RC Cannes’ adventure in this season’s CEV Volleyball Champions League may have come to an end at the hands of Azerbaijan’s Rabita Baku, but for their Serbian wing-spiker Brankica Mihajlovic there remains plenty to be glad about." />
Much-travelled Mihajlovic enjoying life in Cannes
RC Cannes’ adventure in this season’s CEV Volleyball Champions League may have come to an end at the hands of Azerbaijan’s Rabita Baku, but for their Serbian wing-spiker Brankica Mihajlovic there remains plenty to be glad about.
Mihajlovic arrived in the south of France after competing for Serbia in the London Olympics and has thoroughly enjoyed the challenge so far. “It is nice to be part of this group,” said the 21-year-old, who had previously played for Hyundai Hillstate in Korea. “This is my first season with the club and I have to say that it feels like a family. Everyone is very nice and eager to help. I am enjoying every single day and I hope this positive feeling will continue in the future,” added Mihajlovic, who was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Although Mihajlovic and her Cannes side suffered a setback in January with their home and away losses to Rabita Baku in the Playoffs 12 stage of the Champions League, she is hopeful of success on the domestic front at least this campaign, with the Riviera club leading Ligue A. “We want to win the national league once more this season but we do not feel any pressure, we simply try to play our best,” she said.
Her colleagues at Cannes include Serbia team-mate Milena Rasic, who helped her find her feet in her first weeks in her new surroundings. “Milena had already explained to me what it was like here in Cannes and it was good to know somebody when I came even though everyone is open and ready to welcome the new recruits.”
If Rasic was one familiar face, she had the strange experience of facing a few others, this time on the opposite side of the court, when Cannes took on Volero Zürich in the league round of the Champions League before Christmas. Mihajlovic played for the Swiss club last season and admitted: “It was weird when we went to Zurich and I got to see some of my friends standing on the other side of the net.”
Cannes won 3-0 in Zurich on 31 October, and then 3-1 in the return on 4 December when Mihajlovic finished as their 19-point top scorer. “I am a professional player and I always give my best even if friends are on the opposing side. Matches are matches and friendship is a different story,” she added.
After placing second in Pool A, they succumbed to Rabita Baku but Mihajlovic at least made her mark again, finishing as Cannes’ top scorer with 16 points in the home defeat at the Palais des Victoires on 16 January. It was another sign that she has settled fast and for this she also gives thanks to two of her club’s older heads, Nadia Centoni and captain Victoria Ravva. “They have really helped the young players settle down and feel comfortable. If some of us do not understand French, they are always ready to help by translating for us. They definitely made the transition smoother and easier.”
She is grateful too for the opportunity to play under Cannes’ French-Chinese coach, Yan Fang. “I can improve my skills and learn something new from [him],” she explained – raising the mouthwatering prospect that there is still plenty more to come from this talented youngster.