Nikola Maksimovic has been leading the Maccabi Tel Aviv from Israel for the fifth year with great success. For five seasons he established a system of work in the handball school that will be given by new Israeli champions. Since the previous season, he has been leading the senior and with great success since he won the title of the champion of the country.
Nikola Maksimovic is also the president of the club Novi Beograd, whose founder is (2009). After nine years of working and investing in the club as well as after the problems that the club has overcome, it turns to new projects and challenges.
What led you to form a club?
– First of all, I felt extremely capable to start and run a Handball Club that will be recognizable in the work with younger categories and put emphasis on creating a player. I had a vision of how a good handball club should function and decided to take this step.
One of the main reasons is that in January 2009 I had a disagreement with the management of my then URK Studentski Grad Club where I formed and led the school of handball, then I took over and rejuvenated the senior team with children from the school of handball. We have retired, and in addition to the numerous offers from our “biggest” clubs, I decided to make a move that was more difficult but turned out to be 9 years later and more correct. From this perspective, a big plus for handball is that in the territory of New Belgrade we have two excellent handball clubs today: RK Novi Beograd and URK Studentski grad.
Something about the club’s start, how did you work?
– The start was extremely difficult, as whenever something started with us encounters obstructions from many sides, but as you see, we managed to build a quality club. A lot of investments from private sources and a group of parents whose children I had trained then enabled us to have good working conditions and to make rapid progress as a club. Shortly after the founding, we also launched a school of handball with the generation of 1999, both younger and later, all generations one after the other. I have to make a big contribution in the whole project of three colleagues: Miloš Čučković, Miloš Simić and Branko Milošević, who have been good and bad from the very beginning.
Current situation in handball Serbia?
-The current situation in Serbian handball is extremely bad. Seniors’ representative selections in both men and women are weaker each year. The shift generation that is necessary and done is not going to bring us any better because the upcoming generations are of lesser quality. The younger representative selections have long been not competitive in high-level Europe, and I think it will be a great success if we maintain A-level status. This all dictates the popularity of handball that is in low branches. It’s increasingly difficult to recruit children to handle handball. Many clubs are on the verge of existence, and the question is when will it go. A lot of strong handball centers have gone out and we have no new …
Where do you see Serbian handball in the future?
– Like someone who is 28 years old in the handball, I always believe in a better future. Much of what I mentioned in the answer to the previous question needs to be corrected. First of all, the changes should start from the Alliance, to create a sense of will and to introduce a system that will be respected and which will improve in 10-12 years. It’s a period of time that if something goes from scratch with something and we are at zero right now, that we can see concrete results. At the club level, it is necessary that in the coming years we have Club or clubs that will be regular participants of the Champions League as all the countries in the region … In any case, I believe in a better handball future!
Concrete proposals for a better handball Serbia?
– Of course, we need to develop a different strategy, adjust it to the present time. Clubs must create a way to increase the base, how to deal with much more popular sports – we need the help of the Alliance. It is necessary for us to establish as soon as possible at least 3-4 handball academies, in the reputation of many that exist in Europe. The union should professionalize the function of selectors of younger categories that would work all year long to do everything a selector should do and much more …
About the players who passed the NBGD handball school?
-The greatest satisfaction in the team of Novi Beograd is when we watch the players in our club playing for the national team, for famous European clubs, for our super-players … There are currently more than 15 players abroad who have nicknamed or upgraded their knowledge in New Belgrade. And over 20 of them play the Super League of Serbia. Interesting is the fact that from the senior team of New Belgrade, which plays the First League Center (the third ranking of competitions), even 8 of them went to foreign clubs! I would also point out the fact that besides creating our players, we also create trainers – three are currently working abroad.
For us it is very important that we have many of our former players who have successfully completed faculties and that few are already successful business people, which is proof that much is being done on the education of players.
About future players who will pass the school of NBGD
– A large number of children who are currently members of New Belgrade are on the right path to go through their predecessors. In all generations, we have several talented individuals who will complete their knowledge through the senior team of New Belgrade in the coming seasons, and it is up to us from the club to properly focus them on developing. It is important that they all be patient, worthy and ready for a lot of sacrifices and can not be missed by a good career.
The future of the club?
– We are working hard on new ideas and projects. From this season we will apply a new work system that is not represented in Serbia. Working in smaller groups with an emphasis on individual approach is something that has been neglected so far and is very important in the development of each handball player. At all trainings, several trainers will work simultaneously in order to implement a new concept of training.
These days we are in the final phase of negotiations with one of the best European clubs about business and technical cooperation, which will us to begin as an absolute leader on the handball map in Serbia.
We hope that in the following period, we will solve the existence of the club in the long run through the construction of our own hall, and then the founding of the handball academy as the ultimate goal.