The Serbian pivot, leaving CSKA, in one of her last interviews in the status of a player in the capital club, summed up the Russian stage of her career for Handballfast.
Draga not only remarked on the high level of the Superleague, but also did not rule out her return.
- Dragana, with what emotions do you leave Russia?
- I am very happy, moreover, I am proud that I had a chance to be here and play for CSKA during these six months. My only regret is that I didn't get here sooner. And, of course, I am very sorry, but the circumstances are such that I cannot continue my career here in Russia. I truly found myself here, 100 percent.
I enjoyed absolutely every moment, especially in the company of girls who play for the team. I had a complete understanding with them: during this season we managed to build a great relationship. Although it's a little disappointing that I didn't get the chance to play for CSKA in the Champions League. But, one way or another, I do not regret at all my decision to continue playing here after the exclusion of Russian clubs from European competition.
- One of the brightest moments of your stay here is the celebration with the fans after winning the Russian Cup. Was this experience something new for you or can you recall similar episodes?
As far as I know myself, that episode was an exact reflection of me. Literally 100 percent. That's who I really am. It wasn't a publicity stunt or anything like that. Perhaps I can say that I demonstrated the same emotions in “Buducnost”, because I also enjoyed the time that I was there, all those six years. I also had a strong connection with the fans there.
And the celebration in Krasnodar, all these emotions came from my heart. It seems to me that everyone saw how I sincerely enjoyed not only that evening, but this entire segment as part of CSKA.
- Can you compare the level of the Russian championship with other leagues in which you had a chance to play?
- The level is really good here! There are many great handball players in the Superleague, and not only in the leading teams.
Before I came to Russia, I heard a lot of stories about the level of the local championship, to the point that here you can easily beat any opponent by 10 goals. In reality, everything turned out to be completely different. You need to go to every match with a serious attitude, otherwise you risk becoming the co-author of some kind of upset. I don't think the level of the Superleague is as bad as some people make it out to be.
It was interesting for me to play against all teams, because the players prepare well, they know what to do on the court and can implement what they have in mind. Yes, I am impressed when you need to fight for the result, not when an obviously weaker opponent just fills the gap.
— What would you wish to Russian handball fans and CSKA fans?
I want to thank everyone for what they did for me and for the team. All this support is very important to us. I can say that I will miss you with all my heart. Because during the season, wherever we played, the fans accompanied us everywhere. And I would like to thank you separately for the fact that at every game they hung the Serbian flag in the stands, for me it was very important and pleasant.
- Where are you currently spending your holidays? And what are your next plans?
- Right now, I am with my family in Belgrade and so far I have no idea where I will go next. I'm thinking about going to Montenegro, but we'll see in the near future. I still have to solve some household and work issues, and after that it will be clear what awaits me further.
- And finally, I want to ask you, is there a chance to see you performing in Russia again?
- I hope to be here again. I said the same to the management of CSKA when I left the club. I really liked Moscow. And if I have the opportunity to come back here, then I will not think twice.
Photo: CSKA press
Authors: Nikita Kotov, N. Shishkarev