Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30, 2011 - Hockey exhibition - HC Přerov Boys U18 1 Canada Girls U18 5

December 30th, 2011
International ice hockey exhibition
HC Přerov Boys U18 1 Canada U18 Girls 5
Attendance: 400
Admission: Free

This match was played as a warm-up for the Canadian U18 Girls side, who are set to play in the 2012 U18 Girl's World Championships, which began on December 31st in Přerov and Zlín.

I had never been to the arena in Přerov, so I was looking forward to my visit last week. It is a shame I hadn't been able to get to Přerov a few years earlier to see the old arena before it was renovated. Based on the pictures I looked at, it was oozing with character. A classic, old, Czech arena. However, it is safe to assume that it needed renovation, and it didn't come to much surprise to see that the city redeveloped the arena a few years back. Now, it is a fantastic looking 3,500 seat arena.

Since I couldn't make it to any of the games, I decided to take in the exhibition game between the Canadian U18 girls side and Přerov U18 boys. I wasn't sure what to expect, as girls hockey isn't too popular in this country, especially compared to Canada. I was surprised when about 400 people showed up on a Thursday afternoon. However, I wasn't surprised to see Canada run away with the win. They were better technically, much more fit, and could have won by more, based on the last two periods of play.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 11, 2011 - Olomoucký Kraj Futsal - Relax Prostějov 7 AC Gamaspol Jeseník "B" 2

December 11th, 2011
Olomoucký Kraj - Futsal (4th tier)
Relax Prostějov 7 AC Gamaspol Jeseník "B" 2
Attendance - 30
Admission - Free

December is usually a football free month (the 1st division had one round in the month this year), so I must look elsewhere for my football fix. A few weeks back I made the short 5-minute train trip to the near-by village of Kostelec na Hané to watch an Olomoucký Kraj futsal match. The league falls into the 4th tier of futsal in the country.

Relax Prostějov last year played all the their games in Šumperk, which is where the weekly tournaments were played. This year, they are being spread around a little more, with tournaments taking place in Šumperk, Kostelec na Hané, and Mikulovice. I certainly appreciate it, as it gives me a chance to see the highest level of futsal in the city.

Admission to all the games on the day was free. Despite this, a crowd of mostly friends and family showed up, with a smattering of local village kids. It is too bad, as the level of futsal was certainly entertaining, with Jeseník being a younger squad, while Prostějov were the much more experienced side. This showed, as the hosts ran away with an easy victory. So far this year they have played 6 matches, and have won them all. Last year, they finished first in the competition, and I was hoping they would get promoted to the Divize (3rd tier), but sadly this didn't happen.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

November 19th, 2011 - Jižní Moravy a Zlín - Hockey - Plumlov 4 Uherský Brod 3

November 19th, 2011 - Jižní Moravy a Zlín (4th tier)
Plumlov 4 Uherský Brod 3
Admission: 20kc
Attendance: 20

As football in the lower divisions is on a winter break, I must look to a few other sports over the next few months. Since I am Canadian, hockey seems like a logical choice.

On the night when Jestřabi Prostějov (3rd place in the 3rd tier of hockey), played a crucial derby game away to Přerov, I decided to see what kind of a turn out Plumlov would get. Jestřabi Prostějov typically gets around 1,200-2,000 fans a game. Plumlov on the other hand gets 20-50. They have to play their games in Prostějov, as the town of Plumlov (population 2,000), doesn't have any proper facilities for hockey.

I heard that around 400-500 Prostějov supporters went to Přerov, and that the atmosphere was fantastic as usual. Things couldn't have been any more different at the Plumlov game. I walked into the arena a few minutes before the puck dropped. The lights were dim, and I counted one person on the far side stands, and one other in the stands closest to the main doors. As the puck dropped, a few people slowly stepped out of the arena pub, more out of nothing better to do, I suspect. The game itself was quite good, as are most at this level. Usually they are quite high scoring, as the players tend to make quite a few mistakes.

