Saturday, December 29, 2012

International football in Olomouc

Olomouc has hosted the Czechoslovakian or Czech Republic national team on 8 different occasions. The first came in 1991 in a friendly against Poland, while the most recent was last month when the Czech Republic hosted Slovakia.  The national side has a record of 7 wins and 1 loss in Olomouc.  The only loss came in September 2010 in a 1-0 defeat against Lithuania (2012 ECQ).  It is possible I missed a game in going over the football database, so keep that in mind.

With two more qualifiers to be played in Olomouc in 2013, and one of the nicest stadiums outside of Prague, expect to see more national team games to be played in Northern Moravia.

March 27, 1991 - Friendly
Czechoslovakia 4 Poland 0
Attendance - 8,278

Oct 16, 1991 - 1992 ECQ
Czechoslovakia 2 Albania 1
Attendance -  2,365

March 25, 1998 - Friendly
Czech Republic 2 Ireland 1
Attendance - 9,405

August 23, 2002 - Friendly
Czech Republic 4 Slovakia 1
Attendance - 11,986

June 11, 2003 - Friendly
Czech Republic 5 Moldova 0
Attendance - 12.097

September 7, 2005 - WCQ 2006
Czech Republic 4 Armenia 1
Attendance - 12,015

September 7, 2010 - 2012 ECQ
Czech Republic 0 Lithuania 1
Attendance - 12,038

November 14, 2012 - Friendly
Czech Republic 3 Slovakia 0
Attendance - 11,464

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Opava in the 1996 Inter-Toto Cup

In the wonderful 3rd tier tournament that was the Inter-Toto Cup, a club could finish mid-table in their league and still have a chance to play in Europe.  That is, only if they wanted to get a rather early start to the season, and venture off into some of the lesser known areas of European club football.

Opava was one such club.  After the 1995/96 1st division season, Opava finished in 6th place out of 16, with Liberec two points behind them.  This was one of the most successful seasons for Opava in the 1st division, which gave them the chance to experience European football for the first time.  The key player during the season was Jiří Bartl who scored 11 goals.  However, his best run of club form came at Vítkovice where he played from 1986-1991.  Perhaps the most famous player with Opava at the time, was Alois Grussmann who appeared in 6 games for Czechoslovakia and scored 1 goal from 1988-1991.  From 1991-1992, he played with Real Betis in Spain.

The 1996 season of the Inter-Toto Cup was a rather bloated one, even for Inter-Toto Cup standards. Sixty European sides stretching from Keflavik in Iceland to FC Kamaz in Tatarstan, Russia.
Five teams in a group with each team playing one another once.  So, every team in a group would get two home games and two away games.

Opava were drawn with FC Kamaz (Russia), Lodz (Poland), 1860 Munich (Germany) and Varna (Bulgaria).  The big draw for Opava was obviously 1860 from Germany.   Unfortunately, for the fans of Opava, the stadium in the city wasn't up to the high standard of the Inter-Toto Cup, so they had to play all their home games at NH Ostrava stadium.
In their first ever European match, Opava came up against FC Kamaz of Russia.  A crowd of 1523 turned up.  It was 0-0 at the half, but shortly after the break, Baběnkov scored for the visitors.  In the 65th minute, Martin Rozhon scored for the hosts setting up a dramatic last 25 minutes.  Unfortunately for Opava, Vladimir Klontsak, scored for Kamaz to give them a 2-1 victory.

Not getting the result they wanted at home, Opava now had to travel to Varna, Bulgaria hoping to get three points.  Varna was probably a destination most Czech people were familiar more for the beach rather than football.  An estimated 3000 people turned up in Varna, but it was Opava who came away with a surprise 1-0 victory.  Roman Hendrych scored the winner in the 84th minute.

With the three points in Bulgaria tucked away, it now came down to a crucial match against Bundesliga giants 1860 Munich.  At least, they were giants for their rather modest Silesian opposition.
Unfortunately, for the 2343 supporters at the game, the visitors proved too much and won 2-0 on goals by famous Bulgarian midfielder Daniel Borimirov and Polish international Piotr Nowak.  Some 1860 Munich supporters did make the trip to Ostrava, as a German flag appears in this rather small scanned copy of an old newspaper article.

Image from -
With the loss to 1860 Munich, the hopes of Opava advancing to the next round of the Inter-Toto Cup were virtually gone.  However, they still had one more match to play in Poland against Lodz.  2000 supporters still turned up for what was essentially meaningless match in a 3rd tier European competition.  Opava ran away as 3-0 winners with goals by Roman Janoušek, Jan Baránek and Aleš Rozsypal.

