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Thread: FYR of Macedonia national team

  1. #1
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    Skopje Celebrates FYROM Success


    // 26 September 2008
    From Branko Cupeski, Skopje
    The players of FYR of Macedonia's basketball team are the new heroes in their country and it's not just because they have booked a place in next year's EuroBasket in Poland.

    No, sports fans in the country couldn't help but admire the passion and flair Jovica Arsic's men showed in their qualifying campaign.

    "We will not stop here," said 35-year-old FYROM captain Vrbica Stefanov.

    "We will go to Poland to represent our country, to show our personality, to give another dimension to the basketball world.

    "We will all start the new season in our teams with pleasure, and with the greatest desire to show our best at the EuroBasket next year."


    FYROM edged out Latvia for first place in Group B of EuroBasket Division A with Portugal third and Estonia fourth.

    The successful summer wasn't lost on anyone.

    It turned out to be a state occasion.

    The second greatest success of FYR of Macedonia basketball (after competing in the final round in France nine years ago) was recognized by the country's Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who welcomed the players to his office.

    There, he promised to follow the team in Poland, although he wasn't able to be at the qualification games due to state matters.

    "The country thanks you for the joy that you gave us," he said.

    The Basketball Federation of FYR of Macedonia, which has received pledges of support from the government and the state agency for youth and sports, is already working on ‘Project Poland'.

    "This is a mega project for us," said Daniel Dimevski, the president of the basketball federation.

    "I hope that the entire nation enjoyed this achievement and this success, one of the greatest in our independent history.

    "I am pleased that our country is feeling proud of winning our group. We will show that our place is with the best of Europe.

    "All of us being part of this event will give our maximum to represent our country in the best way possible."


    The celebration after the last game, FYR of Macedonia's 87-75 win over Estonia on Saturday which gave the team a 4-2 record, carried over from the basketball court to the Cuban restaurant in Skopje that is renowned for evening parties.

    The establishment is owned by a basketball legend in FYR of Macedonia and an Olympic silver medalist with Yugoslavia, Blagoja Georgievski Bustur.

    He was more than pleased to welcome the FYROM players to his club, and to give them some advice on being top level players.

    That evening, there was an even more landmark occasion.

    FYR of Macedonia's national team manager Ilija Merganovski agreed to have the mustache he had worn for more than 20 years shaved off.

    Pero Antic performed the "operation" and was assisted by fellow star player Todor Gecevski.

    "It was a promise that I had to keep," Merganovski said.

    "I am not sorry for my loss, the mustache will grow back, hopefully to celebrate another success in Poland."
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  2. #2
    AlbionGate
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    It's a great achievement for FYROM NT, but I'm not very optimisitic about for the futur. Vrbica Stefanov will not play long and I'm not sure that Ilievski will continue to waste his time for the NT. In the youth NTeams (U20,U18,U16), there is no player with big potential.

  3. #3
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    Stefanov, FYROM Embrace The Challenge


    When national teams have to travel to the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia to play basketball, they compete in what hoops fans in the country affectionately call the ‘devil's playground'.

    Teams sure have one ‘helluva' hard time getting wins in places like Skopje, and that's a big reason why FYROM are back in the EuroBasket next year.

    Led by the veteran guard and captain Vrbica Stefanov, and thanks to the dynamic, all-round performances of stars like Zadar's Todor Gecevski, FYROM finished top of their qualifying group this year ahead of Latvia, Portugal and Estonia to earn a trip to the Final Round in Poland.

    On Saturday, they discovered they would go up against Greece and Croatia - two national sides that played at this summer's Olympics - and nemesis Israel.

    The Israelis beat FYR of Macedonia at the EuroBasket in 1999, and in the decisive game of the Additional Qualifying Tournament last year for EuroBasket 2007. The Croatians have also won their two encounters when the stakes were high, during qualifying for EuroBasket 2003.

    Rather than quake in their boots with what appears to be a very tough draw, Stefanov and FYROM are excited.

    "When the qualifications finished, when we topped our group, all of us were aware of the task in front of us," Stefanov said.

    "All I can say is that every single one of us in the national team wished to play against Greece, to finally see what we are made of.

    "Now we have that chance, so let's use it."


    The challenge for FYR of Macedonia will be psychological as well because they will not have the rabid support they enjoy at home, though thousands of fans are expected to travel to the city of Poznan for the Group A games from places like Skopje.

    "I personally think that we can match all three opponents," Stefanov said.

    "The Greek side is the favorite in our group, we know Croatia and especially Israel very well and this is a chance to finally get over the Israel syndrome.