The game had zero atmosphere. Most people couldn't be bothered to clap if there was a goal. Two or three people from Uherský Brod made the trip, which helped push the crowd to 20 people. I wonder, does Plumlov have any supporters? The town isn't too far away, so how come they don't come and support a club which has had a long history?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winter break

So, the winter break is upon us, except for a two more rounds of the Gambrinus Liga. Over the break, I plan on posting a few football matches which I haven't gotten around to doing yet. I'll also post the odd futsal, hockey and handball match. Keep an eye out for football guides to Prostejov, and Olomouc. I plan on writing about how to get to the various pitches, pubs to visit, and where to stay.

I'll be back to live football sometime in mid-January for winter training matches.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 6, 2011 - Okres Prostějov - III třída - Bedihošt 1 Smržice 5

November 6, 2011
Okres Prostějov - III třída (9th tier)
Bedihošt 1 Smržice 5
Attendance: 40
Admission: 15kc

I finally got to another ground a few weeks back, and this time I only had to make the short 4km trip. I have been meaning to get to Bedihošt for some time now, but for one reason or another, I had not managed to get there.

There are a few buses on the weekend from Prostějov, but it is generally easier to take the train, as they are more frequent. It is also possible to walk, as there is a paved path from Prostějov. Of course, a car is useful.

To get to the ground from the train station, it is about a 10 minute walk. The pitch was in decent shape, but other than that, the facilities are quite basic. A few years ago, they had an old cement wall going down one side of the pitch, but it seems that has been replaced by a metal wall now. There is almost no room for renovations, as there are only 3-5 meters on both sides between the pitch and the walls.

Much like all Czech village grounds, it is possible to get various shots of alcohol, beer, and sausages. Despite the 10am kickoff on a Sunday morning, many people were enjoying their first, or second beers of the morning.

The visitors on the day were deserving of the victory, but the final score line was a little harsh on the hosts. Even though the level of play was the 9th tier, I thought it was quite a strong and attacking game to watch. I'd much rather pay 15kc than 80kc, or whatever it is now, to go and watch Sigma Olomouc play.

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 23rd, 2011 - Olomoucký Kraj - Okres Olomouc - IV třída, skupina B` - Pnovice 3 Hnojice 1

October 23rd, 2011
Olomoucký Kraj - Okres Olomouc - IV třída, skupina B (10th tier)
Pnovice 3 Hnojice 1
Attendance: 75
Admission: Free (?)

Finally, I got to a new ground last weekend. Like the previous years, this village was a little difficult to reach by public transportation on the weekend. First, I took a train from Prostějov to Olomouc. From there, I caught a train to Střen, which only took about 15 minutes. After getting off at the edge of the village, I walked down a country road for about 3-km towards Pnovice.

Pnovice, is a small village of around 800 people, located about 15km to the NW of Olomouc. In previous years, it was probably quite a sleepy place, but recently newer homes have been built, due to its proximity to Olomouc.

Once arriving, I decided to take a short walk around, but there wasn't much to see. A church, a small creek, and a sawn. However, I did see one or two people walking around, but that is it. The only people who were really outside on this Sunday afternoon were at the football match.

Walking down the lane towards to pitch, I could hear a Beatles song being played over the loud speaker. Walking through the gate, I saw a decent amount of people for a 10th tier match. A few benches were located on both sides, with a rather run-down clubhouse. Behind one of the goals to the right was an equally run-down pub. However, it served its purpose... beer.

The match was a local derby, as Hnojice is located about 5km from Pnovice. They brought a few supporters with them, but they had little to cheer for. The hosts controlled much of the match, and were unlucky not to score more goals.

A full set of photos from the match can be found here

Friday, October 14, 2011

October 9th, 2011 - Prostějov IV třída, skupina A - Plumlov B 2 Ptení 2

October 9th, 2011
Okres Prostějov - IV třída, skupina A (10th level)
Plumlov "B" 2 Ptení 2
Attendance: 30
Admission: Free

Last Sunday, I made the short bus trip (about 20 minutes) to the village of Krumsín. Like most villages in the Czech Republic, which aren't serviced by trains, buses are few and far between. However, as a result of the earlier kick-offs as the autumn drags on, I was able to get to Krumsín for a match.

