12 Aug. 2019
Croatia right wing Fran Mileta has made a name for himself this summer. At the 2019 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship, he was not only part of the team that won the nation’s first medal at the event, but was named the All-star Team right wing. Now, he is on court again in Skopje, and continues proving himself to be a lethal attacking weapon with 26 goals scored and only three shots missed in four matches.
Earlier this year, the 18-year-old signed for top Croatian club RK Nexe. Nexe made it to the finals of the Croatian Cup at the end of last season and also contested the European Handball Federation’s second-tier international club competition, the EHF Cup. Mileta will have his first taste of international club competition with Nexe in the EHF Cup in 2019/20, after scoring 156 goals for his previous club, Rudan Labin, in the 2018/19 season.
The sharpshooter has all the makings of a great prospect for the senior Croatia team – but first, he wants to add another medal to the silver won at Spain 2019.
ihf.info spoke with Mileta after Croatia’s commanding victory over Slovenia in round four. Croatia have won every match at North Macedonia 2019 by a margin of at least 10 goals, and will now face Spain to decide first place in Group A on Monday night in Jane Sandanski Arena.
ihf.info: This was another big win for you. What do you think was the key to beating Slovenia so decisively?
Fran Mileta: The key was, I think, the defence. We played very good defence and we scored some easy goals. I think that’s the key to this game.
ihf.info: Before Slovenia you met Norway, Chile and Saudi Arabia. What do you think about those matches and Croatia’s performance against them?
Fran Mileta: The teams before were a little bit easier, but Slovenia are good. We played really good defence and that’s the key. I hope we that we can go on like this.
ihf.info: You were at the Junior World Championship in Spain. What is it like for you to be here at the Youth World Championship now?
Fran Mileta: It’s a great feeling when I play for Croatia, for my national team – junior or this, under 19. It’s the same to me. I play a big role and give 100% if I can.
ihf.info: In Spain you made it all the way to the final and so far you have won all your games, just as you did in the preliminary round at the Junior World Championship. Do you feel you are on the same path here?
Fran Mileta: It looks like it! So, I hope so. [I hope for] at least silver, like at the Juniors, or gold maybe.
ihf.info: In your last preliminary match you will play Spain for first place. What are your thoughts on this game?
Fran Mileta: We watched them. They are a good team. They play 3-3 defence or something like this, a Spanish defence. Defence is our biggest focus.