    "Nobody is invincible, so is the case in our group.

    "We started the preparations the first moment we found out who our opponents would be."


    To advance from the group would be a fitting end to what is expected to be the last international games for Stefanov, who turns 35 on December 19.

    "It will all depend on our performance," he said.

    "This might be the end of a generation that played for more than 10 years together, so we want to use the opportunity to leave a mark in the history of Macedonian basketball."

    Jovica Arsic, the coach of FYROM, says it's okay to be excited but he has also urged everyone to keep their feet on the ground.

    "Now we have extra motivations, so we have to use that moment in our favor," he said.

    "We should concentrate on all three games and use every single chance that is given. We have to stay calm, on the ground, to prepare well so that we can match our opponents in the first phase.

    "The competition system demands games every day so we must be focused all the time. It is more likely to win against Israel, a team that comes from the fourth pot than against Greece, the first pot team, but I won't exclude anything."


    In their one and so far only EuroBasket appearance in 1999, FYROM finished 13th and Greece were 16th while Croatia were 11th and Israel ninth.

    The best performance of any national basketball side from the country is fourth place at the European Championship for Cadets in 1995.

    The Greek basketball fans will be well aware of FYR of Macedonia, and particularly Stefanov (AEK and Olympiacos), Pero Antic (AEK) and Jeremiah Massey (ARIS) who used to play in Greece.

    Dimitar Mirakovski currently plays in the Greek second division (Ago Rethimno Almeco, Greece-A2).

    Gecevski, meanwhile, needs no introduction as he is arguably the best player and the captain of Croatian side Zadar.
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    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    F.Y.R. Macedonia Ready To Play On Big Stage Again

    It has been a quiet winter break for the F.Y.R. Macedonian national basketball team, prior to the start of the preparations for the EuroBasket in Poland.

    The season in the European national competitions is ending, and the Macedonian players are eager to start, as they call it, "The mission of their lives".

    This will be the first appearance on the premier European basketball scene in a decade, the second overall for Macedonia since its independence from the former Yugoslavia.

    While the players were relieved from national duty during the past months after their qualification for the Final Round in Poland, the National Federation has had a full-steam-ahead campaign for securing the appropriate terms and conditions for the following preparations before the EuroBasket Group A games against Croatia, Israel and Greece.

    The office in Skopje has confirmed the schedule.

    The usual gathering, medical tests and the first light training sessions will be held in Skopje from July 15-24 and on Zlatibor mountain in Serbia from July 25-31.

    The August schedule is full.

    There is a trip to the mountain training camp on the Kranjska Gora in Slovenia with friendly games against EuroBasket 2007 champions Russia scheduled between August 1-7, and friendly meetings with Slovakia in Ohrid, a lakeside city in Macedonia, from August 7-14.

    There will be two friendly games in Skopje on August 15 and 16 although the opponents have yet to be named. These will be the last appearances for the Macedonian team on home soil.

    Next is the international tournament in Bamberg, Germany (August 21-22) with games against the hosts, Croatia and Poland.

    The last phase of the preparations will be the Efes Cup in Ankara, Turkey (August 26-30).

    Macedonia will play in Group B of that event against the old foes from the qualifications, Latvia, and against the NBA-talent boosted Great Britain.

    In Group B, the hosts will meet Germany and Macedonia's EuroBasket group opponents, Croatia.

    This is an important summer for numerous reasons, including the fact that the captain of Macedonia, Vrbica Stefanov, will wear a basketball shirt for the last time in his career.

    He retired from club appearances early this season and decided to end his illustrious career in the national team colors.

    This is an important summer for Todor Gecevski and Vlado Ilievski, two men who will compete among Europe's best again.

    The last time they didn't have much space to show their abilities.

    As for Pero Antic (injured foot, rehabilitation) and Jeremiah Massey, they are proven top class players and looking to make their mark on the big stage.

    As for Predrag Samargiski and the other EuroBasket rookies, they are anxious to show they are the real deal.

    With arguably the strongest and the most unpredictable EuroBasket drawing closer, the message from Skopje is that European powerhouses should be aware of the minors.

    The basketball world has changed in recent years.
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    Senior Member Dtown's Avatar
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    I'm interested to see how their first game against Greece goes, though mostly for how the opposing fans treat each other.
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    Senior Member g.g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dtown View Post
    I'm interested to see how their first game against Greece goes, though mostly for how the opposing fans treat each other.
    Good luck FYROM you would need plenty and more against HELLAS!

