Friday, May 29, 2009

May 24/09 - Olomoucký Kraj - OFS Prostějov - IV třída Skupina B - Želeč 2 Doloplazy 3

May 24th, 2009
Olomoucký Kraj - OFS Prostějov - IV třída skupina B (10th tier)

Želeč 2 Doloplazy 3
Attendance: 100
Admission: Free
Game rating: 8/10
Beer: Gambrinus (20kc)

The game between Želeč (population 500) and Doloplazy (population 500) was a local derby, as both villages are only 5km from each other.  To get to Želeč on the weekend, it is easiest to take a train from Prostějov to Doloplazy and then walk the 5km to Želeč.  Not that anyone will be making this trip any time soon... I assume.  The ground was quite simple, with a few benches scattered around, and a little booth for beer.   

Doloplazy are usually a fixture at the bottom of the table year after year, but they put in an excellent performance and fully deserved the three points.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 23, 2009 - Gambrinus Liga - Banik Ostrava 1 Sigma Olomouc 1

May 23, 2009
Gambrinus Liga (1st tier)

Banik Ostrava 1 Sigma Olomouc 1
attendance: 2417 (away support 40)
admission: 100kc
game rating: 7/10

This was my second trip to Ostrava to see Sigma Olomuc play, as I went to the last game of the 2005/06 season.  The stadium is easy enough to reach from the main train station.  You just have to take one of the trolley buses, I think 101, and 104.  Basically just look for the stop Stadion Bazaly.  

I've been following Sigma Olomouc since 2000 when I spent a few months studying at the university in Olomouc.  One of my highlights in my supporting Olomouc would definitely have to be going to Sarajevo in August 2002 to watch Sigma play in a UEFA Cup tie against FK Sarajevo.   I haven't been able to attend as many Sigma games this year as I would like, so I decided to make the short trip to Ostrava.

Banik supporters have the reputation of being one of the most passionate in all of the Czech Republic.  So, when away supporters go to Ostrava, they are usually followed by police, and for this game was no exception.  As far as I could tell, there were absolutely no problems on the day between the groups of supporters.

Sigma supporters don't travel in great numbers, but they can always be found at every game across the country.   Banik supporters probably travel in the biggest numbers out of all the clubs in the Czech Republic.  Two weeks ago, the majority of them left Ostrava around 4am for a game in Ceske Budejovice, only to end up not watching the game.  It turned out Ceske Budejovice decided to charge Banik fans 190kc for a ticket, which was almost double the normal price.  Needless to say, most of the Banik fans stayed out of the ground as a way of protest.

Banik has had some problems, on and off the pitch, over the past few months.  The team is underperforming, and the fans are staying away, which explains the very small attendance against Sigma.  

As for the game, Sigma was unlucky not to come away with three points, as they reduced Banik Ostrava to counter-attack football for most of the game.  In the end, it was a late goal from a free kick which salvaged a point for Olomouc.

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 17th, 2009 - Olomoucký Kraj - 1.A Třída Skupina B - Lipová 0 Brodek u Přerova 4

May 17, 2009
Olomoucký Kraj - I. A Třída Skupina B
Lipová 0 Brodek u Přerova 4
Admission: 20kc
Attendance: 100
Beer: 20kc
Game rating: 7.5/10

Getting to Lipová on Sunday was slightly problematic.  I had to take two buses, which is not a big deal, but the buses were on the milk run.  At one point on my way to Protivanov, the bus turned down a road to go to a small village, and then turned back the way we came adding more time to the trip.  When I got off the bus in Protivanov, I asked two old women where the bus to Lipová was, and they said it was the bus I just got off.  Apparently, the same bus was going back to Prostějov by way of Lipová.  So, I had to get on a bus which was heading back in the direction of Prostějov.  After the game there were no buses, and I did not think this would be a problem as I had about 75 minutes to walk 7km.  Unfortunately, it took me a little longer than planned, and I nearly missed the last bus back to Prostějov from Protivanov.  I had to run down the road as I saw the bus driving by me.  Luckily the driver saw me....

For a number of years Lipová played in the MSFL, which is the Czech 3rd division.  This was quite an accomplishment for a village of only 700 people.  It was only a few years ago theat they finished near top of the MSFL, and were pushing for a promotion spot.  Unfortunately, last year they were relegated.  From what I understand Sigma Olomouc funded the club, at least in part, and last year they pulled the funding.  Lipová had to reorganize and they dropped down to the 6th tier of football.  Now, they are struggling with only one win all year, and look all but certain to be playing against Haná Prostějov next year in the 7th tier.

There seemed to be some frustration amongst the fans at the game last weekend.  This could be in part that at this time last year they were watching 3rd division football.   From watching the game, I could not really understand why Lipová were struggling so much this season.  They played good football, but it semed Brodek u Přerova scored on almost every opportunity they had.  All in all, I would definitely say that the ground in Lipová is a beautiful place to watch a football game.  It is perched up on a hill over looking a valley and the village.  By the looks of it, I will be making a return trip to Lipová next year to watch Haná Prostějov play.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 11th - Olomoucký Kraj - Okres Jeseníky - II Třída - Zlate Horý B 7 Kobyla 0

May 11th, 2009 
Olomoucký Kraj - Okres Jeseníky - II Třída (8th level/division)

Zlate Horý B 7 Kobyla 0
Admission: Free
Attendance: 70
Game rating: 6/10
Beer: Pint of Gambrinus for 20kc

Zlate Horý is a beautiful little town surrounded by the Jeseníky mountains, and about 1km from Poland.  The area is great for hiking, seeing castles, and other outdoor activities.

