Lithuanian handball champions from Klaipėda have started their preparations for new season.
After defending Lithuanian champions title in spring „Dragūnas“ lost four important players: Modestas Vaitekūnas, Karolis Stropus, Karolis Bliuvas and Maksim Voliuvach. Also there is uncertainty about Lukas Simėnas and Deividas Virbauskas – if they find a new team, they will leave „Dragūnas“.
Four young players joined the team: 17-year-old Orestas Biknius, 19-year-old Mindaugas Impolis, 17-year-old Ignas Savičius and 18-year-old Tomas Valentukevičius.
Head coach Artūras Juškėnas assured that „Dragūnas“ set the highest goals for the upcoming season.
“In Lithuania we were at the highest level and we must stay there. This is the main challenge. Whoever plays in the team, our goal is to win the Lithuanian championship and Lithuanian Cup“, – emphasized A. Juškėnas.
In September „Dragūnas“ will face Israeli handball team „Maccabi Rishon Lezion“ in European Cup. The Lithuanian championship and Baltic handball championship should begin at the end of September.
“Last week was more introductory and this week we start to get more serious. Participation in the European Cup makes us to get ready early. We were supposed to play the first game on September 1st and the second game on September 7th, but we will play both matches in Israel on September 7th and 8th. This is what our rivals have proposed”, – said A. Juškėnas.
„Dragūnas“ will prepare for important duels in Israel by participating in an international handball tournament in Klaipeda and friendly matches in Latvia.
Player Gintaras Cibulskis assured that the team likes challenges, so they have a lot of work to do.
„We are training and so far it’s hard and we’re crying“, – G. Cibulskis joked.
„We hope to have another good year. It will not be not easy, because everyone wants to bite us“, – added G. Cibulskis.
In his opinion, this season Lukas Vanagas is expected to return to the pitch after a break because of a trauma and one of the leaders of the team, Žanas Gabrielius Virbauskas, should continue his excellent game.