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    Nilsen: 'Air Massey' Ready To Take Off In Poland

    I suspect that most of us have had conversations about those individual players that seem to be able to play far ‘bigger' on the court than their physical attributes should probably allow.

    Whether a coach, scout, journalist or fan, I imagine the general consensus is that any player who falls into this category should be applauded for making the most of what they have.

    In the case of FYR of Macedonia forward Jeremiah Massey, that applause should probably be something more akin to a standing ovation.

    Despite impressing during his college career, Massey was pretty much shunned in the States due to his lack of size and encouraged to pack his bags and head to Europe to carve out a pro-career.

    Unperturbed, it wasn't long before he proved that playing above your size and making the most of some incredible athleticism could definitely pay dividends.

    Having only managed to sign a modest deal with mediocre Greek side Larissa, Massey knuckled down and produced a stellar first season, drawing attention to the fact he could produce and still mix it inside.

    That paved the way for him to move to Aris where he was suddenly handed the chance to showcase his skills on a higher stage - an opportunity he grasped with both hands when he exploded onto the Euroleague scene and won the Most Spectacular Player award in 2006-07.

    This led to even more adulation from the Aris fans who fell in love with his athletic leaping ability, lightning quick efforts in transition and spectacular plays above the rim.

    Such was his impact and style at Aris that the supporters were even willing to ignore the lack of key fundamentals that most European forwards are expected to excel in such as posting up or stepping outside to consistently make shots.

    Nicknamed "Air Massey", it wasn't long before the high flier was on the radar of Euroleague giants Real Madrid and last summer, buoyed by a terrific qualifying campaign with FYR of Macedonia, he landed in Spain.

    Having hoped to build further on his burgeoning reputation, things haven't went as well at Vistalegre as they did at Aris with both Massey and Real enduring mixed fortunes this season.

    After an ordinary regular season and Euroleague disappointment, Massey and The Whites are now into the ACB play-off semi-finals while he can also look forward to his first ever EuroBasket tournament - his brief international career still very much on an upward curve.

    He was instrumental during qualification in helping FYR of Macedonia reach their first finals in a decade making him almost as big a favourite with supporters in Skopje as he is in Thessaloniki.

    His energy and all-around quickness was well suited to the high tempo style of the EuroBasket dark horses and the perfect accompaniment to teammates with a more traditional approach in the paint such as veteran center Todor Gecevski.

    Just like the challenging and demanding requirements of playing in the ACB with Real at club level, the Detroit native is now facing up to the task of playing in EuroBasket 2009 knowing the stakes and expectations have been raised.

    FIBA Europe: Hi Jeremiah. Growing up in Detroit and through your teenage years, we guess that playing at EuroBasket 2009 with FYR of Macedonia probably wasn't on the career map. Are you still getting used to the prospect?

    Jeremiah Massey: When I started playing basketball I didn't really think of such possibilities but it's something that happened to me and I'm very happy with the decision I have taken. My family, my friends and I are all used to this situation now and we are really enjoying the experience. It's very positive for us.

    FIBA Europe: How did the rest of the FYR of Macedonia players and you get some chemistry so quickly? It must have been a pretty difficult situation at first but certainly the fans are pretty passionate and gave you plenty of support?

    Jeremiah Massey: It wasn't difficult to get that chemistry in the team. We really have a good team with great players that also are good team-mates. The support of the fans has also been very important for us and from now on, I hope everything will be even better. We have enough potential to improve a lot more.

    FIBA Europe: After helping FYR of Macedonia to qualify for EuroBasket for the first time in a decade, is there any truth there will now be a statue of you in Skopje as well as in Aris too?

    Jeremiah Massey: Ha ha - that's only a rumour and I don't know anything about that! I only know that all the members of the team and all the fans are all extremely happy and we have to enjoy the moment and enjoy our experience at Eurobasket 2009.

    FIBA Europe: You have had a taste of the action in the qualifying round but what are you realistically expecting to achieve both as a team and individually when the tournament starts?

    Jeremiah Massey: It's difficult to tell you at this moment what are our expectations are for this Eurobasket tournament. I can only say that we have a good team that is talented and has a good chemistry. We'll just take it game by game in Poland and see what happens.

    FIBA Europe: You have experienced huge pressure at club level with the expectations that always exist at Real but will face less pressure at EuroBasket for the national team who will be seen as underdogs. Does this type of thing make you play differently or affect you?

    Jeremiah Massey: It doesn't affect me. I don't feel that pressure. I always try to give everything for the team and I'll play at my highest level to help my team-mates and to try to get the victory in every game whether playing for Real Madrid or for FYR of Macedonia.

