Thursday, December 30, 2010

July 2007 - Ontario Cup Quarter Final - Ottawa St Anthony Italia vs Aurora Hearts

July 2007 - Ontario Cup Quarter Final
Ottawa St Anthony Italia vs Aurora Hearts
Admission: $3
Attendance: 50

Both clubs are amateur, and play in their respective Ontario senior amateur leagues. As this was a few years back. Ottawa St Anthony's was founded back in 1952, which makes it quite old in terms of Canadian soccer (football). As you can perhaps guess, they are a part of the local Italian social club. In 2006, they won the Canadian National Challenge Cup, as well as the Open Canada Cup. Aurora Hearts were established in 1981. They won the Ontario Cup in 2001, and finished 3rd in the Canadian National Challenge Cup. Aurora is a town of 47,000 located in the Greater Toronto Area.

I can't remember the score or anything about the game. It was played at Oz Optics Stadium, which was the home of the Ottawa Wizards, a semi pro club in the CPSL, from 2001-2003. The stadium is quite basic, with metal bleachers, but I always loved watching games here because you were so close to the pitch. Speaking about the pitch, I've rarely seen one in such beautiful condition, especially during the Ottawa Wizards days. It was like a carpet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Midlands Football Alliance 2006 - Biddulph Victoria vs Friar Lane & Epworth

Midlands Football Alliance 2006
Biddulph Victoria vs Friar Lane & Epworth

Unfortunately, I don't remember much about this game, as it was four years ago. As previously I wrote, I lived in Leicester for a few years, and I followed my local non-league club around Leicestershire, and then around the Midlands as Friar Lane & Epworth were promoted to the Midlands Football Alliance.

Biddulph Victoria plays in Biddulph which has a population of around 17,000. To get to Biddulph, I had to take a train from Leicester to Derby, change trains, and then a train to Stoke. From Stoke, I took a bus for about 30 minutes to Biddulph. I remember, it took me about 3 hours to get to Stoke and back on the day.

Biddulph Victoria were formed in 1969, Knypersley Victoria. Back in 1997/98 they made it all the way to 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup, which has to be considered the greatest success for the club. Unfortunately, over the past few years the club has struggled. A few weeks ago, the club tendered its resignation from the MFA, and as it stands now the club will fold at the end of the season. There is a chance that they could survive if they find a new ground to play at. We shall see what happens, and hopefully the club doesn't fold.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Midlands Football Alliance 2006 - Market Drayton Town vs Friar Lane & Epworth

Midlands Football Alliance 2006 (Step 9 in England)
Market Drayton Town vs Friar Lane & Epworth

Market Drayton is a town in Shropshire of around 10,500. I honestly have no memory as to how I got there, but I assume it was by bus, and it probably took a few hours at least. It was a a beautiful little place, although the weather on the day was awful. I honestly, can't recall much from this game, apart from the small crowd, and old stand.

Market Drayton Town were promoted in 2008/09 to the Northern Premier League First Division South.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Spring of 2006 - Midlands Football Alliance - Westfields 2 Friar Lane & Epworth 2

Spring of 2006
Midlands Football Alliance (step 9)
Westfields 2 Friar Lane & Epworth 2
Attendance: 80

It is the Czech winter break, so I will post some old games I have attended over the past few years. I lived in Leciester from 2005-2006, and as such I adopted a local non-league club. My method of selection was to pick the club closest to where I lived. Actually, Leicester City was the closest, but I wanted a non-league club, and it ended up being Friar Lane & Epworth. For those two years, I travelled around Leicestershire following them in their Championship season in the Leicestershire Senior League. The year after, they were promoted to the Midlands Football Alliance, which meant more time spent on the trains. Luckily, I had a students card which saved me quite a lot of money, as trains in England can be quite expensive.

