Serbia and Greece women meet for Balkan Cup

Serbia will host Greece tomorrow (Saturday) in a senior women’s international for the Balkan Cup. The match will be the first played in Bojnik, at FC Pusta Reka (kick off 1pm local time). In advance of the game, Serbian Rugby League assistant coach Lazar Zivkovic and men’s national team player Luka Ilic demonstrated rugby league in all primary and high schools in the municipality while president of the Municipality of Bojnik, Nebojsa Nenadovic, will present the trophy as well as the medals to both teams.

The nations currently sit next to each other on the IRL world rankings, Greece women at eleventh and Serbia one position below them. A year ago, they met in Athens as a part of women’s European Championship B, with Greece winning 28-0.

Greece will potentially have ten debutants and Serbia three.

Serbian women’s head coach, Slobodan Manak, said: “I expect a strong match. The Greeks have significantly changed the team, so it is still a little unknown what awaits us. Our girls are getting better each game and I hope they will show it now. I believe that if we stick to the game plan, victory will be ours.”

Radoslav Novakovic, Serbian Rugby League director for all national teams, added: “This will be great opportunity for Serbian Rugby League for promotion, we hope that we can make a new rugby league club in Bojnik which is just 40 km from Nis and Leskovac where we have had two clubs for more than 15 years. I want to thank the Municipality of Bojnik which has covered a lot of expenses and assisted with logistics in the organization of this match.”

“We look forward to playing Serbia in Bojnik,” said Greek women’s head coach, Stuart McLennan. “We have a number of new faces in our squad since our previous match in Athens last year. Serbia have been playing some quality opposition in the lead up to this game and we are expecting a tough encounter.”

The match will be livestreamed on the ERL Facebook page. The teams will hold a minute’s silence beforehand to commemorate Armistice Day.

SERBIA WOMEN’S SQUAD

Anastasija Karanovic (RLC Partisan 1953), Anna Liuter*, Dragana Zezelj, Jovana Fridl, Jelena Stojiljkovic, Karolina Blizanac, Katarina Veljanoski, Ljiljna Bajic, Natasa Kovacevic, Natalija Simic, Nika Bajic, Marija Maslakovic, Marija Simovic, Sanja Starcevic, Tamara Bosnjak, Teodora Marin, Teodora Micic, (RLC Red Star Belgrade), Marija Stojsic*, Sofija Kovacevic*(unattached)

*Debutant

GREECE WOMEN’S SQUAD

Anna Limperi*, Asimina Mastoraki, Christina Makri,* Effie Skouroliakou*, Maria-Anna Lamprou, Myrsini Pappa, Paula Grosyk* (Aris Eagles), Chrysiida Lymperidi, Eleftheria Angeli*, Georgia-Fotini Koutsimpogeorgou, Magdalini Stavrianou, Rania Koutsikou, Sophia Anagnostopoulou*(Athens Raiders), Dimitra Papoutsi, Isaia Maragkou,* Velissaria Koutsioumpa (Attica Rhinos), Giota Alevra*, Katerina Varypati* (Zante RL)

*Debutant