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.

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