    FIBA Europe: For those people that have not yet seen FYR of Macedonia in the flesh, tell us about the style you play and what fans watching in Poland can expect.

    Jeremiah Massey: We have several players in the team with experience in the most important leagues in Europe and we also have young players who want to do great things in Poland. I think we are a team that feels comfortable playing quickly. We like running, and one of our best weapons, apart from the fast-break is the pick & roll.

    FIBA Europe: You have so many guys at Real who could be heading for Poland, do you talk about it in and around the club?

    Jeremiah Massey: Right now we've been very focused on the ACB league playoffs, but it's true that through this season we've talked in the locker room about what will happen this summer at EuroBasket. It'll be a great experience for me and it'll be even better if I have the opportunity of playing at the tournament against my team-mates from Real.

    FIBA Europe: Is it fair to say that you have had a roller-coaster year with Real Madrid and perhaps very similar to the team itself? You and the guys seem to have had patches of red hot form either side of less effective periods.

    Jeremiah Massey: I had to settle to a new team, new league, new role and new city, and it took me time to do it. The team suffered trough the season with several changes due to different circumstances but I think we have a good team with both quality and character. We played for being in the Final Four of the Eurolegue and we had our opportunities. Right now we're playing in the ACB League playoffs and I trust in our possibilities.

    FIBA Europe: How would you assess your own performance and also the teams overall performance in Euroleague?

    Jeremiah Massey: I think we played a good Euroleague competition. We completed a really good regular season and we only lost one game in the Top 16. In the quarter finals we played against a great team in Olympiacos and it was a really tight series but only one team can get the victory and progress. They have players that are among the best players in Europe and their coach is also a great coach. It was very difficult.

    FIBA Europe: Overall when you think about your first year in the ACB, how much of your performance so far is due to the style of the league compared to Greece and how good is the Spanish league?

    Jeremiah Massey: The ACB is a great league and one of the best in Europe - if not the best. Every team can win against you at any time, it doesn't matter if they are in the first or in the last position of the league. In Greece there are also great players and great teams, but the style is different from the ACB and I needed time to get adapted to this new competition.

    FIBA Europe: At Aris, they see you as a legend which must be a big attraction for you but of course Real Madrid is one of the biggest clubs in world basketball. We guess that it must be difficult to focus on exactly where is best to play if you had the choice again? Certainly the fans would love you back at Aris!

    Jeremiah Massey: I really loved the experience I had at Aris and I can only thank the club and the fans. However right now, I am playing for Real Madrid, and I am really happy. I want to help the team to do great things both domestically and in Europe.
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  8. #8
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    Jovica Arsic, serbian head coach of FYROM NT revealed his preliminary list.

    PG Ilievski Vlado (190 1980 Tau Vitoria SPA)
    PG Stefanov Vrbica (180 1973 Viva Menorca SPA)
    PG Kostoski Aleksandar (188 1988 CSU Brasov ROM)
    PG Petrovski Jane (181 1987 Gryfony Symferopil UKR)
    PG Mirakovski Dimitar (180 1981 Feni Kavadarci)
    PG Bogojev Eftim (185 190 AMMAK Ohrid)
    G Stojanovski Ognen (189 1985 Rabotnicki Skopje)
    SG Dimitrovski Aleksandar (193 1981 Rabotnicki Skopje)
    SG Stojanovski Vojdan (194 1987 AMMAK Ohrid)
    SG Stefanov Riste (198 1983 Akademik Sofia BUL)
    SG Brckov Vladimir (194 1989 Torus Skopje)
    SG Sokolov Darko (190 1986 MZT Skopje)
    SF Tasovski Dime (201 1980 Rabotnicki Skopje)
    SF Stojanovski Damjan (197 1987 AMMAK Ohrid)
    SF Gjurov Marjan (201 1980 Feni Kavadarci)
    PF Massey Jeremiah (202 1982 Real Madrid SPA)
    PF Cekovski Gjorgji (202 1981 Ferro-ZNTU Zaporozhye UKR)
    PF Blazevski Pero (200 1972 MZT Skopje)
    PF/C Antic Pero (210 1982 Lokomotiv Rostov RUS)
    PF/C Gecevski Todor (209 1977 Zadar CRO)
    PF/C Trajkovski Bojan (206 1988 Rabotnicki Skopje)
    C Samardjiski Predrag (213 1986 FMP Zeleznik SRB)
    C Gocevski Zlatko (206 1982 Feni Kavadarci)
    C Nikolovski Kiril (210 1988 Vardar Skopje)

    Sorry for the wrong news about Micov, I took the list from a ex-Yugoslavian forum. It was joke and I was dumbed.
    Last edited by AlbionGate; 06-12-2009 at 02:52 PM.