Opava had the unfortunate luck of winning both of their away games, while losing both games at home.  If they could have picked up one victory at home, they could have had a longer run in the competition.  Still, two wins, and two losses were not too bad for a club making their only appearance in Europe to this date, even though it was a 3rd tier competition.

June 29
Opava 1 FC Kamaz (RUS) 2
Attendance - 1523 (NH Ostrava - now known as Ostrava Jih)

July 6, 1996
Varna (BUL) 0 Opava 1
Attendance - 3000

July 13, 1996
Opava 0 1860 Munich 2
Attendance - 2343 (NH Ostrava)

July 20, 1996
Lodz (Poland) 0 Opava 3
Attendance - 2000

More detailed information on each fixture can be found here.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 8th - 2 liga - Prostějov 6 Opava 5

December 8th, 2012
2. liga - 3rd tier
Prostějov 6 Opava 5
Attendance - 831
Admission - 50kc

Opava brought their usual support of 0.  Attendance at Prostějov games have been slipping this year for some reason, despite the fact that they are in second place.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 2, 2012 - 1 třída Prostějov futsal - Anděl 3 Zavadilka A 5

December 2, 2012
1 třída futsal - Prostějov - 5th tier
Anděl 3 Zavadilka A 5
Attendace - 20

December is mostly a month without football in Moravia, so I usually head out to watch a few of the local teams play futsal.  Last Sunday, I made the rather short 20 minute trip to Nezamyslice to watch 5th tier futsal.  At this level, at least in the Prostějov area, the league is played on the weekends and in tournament format.  As I mentioned, on this particular day Nezamyslice were the hosts.

The hall in the village is only a few year old, and has seating for about 150 people.  It is quite nice and modern, but I do not think it is really suited for futsal.  The walls are too close to the playing surface, which means when the ball is kicked out of bounds it usually bounces down the other side of the court.

I could only watch one of the 40 minute games on Sunday, which luckily for me was quite a good game.  Just a few years ago, Anděl, made it all the way to the round of 16 of the Czech futsal cup.  On their way to the round of 16 they knocked off three higher seeds.  In the end, they played Pardubice from the professional 1st division, and ended up losing.

As for the match on Sunday, I was quite surprised at the level of intensity and play.  Futsal is a sport that should be watched live to really appreciate it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter break

Once again, the football winter break is here.  Football league games, at least at the level I watch, start up again in mid-March, but that doesn't mean my blog will go quiet.  I plan on going to a few hockey games outside of Prostějov.  Football winter training friendlies start up in mid-January, and I do plan on taking in a few of the games.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nov 24, 2012 - BK Prostějov 106 Jindřichův Hradec 92

November 24, 2012
NBL - 1st division
BK Prostějov 106 Jindřichův Hradec 92
Admission - 50kc
Attendance - 200 away support of around 8

Basketball... basketball.... I had no other option over the weekend, so I had to go to my first BK Prostějov game in over 5 years.  I was not able to get out of town, so I had to settle for what was available.  Let me put it this way...

1. Football
2. Prostějov hockey
3. Plumlov hockey
4. Futsal
5. Handball
6. Basketball
7. Volleyball

BK Prostějov currently has severe financial problems, and the rumours are that they could be heading to Brno over the next few months.  How quickly things can change?  Only a few years ago BK made the final 16 of a European competition, and were drawing crowds of 1500+.  For the game against Jindřichův Hradec, who were promoted from the 2nd division last year, only 200 people showed up.  That is the face of basketball in Prostějov at the moment, a sport with no immediate future.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov 11, 2012 - Okresní Přebor Prostějov - SK Prostějov 1 Přemyslovice 2

November 11th, 2012
Okresní Přebor Prostějov - 8th tier
SK Prostějov  1 Přemyslovice 2
Attendance - 25

More than likely the last football game of the year for me.  The hosts lost to Přemyslovice in a rather surprising result.  SK are still in first, but the loss will make things much more interesting heading into the Spring half of the season.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 4th, 2012 - IV třída - Doloplazy 1 Protivanov B 3

Waiting for the bus to the train station

The train station in Prostějov.  