The village has a population of 600, and is probably best known in the area for hosting the 5-a side Haná Cup every summer attracting teams from across the country, and the occasional international side.

Since the village is quite small, it is almost impossible not to find the ground. It is located about 200 meters from the village centre, which features a pub, church and a school.

As of three seasons ago, the village doesn't have a club to call its own. The 2009/10 season saw the end of Sokol Krumsín, when they lost their last match 8-1 at home against Otaslavice B in the Okres Prostějov IV třída, skupina B (1oth level). They finished the 14 match season in mid-table. Over the previous few years, the club finished near the top of the table, but for whatever reason, they decided to leave league football. I can only speculate, but it was probably a result of lack of money, and lack of players. Seven years ago, the club was playing 8th division football.

At the same time this was happening, Plumlov reformed their reserves side, and moved it to Krumsín. Plumlov is about 5km from the village, so it makes geographical sense. However, based on the attendance of the game last weekend, it seems most villagers can't be bothered. A majority of people there were from Ptení, and some from Plumlov. I can't really blame the locals, as how much connection could they have to a reserve side from a different village?

Despite all this, Krumsín has a nice little set-up, with a decent pitch and a good quality outdoor pub. The match itself wasn't too bad for the level of football. Both sides played attacking football, and enjoyed many quality chances on goal. It was a good afternoon spend, beer, free football, and a decent local match. How can you go wrong?

All the pictures can be found on the Kde je Stadion Facebook page -

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 3rd, 2011 - Prostějov III třída - SK Prostějov 4 Kladky 0

October 3rd, 2011
Prostějov - III třída (9th division)
SK Prostějov 4 Kladky 0
Admission: 10kc
Attendance: 60

Unfortunately, my camera broke on the day of the game, so I wasn't able to take any pictures of video. However, I can write a little bit about the game. A few times a year, I will head to Mostkovice to watch SK Prostějov, even though I am a supporter of Haná Prostějov. SK usually plays good football, and the bar at Mostkovice has Černá Hora on tap, which is a big draw for me.

Overall, I was disappointed with the game on Sunday. SK didn't seem to play up to their potential, and most of the game was quite sloppy. Neither team could get much going, but SK obviously did enough to get the three points. Perhaps it had something to do with the pitch? It was simply in awful condition. There were many places with brown, dry grass, but it must be said it hasn't rained here in a few weeks. I can't imagine it was nice to play on such a hard surface.

FK Prostějov (4th division) were playing on the other side of town, with a crowd of 520, compared to only around 60 for SK Prostějov. Too bad, but I guess most people want to see a higher level of play, rather than supporting a club (SK) with a longer history. Full credit to those who show up every week to watch SK play.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28th, 2011 - Okres Prostejov - U15 boys - Haná Prostějov vs Smržice

September 28th, 2011
Okres Prostějov - U15 boys
Haná Prostějov vs Smržice
Attendance: 25

As today is a national holiday, and I couldn't get out of the city for a game, I had to settle for a youth football match early in the morning. Well, not so early, only 10am.

The game was played at the old SK Prostějov training ground, which has been cleaned up a little since my last visit. The grass around the pitch has been cut, and portable changing rooms have been added. Last year the pitch beside it was in awful condition. Weeds, and long grass were growing all over it. How it has been levelled, grass cut, metal railings put up, and soil put down. All in preparation for a new pitch, which I assume will be ready sometime next year.

I only stayed for the first half, but what I saw was an okay level of standard for youth football. the home side had more of the chances, but oddly enough were down 3-0 at the half because of some poor defensive errors.

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 18th, 2011 - Olomoucký Kraj - 1 A třída, skupina B - Náměst na Hané 2 Hlubočky 1

September 18th, 2011
Olomoucký Kraj - 1 A třída, Skupina B (6th division)
Náměšt na Hané 2 Hlubočky 1
Attendance: 180 (away support 40)
Admission: 20kc

Náměšt na Hané is a town of around 2,000 people located about 15km from Olomouc and Prostějov. It is best known across the Czech Republic, not for its football, but for its musical festival called Zahrada. Thousands of people converge on the town every July to hear a wide range of music from folk, world music, celtic, jazz, bluegrass to rock. Ask people in the music scene in this country if they have heard of this festival, and the answer would probably be yes. Ask a football fan from Prague (for example) if they know anything about the club, and the answer would probably be no.