  9. #9
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Update on roster

    16 candidates left:

    Vrbica Stefanov
    Vlado Ilievski
    Jane Petrovski
    Dimitar Mirakovski
    Riste Stefanov
    Aleksandar Dimitrovski
    Darko Sokolov
    Vojdan Stojanovski
    Damjan Stojanovski
    Dime Tasovski
    Pero Blazevski
    Pero Antic
    Jeremiah Massey
    Todor Gecevski
    Predrag Samardziski
    Bojan Trajkovski


  10. #10
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    What's wrong with Alexandar Kostocki????I remember him being explosive in the youth tournaments,he had a tremendous performance in the B division of the U20 Eurobasket while being only 18!Check his stats:

    http://www.fibaeurope.com/cid_KNce8j...rID_41667.html

    What went wrong?I think last year played just minor minutes in the Romanian league.Pitty...

  11. #11
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    Default Kostoski

    Agree absolutely. I had Kostoski pencilled in to possibly make even the final cut in the 12. He has had a pretty good upbringing playing in France as a junior and as you say having exploded in a national team vest at junior levels. He was handed a four year contract by CSU Cuadripol Brasov showing how much they rate him and has played decent minutes helping them finish third in the league. If he obviously isnt now going to be an inclusion, he is still definately one for the future!


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    I hope so!I was expecting of him to play in a stronger league but maybe there is the proper place for him to develop.

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    Senior Member elaj's Avatar
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    Vlado Ilievski will miss Eurobasket 2009 due to mascule injury he will have to undergo in Barcelona these days. source: sportal

    "I hope I will be ready to play untill beginning of the new season. This means I will have to skip Eurobasket 2009 in Poland. I took this decision, feeling really bad. Macedonians, on contrary to Slovenians (statement for Slovenian press), aren't that often on such big international competitions. We play Eurobasket once per decade, so I feel really bad that I won't be able to help my countrymen."

  14. #14
    EL Week 3 MVP Billy Bounce's Avatar
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    Jeremiah Massey didn't arrived to FYROM NT training camp, so Darius Washington will replace him

    src: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3756485,00.html

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    Senior Member elaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Bounce View Post
    Jeremiah Massey didn't arrived to FYROM NT training camp, so Darius Washington will replace him

    src: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3756485,00.html
    Of course he did. He played yesterday against Slovenia on friendly game and also a day before. He was terrible so rumors started that he will be replaced with Darius Washington.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Picek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaj View Post
    Of course he did. He played yesterday against Slovenia on friendly game and also a day before. He was terrible so rumors started that he will be replaced with Darius Washington.
    Arsic clearly stated that Massey will be their choice.
    but that was before games against Slovenia..
    still, chances are pretty slim for Washington taking his place..
    Massey played with these guys before, eventhough he was late on the preps (same as Gečevski) he was still there before Washington..
    Washington needs to be extraordinarly good to take his place..
    I doubt it will happen, eventhough they need him more then Massey because they are pretty thin at guard positions with Ilievski out..
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    Senior Member Roy M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picek View Post
    Arsic clearly stated that Massey will be their choice.
    but that was before games against Slovenia..
    still, chances are pretty slim for Washington taking his place..
    Massey played with these guys before, eventhough he was late on the preps (same as Gečevski) he was still there before Washington..
    Washington needs to be extraordinarly good to take his place..
    I doubt it will happen, eventhough they need him more then Massey because they are pretty thin at guard positions with Ilievski out..
    As usually, the media in Israel took a rumour and made it as a poor fact...
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    I think that Vašington will be Mejsi's replacement for the reasons mentioned above. I think it's a clever decision by Džeremaja. Get oneself a Euro passport, suck at NT training/prep = free summer in Detroit. Genius.

    I think this will also be a good think for the FYROMese NT too.
    The Euroleague Organization and Mr Bertomeu are like the Bulgarian Government: corrupt, partially stupid, and a huge underestimator of people's intelligence.

  19. #19
    EL Week 3 MVP Billy Bounce's Avatar
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    Thanks for update on Massey.

    Well, it looks like he's more preoccupied with finding himself a club for the next season then playing for FYROM

    Throw a stone at me, but I just can't see any chance for Massey playing under Messina

  20. #20
    Senior Member fasoulaki's Avatar
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    Does somebody know if the final roster of FYR of Macedonia has been announced?

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