Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sigma Olomouc 2002

Sigma scores against Blšany

Sigma Olomouc vs Liberec

Sigma Olomouc vs Hradec Králové

Sigma vs Blšany

Sigma vs Hradec Králové

In July of 2002 I lived in Olomouc for 3 months, which was the length of my visa.  At the time, Canadian citizens needed to have a visa to visit the Czech Republic.  I had been trying to get back to the Czech Republic since I studied in Olomouc for 3 months in 2000. 

During my 2002 visit I lived in student dorms and visited as many football matches as possible.  The high point of my stay had to be the Sigma Olomouc UEFA Cup match in Sarajevo.  I think I also attended every Sigma home league match and a few away matches as well. 

August 13, 2017 - Olomoucký Kraj 1 B třída - Smržice 1 Haná Prostějov 3

August 13, 2017 
Olomoucký Kraj - 1 B třída - 7th tier

Smržice 1 Haná Prostějov 3
Attendance - 150 
Haná Prostějov were promoted from Okresní Přebor - 8th tier - last season, and this was their first away match of the season.  I had missed the home opener, but I was back in Prostějov for the Smržice match.  Haná Prostějov had spent 3 seasons in the Okresní Přebor, and I had had enough of the league.  1 B třída is only one level higher, but the skill level of the players is much better.

Smržice is an easy 4km walk from Prostějov, and they have a nice little set up with an impressive pitch for a club at this level.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Vasilevo, Macedonia (3rd tier)

Vasilevo is a farming village of a few thousand people located not far from Strumica.  The local football club currently plays in the 3rd tier.  I went to the village while visiting family in July.  Obvoiusly, the pitch was not in playing condition, but the water seemed to be running a little too much.  To be fair, it was around 37C when I went for a walk to find the pitch.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

SRH Biljanini Izvori - Ohrid, Macedonia

SRH Biljanini Izvori - Ohrid, Macedonia

I was recently in Macedonia for 5 weeks with my family and I had a few opporunities to catch a few games and visit a few stadiums.  One such occasion was in Ohrid in July.  It was built in 1978, and apparently has a capacity of around 2,500 for football.  Facilities (like most stadiums in Macedonia) were quite basic, but the pitch didn't look too bad.  There are also a few training pitches around the main stadium.

In all honesty, I am not sure who plays at the stadium at the moment.  Last year FK Ohrid (4th tier) and recently Mladost Carev Dvor.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Europa League Qualifier - July 6, 2017 - Pelister 0 Lech Poznan 3

Europa League 1st round Qualifier - 2nd leg
Pelister (Macedonia) 0 Lech Poznan (Poland) 3
Attendance - 350 (played in Strumica)

Pelister is a club based in Bitola which is about 190km from Strumica.  At this point their stadium in Bitola is not up to UEFA standards.  Uusually, most European Cup matches would be played in Skopje at the national stadium, but for the month of July, UEFA said that no matches must be played at the stadium because of the UEFA Super Cup (August 8th) in Skopje.

It was my luck that I was in Strumica for the month of July, and the stadium was the only other one in the country which met UEFA standards.  I should say that it probably barely met UEFA standards.  It was a mess!  Broken seats, dirt, cobwebs, bird poop etc.  All of this was expected by me, because I had been to the stadium numerous times over the past 8 years.  I just had hope that there would have been some renovation to the facility, but this was not the case.  With that being said, the pitch was in perfect condition.

Poznan won the first leg 3-0, so this match was basically a formality.  Despite this, one hundred (or so) Lech supporters made their way to Strumica.  I will assume that it must have been a huge shock for them.  The facilities and the heat, but I do not remember reading any complaints (unlike the Malmo supporters, but more on that later).  It was  37C at kick off and the Lech supporters had to sit in the uncovered part of the stadium.  They were quite for most of the match,  and I assumed that they all had heat stroke!  As for the match, the less said about it the better, it was awful to watch.