On this particular day, I went to the city of Hereford, which is close to Wales. It took me 3.5 hours to get there with a change in Birmingham and Worcester. The club manager joked that I arrived their quicker than the team bus, as they arrived just before kickoff. I remember it was me and one other Friar Lane supporter at the game, which was typical for Friar Lane & Epworth away games in the Midland Football Alliance. I think on this day, it was close to 100 mile trip one way. Even though I can't go to Friar Lane & Epworth games anymore, as I live in a different country, I still check on them weekly. They were the first club I properly supported outside of Canada.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28th, 2010 - Hockey - Krajská liga jižní Moravy a Zlina - HC Grewis Plumlov 8 Dynamiters Blansko 0

November 28th, 2010
Krajská liga jižní Moravy a Zlína (4th division)
HC Grewis Plumlov 8 Dynamiters Blansko 0
Attendance: 50
Admission: 20kc

As sporting events are few and far between (I really don't want to go watch the local basketball or volleyball teams), I decided to head out on a late Sunday afternoon to the ice arena in Prostějov.

Plumlov is a small town of around 2,500 located 10km from Prostějov. They play in the 4th (and lowest) level of ice hockey in the Czech Republic. There are around 10 other 4th division leagues in the Czech Republic. Last year, the club actually folded half-way through the season, but this year they were brought back as kind of a "B" team to LHK Prostějov (3rd division club).

Blansko were in the 3rd division a few years back, but are now playing in the 4th division. Not many people were at this game. The admission is cheap, although I am not sure how many people came from Plumlov to watch. It seemed everyone at the game were casual supporters, as they didn't even cheer/clap when Plumlov scored. The game was completely one-sided, as the score would suggest.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter break

Another winter break is upon us, and now we have to wait about a month and a half before winter training games begin. In the meantime, I will be posting about various sports in the Prostějov area, such as floorball, and futsal. I will also be posting about games I attended in England four years back, and maybe a few games from Canada.

I also have a news site about football in Moravia which will be updated over the winter break.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Old 2nd pitch of 1. SK Prostějov

Despite the pictures, this stadium is still in use, I believe for youth training. However, to get there, you must walk through some rather tall shrubs/grass/hay. I was at the ground two and a half years ago to see 1 SK Prostějov U18's play Litovel U18's. I also saw a Haná Prostějov game at the ground around the same time. Sadly, this area needs major renovation, but the pitch was still in decent condition. Another sad mark on football in Prostějov.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1.SK Prostějov - What happened?

A few days ago, I decided to take a look at the old SK Prostějov stadium, which was built in 1931. I remember I watched a few U19 games there back in the Spring of 2008, and even then one could tell that the stadium had seen better days.

The football club in Prostějov is one of the oldest in the Czech Republic, as it was formed in 1904. They spent a few years in the first division before World War II, and even played in the 1940 Czech Final. In the 1930's, they played in the Mitropa Cup (kind of an early version of the UEFA Cup), against clubs such as Admira Wien, Ujpest FC, and Grasshoppers Zurich. Unfortunately, this time period has to be considered one of the most successful periods of the clubs history.

During the late 1990's and early 2000's, 1. SK played a few seasons in the 2nd division, purchasing the license from LeRK Brno. It was during this time period, that discussions were held to modernize the stadium, but this was met with little support from the city government. This was also coupled with a few relegations, and Prostějov soon found themselves playing in the 5th division in 2006/07. After the season was over, the club decided to pull the men's team. It wasn't until the 2010/11 season that they reformed the men's side in the 10th division.

Now the youth teams play in villages (Olšany u Prostějova and Mostkovice) surrounding the city. The men's team also currently plays in Mostkovice. I am not sure why the old SK Prostějov stadium couldn't been upgraded just a little and cleaned up so the men's team could play there? I guess it is a question of will and money?

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 6th, 2010 - Olomoucký Kraj - 1 B třída Skupina A - Haná Prostějov 0 SK Lipová 1

November 6th, 2010 - Olomoucký Kraj - 1 B Třída Skupina A (7th level)
Haná Prostějov 0 SK Lipová 1
Attendance: 110
Admission: 20kc

Not much to say about this game, other then a lost opportunity. Haná had numerous opportunities to grab at least a draw, and could not convert. Lipová is perhaps the best team I have seen this year in the league, but Haná has no one to blame but themselves. The level of play to get a result was there, it is just too bad they could not score one goal. Two points in the last four games have seen them drop to 2nd place, one point behind Konice "B". However, they have a chance to bounce back with the last game before the winter break away to Pivín on Sunday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

