It’s been a while since we wrote something for the blog and as with a lot of clubs at this level, it’s been all change at the Udolni. Popular players have moved on to pastures new and in their place we have signed a number of footballers from across the border. Our manager Zbynek Zboril doing a mighty fine impression of Tomas Masaryk in trying to reunite the Czech and Slovak Republics. Well, it is working as we currently sit at the top of the MSFL and as I write this, we have just lost three times this season.
Chatting to some of the other Blansko fans you really need to pinch yourself sometimes… When we first set foot in the Udolni stand, we witnessed a 1-0 defeat to Kyov in front of 150 fans. Kyov now ply thier trade in the 8th tier of Czech football, while we are playing in front of 1500 fans and somehow looking at playing in 2nd division. Writing this we know the bubble could burst at any time. Amateur football in Central Europe has the habit of doing that to you..proof being at AFK Tisnov who were top of Divize D before all the money was pulled out of the club, forcing resignation from the league…The same man who pulled the plug on the finances is now putting all that cash into …..Blansko.. We are reserving judgement. (on a personal note, I have met Mr Merta a few times and his commitment seems very real).
Returning to the football, we sailed through Divize breaking the goals and points records along the way. Frankly, it would have been a surprise if hadn’t. We clearly had the most experienced and talented squad in the league, brushing aside some very good teams with relative ease while in the same games substituting key players on 60 minutes to save them for the next time we were 5-0 up. I am a tad embarrassed to say that on occassions it became no fun going 3-0 up on the 20 minute mark and watching players showboating. Our centre back spent more time in attack than in defence, we played our reserve goalie as a striker in the last 3 games.
Oops, I had originally written the three paragraphs above after Rosice away in October, so apologies for not posting much this season, real life got in the way for a while. It is now December and Blansko go into 2020 top and looking right up at the second league..It’s really hard to believe and writing about the success of the club is equally unimaginable, but when we departed Nove Mesto na Morave (last time I was there we were thumped 5-0) without the 3 points, we still were two wins clear of second placed Petrkovice. Wow, just wow.
Back to the blog and instead of penning a piece about a defeat to the loveable Rosice, I met up with Wingy and Craggy to ask them to sum up the first half of the season… Here’s our regular round-up and as always the more the merrier, so if you find yourselves in Moravia with nothing to do at 10.15 on a Sunday morning, come and join the joyride…
What is your assessment of the season so far…?
Ralph : Well, if someone said we’d be 5 points clear at the winter break, we’d have thought they were mad. To even consider going up to the second league is just brilliant.. I am always disappointed to lose some of our crowd favourites, last season we lost Splichal, this year Bednar, Feik and Chloupek. However, with us leading the table we can’t really complain.
Craggy: Top of the table, thoroughly enjoyable football and great, ever-expanding crowds at Udolni – there’s a lot to enjoy about this season so far. We do miss some of the old players, they really brought us into the club. But we can’t be unhappy with this season, it’s been incredible.
Wingy : Incredible. Could hardly have been much better. Great performances, great results, great crowds. But most importantly, the marvellous way we have been embraced and acknowledged by the club.
Ralph: Really enjoyed Sigma Olomouc at home, excellent performance in front of the biggest crowd the MSFL has ever seen.
Craggy: Maybe Frydek-Mistek at home. It was a bit of a slog, but it was a win that proved we can do it against one of the best in the league. There were flares. We got presented shirts.
Wingy : Agree with both of you, these games were excellent. But I think I’m going to go for the 5-1 at home to Hlucin. A comprehensive victory against a team that never stopped trying.
Player of the season.
Ralph : It’s a toss up between Sedlo and Dolezal, but giving it to Martin Sedlo as he’s our right back and top scorer and Dolezal must be the unhappiest footballer ever, it’s as though he’d rather be spending his weekends in Tesco, than at Udolni 🙂 ;-).Mentions for our captain Huska, who has been excellent at the back and need to mention Zak, Schwendt and Prerovsky for chipping in with some very important goals.
Craggy: Many, as Ralph mentioned. But it has to be Sedlo – a right back top scorer! I quick mention for Traore though, simply because he’s been playing better and better all season.
Wingy : Several in contention, and I’m half-inclined to give it to Huska because of his consistency and him being an effective captain. But I’m going to go for Traore. He’s right back to his best form, and we look much more creative when he’s playing.
If you could sign one player we’ve played against who would it be –
Ralph : I really liked Simon Chwaszcz of Uhersky Brod, quick and dangerous in front of goal, got a feeling he could make the step up, should we do the impossible.
Craggy: Kathon Kenroy St. Hillaire of Znojmo. How can you not want to sign someone with a brilliant name like that?!