Back in the 1990's, the football club spent two seasons in the 5th division. For the last 8 or 9 years, they have played in the 6th level of football, usually finishing in the top half of the table. This past summer, the club played in the early round of the Czech Cup, going out 2-0 at home to 4th division club Šumperk. A rather credible result against a club who have been pushing hard for promotion to the 3rd division over the past few years.

Without a car, the only way to get to the town on the weekends is by the slow regional train, either from Prostějov (direct), or from Olomouc, with one change in Senice na Hané. If arriving by train, the walk is about 15 minutes to the stadium up a hill and past the chateau.

I'd say the stadium has a classic Czech Republic lower level feel to it. A rusted metal fence, surrounds a small gravel track, which goes around the entirety of the pitch. The stands look old, but perhaps refurbished 10 or so years ago. There are two main stands, which look to hold about 75-100 people each. In between is an old pub, which I must say felt like I was walking into the tropics when I entered. The heat was unbearable, but well worth it for the beer. On the other side of the pitch are the changing rooms. Above it, an old style wooden structure which serves as the score keepers clock. An old man had a perfect view of the playing pitch.

Hlubočky were heavy favourites going into this match, as it was a classic first place versus last place. However, things didn't go their way. The hosts frustrated them all day long, and managed to capitalize on two of the chances they had to send their visitors home unhappy. The visitors brought about 40 supporters with them, which is quite unusual for this level of football. They had Hlubočky scarves, some drums and shirts. A nice change from the usual atmosphere at these games.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

When Prostějov hosted Europe - 1999 European U16 Championships

The state of football in Prostějov right now is in the midst of chaos. I suppose that is the best way to explain it. A 4th division club which calls itself FK Prostějov formed the week their division was scheduled to start this year. SK Prostějov which is the parent club of FK Prostějov, but they play in the 9th division. I see them as the real club if the city and not this FK Prostějov. SK has a long history, and should always remain the in the minds of football supporters in the city. Then there is Haná Prostějov, the club which I support. They formed in 1931, and currently play in the 7th division, which is the highest level the club has ever playd in their history.

All this, without really a proper stadium for football. Yes, there is the Sport Centrum, but it isn't the best for senior teams. Just down the road, the old SK Prostějov home sits, awaiting its fate. Weeds are growing in the old tribunes, cement is cracking, the wooden seats are falling apart. It is tough to see such an old historical stadium which is largely being

ignored. I'm sure the city would love to demolish it and build a supermarket or a parking lot. Right now it is being used for youth training, but even that is a stretch. How did this all happen? What happened to football in this city?

A little over 10 years ago, Prostějov hosted three games in the 1999 U16 European Championships. Other cities to host matches were, Blansko, Vranovice, Třebíč, Jihlava, Drnovice, Staré Město, Slušovice, Zlín, Kunovice, Moravská Třebová, Uničov, Olomouc, Šardice, Lanžhot, Kyjov, and Ratíškovice. An astounding 16 cities, and towns hosted matches. However, we will focus on the matches played in Prostějov,

As I mentioned earlier, the city hosted three games. The first was April 26, 1999 when Croatia played Poland to a 1-1 draw. About a week later, a quarter final was played here between Spain and Israel. The Spanish side ran away with a 6-1 victory. Six days later, Prostějov hosted the 3rd place match between the Czech Republic and Germany, a game which saw the Germans win 2-1.
(thanks to BBPV for sending in the picture)

Mikel Artera, who currently plays for Arsenal, played for Spain during the championships. Another big name that played in Prostějov was Darijo Srna of Croatia who has 83 caps and 19 goals to his name. Or Albert Crusat, from Spain, who currently plays for Wigan.

When will Prostějov ever get a chance to host possible future football stars again? With the current state of things in this city, I can't see it happening any time soon. Yes, there is a pitch that could see a Czech youth side play, but is that really realistic?