October 27th, 2010 - Ondráškova Cup (Czech Cup) 4th round, 1st leg - HFK Olomouc 4 Jablonec 2

October 27th, 2010
Ondráškova Cup - 4th round, 1st leg
HFK Olomouc 4 (3rd division) Jablonec 1
Admission: 30kc
Attendance: 424 (away support of 3)
Game rating: 9/10
Beer: Radegast 24kc for a pint
Distance travelled: 50km

The first time I was at Holice to watch HFK Olomouc was back in 2002 when they played a cup game against Opava. I honestly can't remember what division they were in back then, but I think the 2nd division. Anyway, at the time, the stadium was very basic, with just one stand behind the benches. Even that stand only went half way down the pitch. On the other side of the pitch there was three concrete steps, with one row of seating. A few years back, the club did a major upgrade to the stadium, and now it has seating on three of the four sides. It isn't quite good enough for the 1st division, but the stadium can be easily expanded. It was only a couple years ago that HFK Olomouc were close to promotion to the 1st division. They now sit in the 3rd division, and look to stay there, because Opava is currently running away with 1st place.

I don't think I have written about a game at this stadium, but I've been there so many times it is easy to forget. The last time I was there, I went to a winter training match in -10C temperatures. Never again.

Jablonec must consider themselves very lucky to come away with only a 4-2 loss. Their only two goals came from the penalty spot, and the last goal was scored on the last play of the game. It was a controversial call, and to be fair, Jablonec didn't deserve it. HFK Olomouc outplayed them all game, but they will be in for it the next leg in Jablonec on November 10th. I have read that the game will be free to the public. The attendance for this game was much better than I thought it would be because it was played on a weekday afternoon at 15:30. HFK Olomouc usually averages around 300-400 a game.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 23, 2010 - Olomoucký Kraj - 1 B Třída Skupina A - Haná Prostějov 2 Kostelec na Hané 3

October 23rd, 2010
Olomoucký Kraj - 1 B Třída Skupina A
Haná Prostějov 2 Kostelec na Hané 3
Admission - 20kc
Attendance - 150

I thought I would put up a few highlights from the game last weekend. Unfortunately, Haná lost which was their first of the season. The good news is that, the second place team also lost, which means Haná is still in first place by two points. This sets up a huge game against Konice "B" (the 2nd place team) on October 31st.

This was game was rather frustrating, as Haná was missing a few players, and they gave up two goals from stupid defensive mistakes. Oh well, it will be good to beat Kostelec on their home ground next Spring!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 17th, 2010 - Olomoucký Kraj - Olomouc - IV Třída Skupina B - Odrlice 5 Drahanovice 3

October 17th, 2010 - Olomoucký Kraj - Olomouc - IV Třída Skupina B (10th level)
Odrlice 5 Drahanovice 3
Attendance - 90kc
Admission - 10kc
Distance travelled - 65km

I finally got to a new ground this past weekend. I was taking a look at the local newspaper, and I came across this game. Odrlice is a village of 220 people, which makes it the smallest place I've watched a game. It was easy for me to get to, as I could take a direct local train from Prostějov which took me about 40 minutes. When I got off of the train, I was in the middle of a field, with the village being a five minute walk away. I knew I was in a farming area because of the tractors and smell. On my way to the village, I came across "New York" with an arrow spray painted on the road. Obviously, someones idea of a joke. The village itself was just one road and that is it. There was obviously a church, and a pub.

It was a very cold day for mid-October with the temperature sitting around 6C and a strong wind. The pitch is right behind the church. I walked up and saw huge trees, and a beautiful pitch for this level of football. The facilities were very basic, but what can you expect? You could buy beer, and sausages. The training facilities have obviously seen better days. Although, they serve their purpose.

I was really surprised with the level of play. The home team were sitting in place, with the visitors in the middle of the table. Both showed good skill (again for the level), and played attacking football. I would say the score is a little harsh on Drahanovice, as they certainly didn't play that bad. They scored a goal in the last minute to make the scoreline a little more respectable. After the match, I walked back to the train stop, sat on the bench, and tried to stay warm for 1-hour.