Ice hockey at age of 56


Macedonian hockey legend Gjorgji Grcev still active in Czech team Bassa

He devoted almost his entire life to hockey, his great love. Although he is 56 years old, Giorgi Grcev, one of the best hockey players in Macedonia, is still active, not only with veterans, but also playing for the Bassa team from the Czech city of Šumperk, near Ostrava, competing in the Third League of the Czech Republic. Until last year he played for the Greek team Thessaloniki, who competed in the Bulgarian First League and even became champions of this country.

Gjorgji Grcev came to Skopje in 1972 with his brothers Vasko and Blazo to assist hockey in Skopje as he made his first steps after the 1969 IIHF World Cup in Skopje on a newly built rink at the Kale Sports Center.

-When they called me to come to Skopje, I didn’t think much. My family comes from Aegean Macedonia, although I lived in Czechoslovakia at that time, Macedonia was a drag on me, it was a big challenge for me, something unknown but still close. We stayed in Skopje with my brother Vasko, Blazo returned. We played for Vardar competing in the First League of the former Yugoslavia, and later for Skopje Makoteks, until the hockey in Macedonia ended, unfortunately because there was no understanding to develop this attractive sport anymore. I am delighted with the initiative of the Hockey Federation of Macedonia to create our own Macedonian team, to play in the World Cup qualifiers for the Sochi Olympics. Nothing is impossible, there is a will and a desire for it, an understanding. I believe it will help, not just the Youth and Sports Agency, but the Government as well. I go to the Kale rink for training three times a week, there are many youth who are interested in hockey, and there are veterans. However, hockey is a costly sport, especially equipment, and without complete equipment, we will not be able to achieve anything. That’s why I appeal to anyone who can help us raise some money for this sport, which I believe can boom given the great interest of young people. A roller hockey team will also be formed, which is much easier since you do not need so much money for equipment and rinks. Some Czech friends of Macedonian descent have already called me and want to play and help. That’s good, Gjorgi Grcev told us in the conversation.

Ten days ago, just like every year, he participated in the big international veterans’ tournament in Subotica, which featured five teams from Serbia and Slovenia, one each from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I played for the Katraps team from Subotica who played with two teams, Spartak and this team of mine, which when they read the letters from the back it turns out that he too is Spartak. For him I have been playing this traditional veterans tournament for several years. This year’s tournament featured hockey players from 30 years and up. The next tournament in the same squad is on February 18 in Novi Sad and on April 5 in Slovenia. They will play some more hockey veterans from Macedonia.

The President of the Hockey Federation of Macedonia Nikola Tasev and the newly established professional staff expect great help from Gjorgi Grcev, the Macedonian hockey legend, who with his rich experience can really help in organizing and creating Macedonia’s first ice hockey team.

Published February 3, 2011