By: Katarina Jonev
Belgrade, Nov.9, 2009 (Serbia Today) - In large part due to Serbia’s ascendancy as a world power house in water polo, a whole generation of aspiring youths are giving everything to the sport in the hopes of participating in the Serbian water polo phenomenon. One such talented youth, Nikola Sandor (16), a young goalkeeper playing for water polo club Beograd, demonstrates the depth of commitment that is actually fueling the explosion of the sport.
Like most water polo players, he made his first steps in the school of swimming. “My parents directed me to swim, mostly because of the health. After several months, the swimming coach in the swimming school recommended me to the water polo coach Miroslav Tomovic. He thought that because of my good technique in the water that I could be a good goalkeeper. It sounded interesting and I tried.”
At the beginning, Nikola showed great willingness and readiness to learn and train. His talent became obvious the more effort he put into the sport.
“In the second grade of primary school I started to train water polo with the club VK Belgrade. I was the fourth goalkeeper, but with time I advanced, and now I am one of the youngest players in the team and I often train with the first team Beograd.Nikola’s career has had a very promising start with 20 medals, 10 of which are gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze.
“The greatest success we have achieved 3 years ago when our team took the first place in Serbia and Montenegro championship and winning the Serbian league for players born in 1991. We participated in a water polo tournament called the Nikola Kovacevic Memorial ournament, tournaments in Hungary, and Macedonia. We won the Beoval league two times and we also hope that we will this year record to continue winning. Our senior team was fifth in the championship of Serbia, and in Europe we played in the finals of the LEN Cup.”
Nikola continues to play the goalkeeper position. His talent has not remained unnoticed and several times he was listed on the secondary team for the Serbian national team.
“Two years ago I got a call to be a member of the preparatory camp in which future players are selected for a national team. I was on the broader list, and I hope soon I will debut in the team with the state seal.”
Like his role models Stefik and Sostar, Nikola also has ability to coordinate the offense and the defense of the team. The remark ''the goalkeeper is always guilty” is never applied to him – he is one of the best goalkeepers in his league and a goalkeeper who allowed the least goals last season. Like most promising athletes he dreams of a career abroad.
“I want to deal with waterpolo professionally. The first step would be to debut for the first team of Belgrade and then, one day, to resume a career abroad. Hungarian and the Italian league attract me most.”