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0083 iva simona izrael2In the break between beach handball seasons most of our members play handball indoors in various leagues and levels. A part of them play recreationaly, a part play in the Croatian premier leauges and a few play profesionally abroad. From that last category two of our members Iva Ercegovac and Simona Hajduk are playing in Israel. They both share a locker room in Maccabi Rishon LeZion in a city of 250000 inhabitants. We asked them about life in Israel, whether the Israeli know about beach handball and what do they make of our next season.

BHC Dubrava: Girls, it's been six months since you've moved to Rishon, where you live and play - what do you make of it so far?
Simona and Iva: Yes, it's been six months in Rishon LeZion and we've settled well. Rishon is 12 kilometres from Tel Aviv so we could say we're in the centre of Israel. For those who enjoy sunshine and heat, the climate is excellent. In this part there is no snow and the lowest temperature was 9° C. There is some snow on the north but not here.

BHC Dubrava: How is life when in compare to Croatia? Are there any culturological differences?
Simona and Iva: Life is here more easy-going and more relaxed than back home. The standard is much higher, the prices are twice higher here than in Croatia. We also have to confess that they've outdone us regarding holidays, there's always something here. On friday the Sabbath begins which is dedicated to family. Saturday is day off and the work here begins on Sunday..


BHC Dubrava: Currently you're fifth in the League, does that satisfy the Club's ambitions?
Simona and Iva: Right, we're fifth out of nine teams and that is pretty much the goal for this season. This is the first year the team seriously invested in the roster and they bought three players from Croatia, the rest are Israeli.

BHC Dubrava: Simona, so far you've played in several countrie such as Denmark, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia, could you compare this experience to the previous one's?
Simona: In Israel handball is still on a relatively amateur level. Aside from us foreign players the rest of the team is made of Israeli players which conside handball a hobby. When comparing this with the previous tems and leagues, they were all better.

BHC Dubrava: Iva, this is your first handball expirience abroad. How do you look at it?
Iva: Yes, I am playing handball outside of Croatia for the first time. I couldn't resist to go play in country with a lot of sun and nice coast. And of course, it was much easier decision because Simona was already there. I was close to quit handball so I was little bit scared will I be good enough, but I knewed I will not go in a country with a high level of handball. So far this is a great expiriance and, who knows, maybe I stay here next season aswel.

BHC Dubrava: Do they ask about beach handball, have theyeven heard of the sport and do they play it? Considering the climate and an abundance of beaches, it seems perfect for them?
Simona and Iva: They have heard of it, but they still try to grasp the rules. They really aren't much of a sport nation, haha.

BHC Dubrava: Last year we lost the championship after two yeas of dominance. Do you look forward to this season?
Simona and Iva: We are really looking forward to this season and we talk about it a lot, it's our joy and love. How not to look forward - it's a mixture of great people and great fun. Unfortunately, last year we weren't complete for a single tournament, and when you miss Kiki, our best player - it is certainly felt. I hope this year the calendar goes in our favor and that we'll be in full power.

BHC Dubrava: Girls, thanks for the interview. Good luck in the future and see you soon.



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