Partizan’s water polo players won the third title in the Serbian championship in a row. This is their 9th trophy in Serbia water polo league, and the 28th national title in a total (including championships of Yugoslavia, in Serbia & Montenegro and in Serbia)
In the 10th and a last round of the Superleague Partizan demolished Valjevo Gorenje 23-4 (6-1, 7-1, 6-1, 4-1), kept the 1st place on the table and took the trophy. Playoffs will not be played this season.
New competition format
Partizan didn’t leave the decision for the last round. The most successful club in the history of the sport in Serbia secured the 1st place before the last match. In the 9th round, Partizan defeated Sabac, as a guest (8-7) and kept 3-points advantage ahead Vojvodina, which took the 2nd place. After that Vojvodina couldn’t catch Partizan anymore because the team from Belgrade is better than the rival from Novi Sad in head-to-head games (Partizan beat Vojvodina in Belgrade 12-3, Vojvodina defeated Partizan 9-5 in Novi Sad).
Six clubs played in the Serbian Superleague this season: four which competed in the Regional league: Partizan, Vojvodina (A1 Regional league), Sabac, Crvena Zvezda (A2 Regional league), and top two clubs in the First Serbian league: Valjevo Gorenje and Stari grad. Points gained in the head-to-head matches in the Regional and the First league, had been carried over to the Superleague.
Youngsters showed their big talent
Partizan was the favourite for the title, but in past ten months, the club had another hard season. Seven players left Partizan during the last summer. Along with them, the head coach Vladimir Vujasinovic, also, left the club. He moved to Pro Recco.
The club had a task to rebuild a team again. Vujasinovic was replaced by young Zoran Milenkovic, who had coached Banjica (Partizan’s second team) till the previous season and Serbian national junior team, too. Partizan made a new team essentially of the players from its reputable school with few additions. It was a very talented squad, but the team with an average age of 20 didn’t have experience.
Despite inexperience, Partizan’s players started the season very well. In several matches in the Champions League, they showed that they can fight against very strong teams. Partizan also played very good in the Regional league and won the 2017 Serbian Cup.
But, during the winter the club had a lot of problems with their pool. Difficulties were reflected results. But, after few hard months, Partizan has returned to a winning way. Among other wins, the youngsters from the Banjica pool made a huge surprise, by beating the European champion Jug in the Regional league.
In the end of March, Zoran Milenkovic was dismissed (not because of results). Partizan board replaced Milenkovic with, also young, Stefan Ciric, who managed to successfully lead the team to the main goal of the season, to the new national title.
Results, standings, history
Serbian Superleague Serbia, 10th round
Partizan Raiffeisen – Valjevo Gorenje 23-4 (6-1, 7-1, 6-1, 4-1)
Partizan. Tanaskovic 6, Drasovic 4, M. Jankovic 3, Radojevic 2, F. Jankovic, Repanovic, Manojlović, Kasum, Jaksic, Vucinic.
Valjevo: Stanic, Marković, Radulovic, Popovic.
Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) – Stari Grad 11-6 (2-1,2-3,2-1,5-1)
Crvena zvezda: Tankosic 4, Coric 2, Draskovic 2, Ljubenovic, Nikolov.
Stari grad: Suberic 2, Radjenovic 2, Mitrovic, Tomasevic.
Sabac – Vojvodina (Tuesday, May 23rd)
1.Partizan 10 -25
2.Crvena zvezda 10-20
3.Vojvodina 9 – 19
4.Sabac 9 -13
6.Stari Grad 10 – 3
ALL CHAMPIONS OF SERBIA
2013. Crvena zvezda
2014. Crvena zvezda
CHAMPIONS OF YUGOSLAVIA AND SERBIA&MONTENEGRO (in sport’s history, Serbia is the successor of those two countries)
1921 and 1922: SSU Sombor, 1923: Baluni Split, 1924: SSU Sombor , From 1925 to 1937 (13 titles): Jug Dubrovnik , 1938: Viktorija Susak, 1939: Jadran Split, 1940: Jug Dubrovnik
1945: The team of Croatia, 1946: Jadran Split , 1947 and 1948: Hajduk Split, 1949 and 1950: Jug Dubrovnik, 1951: championship was annulled , 1952 and 1953: Mornar Split , 1954: Jadran Split, 1955 and 1956: Mornar Split, 1957: Jadran Split , 1958 and 1959: Jadran Herceg Novi , 1960: Jadran Split, 1961: Mornar Split , 1962: Mladost Zagreb, from 1963 to 1966 (four titles): Partizan Beograd , 1967: Mladost Zagreb, 1968: Partizan Beograd , 1969: Mladost Zagreb, 1970: Partizan Beograd, 1971: Mladost Zagreb, from 1972 to 1979: Partizan Beograd, from 1980 to 1982 (4 titles): Jug Dubrovnik . 1984: Partizan Beograd, 1985: Jug Dubrovnik, 1986: Kotor, 1987 and 1988: Partizan Beograd, 1989 and 1990: Mladost Zagreb , 1991: Jadran Split, 1992 and 1993: Crvena Zvezda, 1994: Budvanska rivijera, 1995: Partizan, from 1996 to 2001 (6 titles): Becej, 2002: Partizan, from 2003 to 2006 (4 titles): Jadran Herceg Novi