Nenad Perunicic resigns as Serbia head coach

NEWS: Serbia’s Nenad Perunicic becomes the latest head coach to leave his job following the Men’s EHF EURO 2020

Nenad Perunicic had led the Serbian team since 2018. Photo © Uros Hocevar / kolektiff

Serbia head coach Nenad Perunicic has announced his resignation, citing a lack of support from the country as one of his reasons.

Perunicic is the latest in a string of coaches to step down or lose their jobs in the wake of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020. Ukraine’s Sergii Bebeshko, Russia’s Eduard Koksharov, France’s Dider Dinart and Germany’s Christian Prokop have all departed since the competition.

Perunicic announced his resignation on Tuesday at a press conference alongside Bozidar Djurkovic, president of the Serbian Handball Federation Bozidar Djurkovic.

“It was difficult to make this decision, but I have a responsibility. I led this team with pride and honor. I would do everything all over again,” said Perunicic in a press release published on the federation’s website.

“When I took over the team, we did not have many top-level players. Our idea was to rejuvenate the team, but the focus was only on the result, while it was supposed to be on the time that takes for this generation to be able to cope with the pressure. I stand by my players. We wanted more, and we needed to do more,” Perunicic added.

Perunicic took over as Serbia head coach in 2018 and led the team to the Men’s IHF World Championship 2019 as well as the EHF EURO 2020 qualifiers and the final tournament.

“There were problems with the absences of certain players, about my role in the team, where I come from and a lot of other things. I made this decision during the championship and nothing can make me change my mind,” Perunicic concluded.

He said he had had good relationships with the federation’s president and all those involved in the team, including support staff.

Djurkovic said Perunicic’s resignation would be discussed at the next meeting of the board of directors.

“Perunicic gave his best to achieve a good result. He will always have his place in the federation. We will make a decision at the next board meeting. It is our job to find a permanent solution before the next matches in June, we have enough time for that,” he said.

written by Danijela Lemaić / jh