Wingy : Terrible at remembering names. Can’t say that i’ve seen many that are better than what we’ve got. Unicov’s goalie was pretty decent. And I think it was Frydek-Mistek or Znojmo that had a couple of decent strikers.
Best trip :
Ralph :Enjoyed Banik Ostrava B until Craggy told me I might have gout and just all trips to North Moravia are fun. Slovacko B for Wingy surprising me just before kick off with an appearance and always enjoy our trips to Rosice and Kromeriz.
Craggy: Has to be that 0-0 draw in the cold and rain away at Kromeriz. We had a live chicken join us in the way end for the whole game.
Wingy : Kromeriz because it’s a nice place, and the chicken; Rosice because I didn’t too badly on the annual run up the steps; Slovacko B for the result.
Best side we have played against.
Ralph : Vrchovina just played their hearts out and deserved their win, so it almost made it an enjoyable game.. Chloupek was excellent in that game for the home side too.
Craggy: Znojmo (I didn’t see the Vrchovina game). Surprisingly far town the table for the way we saw them play at Udolni. Very hard to break down and some really creative players. That game had us worried for awhile.
Wingy : Agree Znojmo (and I too didn’t see them). Can see them finishing top five.
Season low –
Ralph: Top of the league, how could we possibly complain. If I have to name one thing, it’s losing Bednar – I would love to see him back at Udolni. Also missing Petrkovice as it’s one of my favourite trips.
Craggy: Managing to make only two away trips this season. Hopefully that will improve for the second half.
Wingy : Angry Man’s vulgar tirade in front of kids that lead to him rightly being ejected. The nothingburger of a game at Kromeriz in the freezing cold. Missing the first two goals at Slovacko B because I was in the bar buying the beers!
Ralph : Well apart from being first in the MSFL, it’s got to be being presented with our shirts on the pitch before the Frydek-Mistek game – it was such a lovely gesture. Also further recognition that we have a place in the heart of club.
Craggy: It’s a toss up between being presented with the shirts and being presented with Sasa the physio’s homemade slivovice. I can still taste it.
Wingy : Being five points clear at the top at the break. The record-breaking crowds. The shirts.
Best Away Ground
Ralph : So far I have enjoyed going to Kromeriz and I have a soft spot for Vrchovina, but the top grounds we’ll see in the spring when we go to Frydek-Mistek and Zlin
Craggy: My eyes are looking forward to Frydek-Mistek and Znojmo.
Wingy : Best – Kromeriz, Favourite – Still Rosice.
Best Away Fans :
Ralph : Vyskov made a bit of noise at Udolni, so did Frydek-Mistek.. Rosice are always banging that flipping drum and waving flags, but I am giving it Vrchovina for their non stop support.. Proper fans.
Craggy: Frydek-Mistek for the flares.
Wingy : Frydek-Mistek. Need to learn to sing though.
Best Away Pub :
Ralph: I think I mentioned the pub before the Banik B game.. Well, the barmaid opened early for us (9.45am) and it was amusing to listen to the other table talking about house prices and Craggy giving me a guide to gout.. Radegast on tap is always a good sign of a good pub.
Craggy: Yeah, giving it to the Bank B game.
Wingy : Probably the pub on the square in Kromeriz.
Hope for the spring season :-
Ralph : To achieve the impossible and to go up. (Still can’t believe we even talking about the second league). With this level of football, you are never sure whether we’ll hold onto our players, so that’s probably the first thing we should hope for.
Craggy: Holding on the players and the lead. And sitting in the away end at Znojmo.
Wingy : Keeping our best players. Keeping the funding. Keeping our good relationship with the club.Promotion (hopefully). Visiting lots of new grounds.
If the above question is to go up, what do you think the club need once we go up :
Ralph: put more seats in the main stand, add more toilets, preferably behind the main stand, we also need an away end and a seperate entrance and to add turnstiles.. That’s enough to be going on with
Wingy : We need all these things I reckon. Be nice to have a permanent bar near the main stand, but may be a bit too much to ask!
Anything else :
Ralph: Just thank you. To everyone at the club and anyone who has joined us for a game this season. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Craggy: It’s continues to be brilliant at the club – so thanks to everyone for that. Extra special thanks to Zbynek Zboril for seemingly really enjoying it with us!
Wingy : The same. We enjoy being fans so much, and it’s great to be appreciated by nearly everyone.
And there you have it, quite an emotional Blansko Klobasa talking about just the best start to the season I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing in 20 years in Czech Republic. Another nod of gratitude in the direction of all of you who have been on a trip with of us. Raising a glass of Sasa’s slivovice in the direction of all of you.
Happy Christmas and see you in 2020.