It is sad to think just how quickly things have changed. Only 10 years ago, a young Srna and Artera were stepping on the pitch of SK Prostějov. Now what do we have? FK Prostějov buying their way into the 4th division? What a laugh that is.

Let us not forget to support the real football clubs in this city, Haná Prostějov and SK Prostějov. It is only then, that football can take its place where it belongs in the city. At the top!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 10th, 2011 - III třída - Prostějov - Haná Prostějov B 2 SK Prostějov 0

September 10th, 2011
III třída (9th division)
Haná Prostějov B 2 SK Prostějov 0
Attendance: 250
Admission: 20kc

The long awaited (or not) derby between Haná Prostějov B and SK Prostějov was played last weekend. Apparently, this was the first derby in Prostějov between clubs in the city in over 40 years. SK Prostějov are clearly the more notable name in the city, as they have been around for much longer, and for a few years they played in the 2nd division. As I have stated a number of times, they recently reformed in the 10th division, which led to the derby match last weekend. Haná has traditionally been the 3rd, or 4th club in the city, depending on how many clubs existed at a given time. Their first team is lucky to get 150 people a game, while their "B" team can generally expect 20-50 people.

Needless to say, SK Prostějov were heavy favourites going into this match. Since they reformed last year, they hadn't lost a league match (25 played), and the average age for Haná B was 33! I must give credit to Haná B, as they didn't really call up any first team players to pad the roster, they played with what they normally play with week in and week out.

I was hoping this match would have been played on the grass pitch, but for some reason it wasn't. It was played on the artificial pitch, which is of poor quality, and the size doesn't fit the regulations. To make matters worse, there were no real facilities for spectators. People had to stand at the back of the main stand (which faces the grass pitch). There wasn't enough room for everyone, so people had to stand two or three deep. Other people sat on the grass behind a huge metal fence. About 30 SK Prostějov ultras showed up to support their club. They had the usual banners etc. There were no real incidents, except for play being stopped for about 10 minutes in the first half. This was as a result of a 'controversial' call by the assistant referee which caused a slight up-roar amongst the ultras. After Haná B scored two quick goals in the second half, they were quiet for the rest of the match. No one really expected the hosts to win, but I have to wonder if SK Prostějov took them a little too lightly, and perhaps did not go into the match with the right frame of mind.

It should be pointed out that the oldest player on the pitch (48 years old), scored the first goal for Haná, on a beautiful side foot volley from just outside the 18-yard box.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 4th, 2011 - Olomoucký Kraj - Okresní Přebor Prostějov - II Třída - Dobromilice 2 Olšany 2

September 4th, 2011
Olomoucký Kraj - Okresní Přebor Prostějov II Třída
Dobromilice 2 Olšany 2
Attendance: 90

Dobromilice is a village of around 830 located 20km south of Prostějov. One historical site of the village is a bridge which dates back to the 16th century, but after that there isn't much.

I made an attempt to watch a game here a few years ago, but when I arrived at the pitch I found out that the game was called off. Luckily, this time around I didn't have such bad luck. The village is impossible to reach by public transportation (bus) on the weekends, so my options were limited. I took a 15-minute train ride to Doloplazy, and then walked 2-km to get to Dobromilice. The fastest way to get there was past some dirty, smelly ponds, and down a path through the forest. Without a car getting to a game on the weekends can sometimes be problematic, and you have to be prepared for anything.

When I got to the pitch, I saw a decent crowd filling up most of the wooden benches. The pitch is kind of dug into the side of a hill, so all around it, you watch the game from an elevated stand point. The quality of the grass wasn't so good, as there were many brown spots, and the pitch wasn't exactly level. However, at this level, it never detracts from a game, but perhaps makes it better.

There were two metal 'shacks' which served as a beer/kofola stand and for chips. The beer was 25kc, and didn't taste good at all. This didn't stop the locals from buying it though. The atmosphere at the game was exactly what you would want at a village match. Poor quality play, locals, and a unique setting for a pitch. All in all, a good day out.