Boris Zlokovic when playing for Radnicki.

- Jug Dubrovnik emerges as winnner in Croatia after welcoming back Paulo Obradovic, keeping Miho Boskovic, Andro Buslje, Pavo Markovic and Niksa Dobud with the club while also signing Canadian centre-forward Nicolas Constantin-Bicari (from Marseille on 2-year deal) and Aussie Shark Aaron Younger(Australia national league).

Some of Jug's best players (from left to right: Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Pavo Markovic, Paulo Obradovic, Marko Bijac, Andro Buslje, Miho Boskovic and assistant coach Mile Smodlaka) posing on the occasion of the opening of the official merchandise story.
Photograph: VK Jug Facebook page (

- Rivals Primorje Rijeka saw Varga brothers (Szolnok) and Obradovic (Jug) leave and responded by landing Croatian veteran Damir Buric (from Radnicki), talented goalie Dejan Lazovic (Budva) and scorer Marko Elez (from Savona).

Damir Buric when playing for Radnicki.
Photograph: Vojislav Petrovic.

- In Romania, champion CSM Digi Oradea welcomed Serbian players Marko Avramovic (Red Star) and Milos Korolija (Radnicki) to replace a pair of starters who left in Mihnea Chioveanu and Nicolai Diaconu who will play for Steaua Bucharest next season. Avramovic and Korolija join countrymen goalie Gojko Pijetlovic and lefthander Vojislav Cupic.

Marko Avramovic when playing for Red Star.
Photograph: Vojislav Petrovic.

- Marseille made headlines by significantly strenghten their roster as lefthander Ugo Crousillat returns after stints with Budva and more recently Brescia while also Team USA captain centre-forward John Mann shifts from Red Star and Australia international Tyler Martin comes over from FTC in Hungary.

- Canadian national team member Constantin Kudaba left Primorac Kotor (MNE) and for this season joins Aix-en-Provence in the French Pro A league.

Constantin Kudaba.

- Serbian international Nikola Radjen leaves Red Star to sign with Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)

Nikola Radjen after signing his contract with Olympiacos for next season.

- French international and last year's French league top scorer Mehdi Marzouki shifts to Mataro Quadis (ESP)

Josip Sutalo leaves Jug to sign with Yuzme Istanbul (TUR)

- Montenegrin veteran Predrag Jokic makes a striking move to Waspo 98 Hanover (GER)

- Veteran centre-forward Andreas Schlotterbeck leaves Spandau to sign with Waspo 98 Hanover (GER)

- Montenegrin shooter Mladjan Janovic has left Pro Recco and will next season join countrymen Milos Scepanovic and Vjekoslav Paskovic in Turkey playing for national champion Galatasaray.

Marko Petkovic (Barceloneta) shifts to Radnicki (SRB)

Marko Petkovic during his media presentation at Radnicki.

Ruben de Lera leaves Barceloneta for Terrassa (ESP)

- Montenegro international centre-forward Sasa Misic shifts from Debrecen to Russia runner-up Sintez Kazan

- Serbia centre-forward Nikola Eskert returns to Red Star leaving Florentia (ITA)

- Experienced Marko Cuk signed with Radnicki

Marko Cuk during his media presentation.

- Montenegrin centre-forward Nikola Vukcevic shifts from Red Star to Galatasaray (TUR)

- Greek international winger Emmanouil Mylonakis makes the move from Vouliagmeni to rivals Olympiacos (GRE)

Emmanouil Mylonakis.

- FTC (HUN) welcomes veteran trio in Balazs Nyeki (BVSC), Gergo Katonas (Vasas) and Gergo Marnitz(Debrecen)

The FTC signings pictured.

- Jug centre-forward Jure Marelja returns to Mornar (CRO)

- Canadian international goalkeeper Dusan Aleksic is signed by Debrecen (HUN)

- Former Acquachiara goalkeeper Miro Kacic (CRO) joined Mornar (CRO)

- The acquisitions for Szeged for next year are highlighted by Zsolt Varga II (Eger), Krisztián Manhercz(Vasas), Márton Chilko (Debrecen)

- Szolnok players Bela Török and Mátyás Pásztor have agreed to a 1-year contract with BVSC (HUN)

Tamas Mezei shifts from BVSC to Szolnok (HUN)

- Another boost for Szolnok is the arrival of international Marton Toth (HUN)

- Red Star welcomes young lefthander and recent European junior champion Aleksandar Njegovan from Vojvodina (SRB)

Aleksandar Njegovan when playing for Vojvodina.

- Steaua Bucharest does some good business by signing Romania internationals Andrei BusilaDimitri GoantaMiroslav Randic and Petar Filipovic.

Andrei Busila at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.

- Romanian side Sportul Studențesc welcomes Hrvoje Benic from Jug and Josip Jerkovic from Mornar (CRO)

- A pair of players, released by Partizan this summer join Red Star as youngsters Nikola Tomasevic andDimitrije Obradovic signed with the 2013 European champion.

- Turkish champion Galatasaray further proved their ambitions for the coming seasons by adding Montenegrin centre-forward Nikola Vukcevic and Filip Kljajevic to the roster. Both were part of the group of players who left Red Star Belgrade this summer.

- Radnicki announced the signing of one of Partizan's best players of last year, Nikola Dedovic and Montenegrin Filip Trajkovic (from Al Itihad, Saudi Arabia).


- Aussie Shark Richie Campbell is reportedly set to join Spanish and European champion Atletic-Barceloneta.

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