"The goal of competing with older teams is to gain more experience and see our progress when playing against international teams. We agreed that we should play as many matches as possible and make the break in the national championships as shorter as possible. The challenge is bigger, but I am satisfied with the boys' development. We played the "Ilinden" tournament against pioneer teams, and out of 8 teams we finished on the 5th place. We ended the fall part of the national pioneer championship as 1st in our group by winning all matches. With the same team, we competed within the youth category and played against much older players. Therefore, we lost several matches but gain a valuable experience to help us grow as big athletes" – said the coach of the pioneer's selection Zoran Petkovski.
This will be the 2nd year for the pioneers to play the "Belgrade Trophy." However, last year they competed with their peers in the 2004/05 category. They were 2nd out of 20 teams from the region.
Twenty-four teams composed of players born in 2003 coming from Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania and Montenegro will play the tournament. The big competition, in the opinion of coach Zoran Petkovski, is a challenge for the players because every goal scored will have an impact on achieving a better result, and vice versa. "The boys will have to give their best in order to be equal with the older players" – said Petkovski.
The teams are divided in 8 groups. Vardar shares the group G with Mokerc Kig from Slovenia and Partizan from Serbia. They will play against Morgerc Kig on Friday at 12:50 and at 19:45 against Partizan.
Depending on the group placement, Vardar will face one of the teams from group B on Saturday – Vojvodina and Junior from Serbia, and Radnichki Gorazhde from BiH.
According to the tournament rules, the 1st ranked teams from all 8 groups will play for placement from 1st to 8th place.
The following Vardar players will play the tournament in Belgrade: Nikola Spasovski, Petar Stojanovski, Damjan Dimitriovski, Martin Todoroski, David Mladenovski, Kiril Simonovski, Mario Stojanovski, David Slaveski, Hristijan Petkovski, Andrej Petrushevski, Georgij Spasovski, Petar Kolevski, Aleksandar Stojmenov, Stefan Ristevski, Martin Sipkovski, Matej Trajanovski and Viktor Trifunovski.