I must admit that curiousity got the best of me on this day.  Zlate Horý is almost a 4-hour trip each way by train from Prostějov.  However, I wanted to see Kobyla play.  II Třída, Okres Jeseníky is the lowest level of football in the Jeseníky area.  It is the 8th level, while in the Olomoucký Kraj football goes down to the 10th level.  Essentially this means that there is no relegation from the 8th level in Jeseníky.  

This is where it gets interesting, well... perhaps not.  Kobyla has played around 120 games over the past four and a half seasons.  They have only won 18 of those while scoring about 120 goals, but giving up an astounding 620.  I wonder if there is another team in the Czech Republic who has struggled as much as Kobyla over the past few years? 

To be fair, Kobyla is a very small village, and the player pool is probably quite small.  On this day they were outplayed, but despite the scoreline they held their own.  With a little more luck, they could have scored a goal or two.  

A few players on the Kobyla backline were getting on their keeper after a few soft goals, but the marking was awful.  The players on Kobyla were just lacking some fundamentals, but the have to be respected.  No matter how bad it gets, they turn up every game, with the hopes of winning.  This is football, playing because you love the game.  Sure, their heads got a little down after tow goals in the first two minutes, but the effort was there for the full 90 minutes.

The top team of Zlate Hory plays in the 5th division.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 10th - Olomoucký Kraj - 1. B Třída, skupina A - Nemčice nad Hanou 3 Hána Prostějov

May 10th, 2009
Olomoucký Kraj - 1. B Třída, Skupina A (7th level)

Nemčice nad Hanou 3 Hána Prostějov 6 (1-3)
Admission: 15kc
Attendance: 50
Game rating: 7/10

Nemčice nad Hanou is a typical Moravian village with a few thousand people with a centre, church, and some shops.  It is located 20km south of Prostějov, so it was an easy journey by train for me with only one change in Nezamyslice.  I suppose this game could be considered a derby.

The hosts have been struggling all season and have only managed a few wins.  After the first few minutes of the game, it was clear why they have been one the losing end so many times.   Prostějov scored two goals in the first 10 minutes, and the game was effectively over.  It was a little unfortunate for the hosts, as both goals were stoppable.  At the half it was 3-1 and the manager of Nemčice decided to switch the keepers.  Unfortunately for them, the second half went much the way of the first half, with Prostějov deserving the victory.  The one plus side for Nemčice was that they scored three goals in one game, which is good for them as they have been averaging less than one a game this season.  

Prostějov will not catch the leaders for a promotion spot, but Nemčice nad Hanou is looking at relegation if they do not turn around their form soon.

Monday, May 4, 2009

May 3/09 - Moravskoslezský kraj - Okresní Bruntál - III Třída - Vrbno pod Pradědem B 1 Horní Město 8

May 3rd, 2009
Moravskoslezský kraj - Okresní Bruntal - III. Třída (9th level)

Vrbno pod Pradědem B 1 Horní Město 8
attendance: 120 (away support of 10)
admisson: 10 kc
game rating: 7/10
beer: pint of Holba 11, 12 degrees for 20kc

A last minute Sunday trip to the Jeseníky mountains.  From Prostějov to Vrbno pod Pradědem it took about 3 hours each way by train, so it ended up being a rather long day.  Vrbno pod Pradědem is a small town of 6,000 nestled in between rolling green hills.  The town had the usual old buildings, churches etc.  A sign outside the cemetery said that when it was built in the 19th century, it was widely considered to have the best setting in all of the Hapsburg Empire.  

The pitch was easy enough to find, as it is on the main road, and about a 5 minute walk from the train station.  I was quite surprised to see a large stand, which could probably hold 1000 people.  Normally at this level you are lucky to get a few benches.  I suspect the club must have played at a higher level sometime in the past.  

Vrbno's top team plays in the 7th level, and they are pushing for promotion.  However, the B team are looking at possible relegation to the 10th level, and this certainly seems a possiblity after the game yesterday.

With regards to the game.  Horní Město scored three goals in the first five minutes!  As such, the game was already over.  With the competitve edge already gone, the home fans seemed to enjoy laughing at their own keeper who struggled throughout.   In all fairness, it was one of those games where it could have very easily been 10-5 (or something like that).   

April 27/09 - Olomoucký Kraj - 1. B Třída - Tatran Všechovice 3 Haná Prostějov 1

April 27, 2009
Olomoucý Kraj 1. B Třída 

Tatran Všechovice 3 Haná Prostějov 1 (7th level)
att: 100
game rating: 6/10
admission: 20kc

This was always going to be a tough game for Haná.  Všechovice have dominated much of the games they have played this season, losing only one game.  

Všechovice is another small village of around 700 people located some 80km east of Prostějov.  There was not much to see in the village, but it seemed nice enough.  Bohuslav Fuchs, who is considered to be one of the fathers of Czech modern architecture was born in the village.  There is also a run down chateau which is in need of some renovation.

Getting to Všechovice was a little problematic because it was a Sunday, and there were few buses running to the village.  So, in the end it took almost 3 hours to get there, and on the way back I had to walk 5km to the nearest train station.  All in the name of Haná... 

The ground was quite simple, with a few picnic tables behind one goal, a pub, and a stand for around 100 people.  As expected, the hosts dominated much of the game, and it really was one way traffic.  All of their goals came in the first half, which led them to sit back a little in the second half.  Prostějov scored their only goal late in the game, which I just missed as I did not want to miss my train back home.