It is not long ago that Serbian women's handball was reasonably close to being the world's benchmark. At the Women's EHF EURO 2012 the team came fourth and one year later they won silver at the World Championship 2013 - both events took place in Serbia.
However, ever since there have been more downs than ups. At the Women's EHF EURO 2014 they were knocked out after the preliminary round, the Women's World Championship 2015 they even missed out on initially and were only allowed to participate because of a wildcard granted to them by the International Handball Federation.
Former key players like Andrea Lekic and Dragana Cvijic have stopped playing internationally, so it is up to younger generation of players to bring the team back to the top. The qualification for the Women's EHF EURO 2016 might have been the first signs of this. After six rounds of matches Serbia topped their group with five wins and one draw ahead of the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Italy.
Katarina Krpez Slezak
The 28-year-old right wing is the captain of the Serbian national team. On the club level she plays for EHF Cup participants ÉRD HC in Hungary.
Krpez Slezak made her first impact in European handball when she played for ORK Vrnjacka Banja in the Challenge Cup in the 2008/09 season. She then played in the EHF Champions League with RK Zajecar, WHC Metalurg and RK Krim Mercator. For the 2014/15 season she joined ÉRD HC where she is still playing.
With the Serbian national team she won silver at the World Championship 2013. As of September 2016 she has played 114 matches for Serbia and scored 290 goals.
Just like Katarina Krpez Slezak, Kristina Liscevic was part of the Serbian squad that won silver at the World Championship 2013 in Serbia. The 26-year-old (she will turn 27 on 20 October) has played for a number of international clubs in her career, including WHC Metalurg in FYR Macedonia and Metz Handball in France.
Last year she joined Russian champions Astrakhanochka but has already opened a new career chapter, joining Russian side Kuban for the 2016/17 season. As of September 2016 she has played 68 times for Serbia scoring 96 goals.
Dragica Djuric took over the Serbian national team in in February 2016, following the federation's decision to terminate Sasa Boskovic’s four-and-a-half-year-long tenure.
In her active playing career, goalkeeper Djuric won gold with Yugoslavia at the 1984 Olympic Games. She was also part of the Yugoslav team that finished fourth at the 1988 Olympics.
Before she took over the head coach position, 53-year-old had already been the Serbian national team's goalkeeper coach and the team's manager.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events
|2008||FYR Macedonia||13th places|
|*qualified as Yugoslavia|
|** qualified as Serbia & Montenegro|