After a 15 minute train ride, arriving in Doloplazy a village of 500 people

The centre of the village

Cooking some sausages at the ground

A very uneven playing surface

Dirt path leading to the pitch

What remains of the railings

A look at the pitch

The main and only stand, 10 minutes before kickoff

Attendance of 11

The visitors bench

The away team gives up a goal

November 4th, 2012
Doloplazy 1 Protivanov B 3 - 10th tier
Attendance - 11

Life at the bottom of the Czech football pyramid can be quite basic and simple.   Every year I make at least one trip to Doloplazy to watch football at this level.  It is easy for me to reach from Prostějov and the connections are good.  On this day, not even the local population was bothered to come out to watch some football.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Oct 28, 2012 - Haná Prostějov B 1 SK Prostějov B 6

Oct 28, 2012
Okresní Přebor Prostějov - 8th tier
Haná Prostějov B 1 SK Prostějov B 6
Attendance - 80

Both sides played last year in the 9th tier.  Apparently, it was the first time since the early 1940's that a Haná side played a team from SK, A or B team.  After both won promotion last season, they were meeting in the highest regional league.  Most people who follow football in this city knew that this game could end badly for Haná, and it most certainly did.  Haná were old, while most of the SK players recently played U19.  The captain for SK B played a number of years ago for LeRK Prostějov in the 2nd division.

The hosts opened up the scoring with a well placed header, but after that, the fitness and skill for SK B took over.  They scored six straight goals on their way to picking up the 3pts.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Oct 27 2012 - 1 A třída - Haná Prostějov 0 Kojetín 6

Oct 27, 2012
1 A třída, skupina B - 6th tier
Haná Prostějov 0 Kojetín 6
Attendance - 25

The first signs of winter arrived on Saturday.  Rain throughout the day and a freezing cold win led to a damp afternoon of football in Prostějov.  Many games in the region were called off, but since Haná plays on an artificial pitch, this particular game went ahead.

Kojetín came to Prostějov after suffering their first loss of the season last weekend.  Their record going into this match was 9 wins, 0 draws and 1 loss.  I just knew that this game would not end well, and it most certainly did not.  Haná deserved a goal early on which could have changed the game, but like most of the season, they could not find the back of the net.  Kojetín showed their class up front and scored on almost every quality opportunity.  The final score was a little harsh on Haná but that is football.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Big weekend for football in Prostějov

There are important games this weekend, one of which is a city derby.  Unfortunately, both games will largely be ignored.  On Saturday, Haná Prostějov hosts 2nd place Kojetín in the 1 A třída, which is the 6th tier of football in the country.  Kick off is at 1430, and it is obvious that Kojetín are heavy favourites against a Haná Prostějov side who are finding it difficult to fill out their roster.  24 hours, Haná Prostějov B hosts SK Prostějov in the Okresní Přebor - 8th tier.  The kick-off is also set for 1430.  Despite these two important games, both will be played on a rather poor artificial turf.

Football at all levels deserve attention, and not just the instant soup variety of SK Prostějov in the MSFL.  Put some hot water into a bowl, and a sprinkling of big name over-the-hill players, and mix for instant success.  Obviously, SK Prostějov has two sides, an A and B team, but I am stubborn and will not call the side in Okresní Přebor the B team.  They are the team which reformed a few years ago in the 10th tier, and have been working their way up the pyramid.  The way it should be done.

People of Prostějov should support clubs that have history, and not just clubs which have money.  However, I am not naive enough to believe that this will ever change.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 14, 2012 - Okresní Přebor Prostějov - Výšovice 1 SK Prostějov 1

October 14, 2012
Okresní Přebor Prostějov - 8th tier
Výšovice 1 SK Prostějov 1
Attendance - 60
Admission - 15kc

On a rather damp and cool day, I decided to go to Výšovice which is not that far from Prostějov if you have a car.  I think it is only about 10km.  However, if you have to get to the village by public transportation, it can take a little longer.  There are only one or two buses between Prostějov and the village all weekend, so my best option was to take the city bus to Žešov and then walk the final three kilometers to Výšovice through some fields.  Obviously, not the best idea after it had rained quite a lot the previous day.

Výšovice has a population of around 450 and the local football side plays in the 8th tier after being promoted last season.  They are finding life difficult in the Okresní Přebor, and going into this game found themselves in last place.  The visitors, SK Prostějov B, were in first place and had only dropped points in one game this season.  Officially, the side is called SK Prostějov B, but I will just continue calling them SK Prostějov.

The pitch was located beside a big factory of some sort, and had the basic wooden benches beside with the pitch being railed off on one side.  Like all grounds, there was a very basic, and old looking, building where you could find beer on tap for 22kc.

An average crowd of about 60 showed up for the game, which is the norm for football at this level in the area.  Unlike previous years, I did not see any SK Prostějov supporters.  Over the past few years they would bring with them the usual flags and sometimes flares.  Unfortunately, support for football has dropped a little and the groups seems to be now focusing on the local 3rd tier hockey team.

This game was a classic last versus first, but the expected result did not happen.  The hosts had a decent counter attack, and managed to hold off SK Prostějov going foreward, and in the end deserved a point.