7m | Predrag Vejin: ‘I knew it was the right choice for me from the moment I stepped on the court.’

Predrag Vejin

During the summer of 2021, right back Predrag Vejin reinforced Nexe Nasice arriving from Wisla Plock. Vejin arrived to Croatia as an experienced SEHA – Gazprom League player having already played in Metaloplastika Sabac, Metalurg Skopje and Zeleznicar Nis. Nexe is the tenth club in Vejin’s career.
You were born and raised in Apatin, Serbia but despite of that your first professional club was Metaloplastika Sabac.
I started playing handball back in Apatin as a kid, but at the time I was also into football and basketball. My handball coaches, however realized that I have the talent to play handball and honestly, I knew it was the right choice for me from the moment I stepped on the court. I soon became a member of the Serbian junior national team receiving an invitation to come and continue my career in Metaloplastika Sabac – one of the best teams of all time not only in Serbia but in the entire region.
At only 21 years of age, Predrag Vejin decided to move to Spain and join Ademar Leon.
Incredible two years in which I opened the door to a whole new dimension of handball. I started looking at it like it was chess. Dani Gordo – current coach of Meshkov Brest, used to coach me back in the day and we’ve often had a chance to work with Jordi Ribera as well – Spanish national team coach at the moment. I believe I was playing really well there. I remember scoring ten goals against Barcelona, which had players like Karabatic, Lazarov and Rutenka in the roster.
Your handball journey took you to Dunkerque (France), Al Jazira (UAE), Metalurg Skopje, Ademar Leon once again, Zeleznicar 1949 Nis, Ramat Hasharon (Israel) and Wisla Plock (Poland).
Dunkerque was champion of France at the time. I had the opportunity to work with Patrick Cazal at the moment who was a right back in his playing days. There I first realized that there are sometimes ups and downs. Shortly after I left for United Arab Emirates and you know what’s that like, far from Europe, from your family and friends. After that Lino Cervar invited me to come to Metalurg and I also had the opportunity to work with Veselin Vujovic in Metaloplastika and Xavi Sabate in Wisla. Here I also have to mention Nikola Maksimovic who used to coach me back in Ramat Hasharon. Looking back, obviously, I’ve been to a lot of clubs, but I feel like I managed to leave a trace wherever I was also using the opportunity to add a  new dimension to my game which is very important.
What was the transition from Wisla to Nexe like?
I joined Wisla back in 2020 after Xavi Sabate called me because I know the Spanish system. I had an excellent pre-season, but due to Covid-19 and Polish rules I had to spend 60 days isolating. During that period other guys on my position performed well later shrinking my playing time. However, I played on EHF European Cup Final Four tournament with Wisla and I will definitely remember that. When Nexe called though, I decided to come here after five minutes. An additional plus, apart from the fact I know coach Branko Tamse, is the fact city of Nasice is close to Apatin so obviously it was a win-win situation for me. I have a wife and a son now and being so close is obviously very important for me.
You’re off to a great start with Nexe. It seems like you’re specialized to decide matches – like the one in Skopje in the first SEHA – Gazprom League round.
I feel like I’m always delivering my best when it matters the most. I feel good, I’m in good shape at the moment, have lots of experience and hope the best years are still in front of me. Regarding the match against Vardar, it always feels great to celebrate in Skopje. We really have many great back players and can endanger anyone. I am obviously very glad Marin Jelinic decided to pass it to me and that I had an opportunity to score. People are saying Nexe are having one of the best seasons so far, especially in European competitions and I have to say we are really feeling good about ourselves and entering every match with the goal of winning.
What is it like for Vejin family to live between Nasice and Apatin?
Nasice is a great place for us, excellent for younger families. My wife Milica and our eight-month-old son Vukasin often go to Apatin once we have a few away matches in a row. I go with them whenever I get a chance of course.
What do you like to do once you manage to get some time for yourself only?
I like movies and books. I’m trying to work on myself as well, I speak three languages – English, Spanish and French. I like to play other sports like tennis and basketball also but when you are a professional athlete you have to take care of your body so I’m trying to avoid that.
Your town Apatin is famous for its brewery. Do you like beer?
I’m not much of a beer-guy honestly. I like to have a beer sometimes though, and of course I mostly drink Jelen beer which is traditionally from Apatin.