Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Vasilevo, Macedonia (3rd tier)

Vasilevo is a farming village of a few thousand people located not far from Strumica.  The local football club currently plays in the 3rd tier.  I went to the village while visiting family in July.  Obvoiusly, the pitch was not in playing condition, but the water seemed to be running a little too much.  To be fair, it was around 37C when I went for a walk to find the pitch.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

SRH Biljanini Izvori - Ohrid, Macedonia

SRH Biljanini Izvori - Ohrid, Macedonia

I was recently in Macedonia for 5 weeks with my family and I had a few opporunities to catch a few games and visit a few stadiums.  One such occasion was in Ohrid in July.  It was built in 1978, and apparently has a capacity of around 2,500 for football.  Facilities (like most stadiums in Macedonia) were quite basic, but the pitch didn't look too bad.  There are also a few training pitches around the main stadium.

In all honesty, I am not sure who plays at the stadium at the moment.  Last year FK Ohrid (4th tier) and recently Mladost Carev Dvor.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Europa League Qualifier - July 6, 2017 - Pelister 0 Lech Poznan 3

Europa League 1st round Qualifier - 2nd leg
Pelister (Macedonia) 0 Lech Poznan (Poland) 3
Attendance - 350 (played in Strumica)

Pelister is a club based in Bitola which is about 190km from Strumica.  At this point their stadium in Bitola is not up to UEFA standards.  Uusually, most European Cup matches would be played in Skopje at the national stadium, but for the month of July, UEFA said that no matches must be played at the stadium because of the UEFA Super Cup (August 8th) in Skopje.

It was my luck that I was in Strumica for the month of July, and the stadium was the only other one in the country which met UEFA standards.  I should say that it probably barely met UEFA standards.  It was a mess!  Broken seats, dirt, cobwebs, bird poop etc.  All of this was expected by me, because I had been to the stadium numerous times over the past 8 years.  I just had hope that there would have been some renovation to the facility, but this was not the case.  With that being said, the pitch was in perfect condition.

Poznan won the first leg 3-0, so this match was basically a formality.  Despite this, one hundred (or so) Lech supporters made their way to Strumica.  I will assume that it must have been a huge shock for them.  The facilities and the heat, but I do not remember reading any complaints (unlike the Malmo supporters, but more on that later).  It was  37C at kick off and the Lech supporters had to sit in the uncovered part of the stadium.  They were quite for most of the match,  and I assumed that they all had heat stroke!  As for the match, the less said about it the better, it was awful to watch.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Sokol Drahany --- Part 2

I visited Drahany (population 543 - 20km from Prostějov) back in March 2011 and at the time the club was playing in the 10th tier of football in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, the club folded in June 2012 and has not returned since.  The pitch is still being cut, but the main stand has been left as is.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gradski Stadion Štip (Macedonia)

Štip is a city of 47,000 and apparently is home of the fashion industry in Macedonia.  The football stadium is located right next to the main bus station in the city which is on the main line between Skopje and Strumica.  FK Breglanica (2nd tier) and FK Astibo (4th tier) currently call the stadium home.  The biggest event held at the stadium was the 2012 Macedonian Cup Final. Breglanica have always been the most famous club in the city and were formed in 1921.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

June 5, 2017 - Czech Open - ATP Challenger Tour

Prostějov is kind of the home of tennis in the Czech Republic, and every year the city hosts the ATP Challenger Tour.  I decided to check out one qualifying match on a Monday morning.  Apparently, not many other people were bothered to watch qualifiers.  Attendance always picks up later on in the tournament.  

June 3, 2017 - Okresní Přebor Prostějov - Olšany 0 Haná Prostějov 5

June 3, 2017
Okresní Přebor Prostějov - 8th tier
Olšany 0 Haná Prostějov 5
Attendance - 110

Olšany is a small village almost exactly between Olomouc and Prostějov.  It does not have a lot of character, and kind of feels like a suburb of both cities.  With that being said, it is still pleasant enough and the pitch is fantastic for such a low level.

The local side have since been relegated to the 9th tier, and Haná have been promoted to the 7th tier.  Former Czechoslovak international, Roman Sedláček, manages Olšany but he does not have a lot to work with.  Olšany kept the match close in the first half.  This all changed when Patrik Gábor scored 3 goals in 4 minutes. He ended up scoring 4 goals in the match.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Okresní Přebor Prostějov - May 28, 2017 - Ptení 0 Haná Prostějov 2

Okresní Přebor Prostějov - 8th tier
May 28, 2017
Ptení 0 Haná Prostějov 2
Attendance - 100

Like most villages, Ptení is best reached by car and not by public transportation.  The train station is actually located in Ptenský Dvorek, which is about a 3km walk through the fields.  I had the good fortune that there were bus replacements, so the trains were not running on the Prostějov-Konice line, which meant the bus stopped in the village.

Ptení was one of the few places in Okres Prostějov that I had not visited before to watch football.  Now I only have three left, Kladky, Tištín and Pavlovice u Kojetina.

The pitch is located just behind the school on the edge of the village.  The facilities are good enough for the 8th tier, but the pitch was the worst I had seen all season.  It was rock hard, and seemed difficult to play on.  Haná did just enough to win 2-0, which they had to do if they wanted to keep hold of first place.

Since this match, Haná has won 3 in a row to stay in first place and secure promotion to the 7th tier for next season.