In the world of social media and with it being the end of the calendar year, we’ve been seeing many “top ten” or “top nine” posts, so with a four hour train journey back to Brno from the mountains, we thought that we would compile our favourite grounds of 2018.. Okay, I am sure you would have guessed what this post was about by the title above.
2018 took us to some wonderful places, we’ve seen some great football matches and a lot of awful games too, so without further ado here are our football stadiums of the year. They are in no particular order. Happy New Year everyone.
- Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest.
Back in November and meeting up for reunion with former work colleagues, I took the opportunity to visit the newly built Hidekuti Nandor stadium in the Hungarian capital. I am not a huge fan of modern stadia, however this has a certain charm to it.
2. NTC Poprad football stadium, Poprad, Slovakia.
We’ve put this in our favourites, not because of the actual stadium, but because of the view behind. Slovak football is not always the most entertaining to watch and as the game I was there to see was particularly boring, I found myself looking out at the beautiful Tatra mountains in the background for 73 minutes of the match.
3. Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark, Leipzig.
As mentioned above, we are not huge fans of modern football stadiums, so it’s pleasing to see this beaut on the outskirts of the city.
4.Stadion v Hájku, Bucovice.
One of the wonderful things about Czech football is the season in the lower leagues goes well into June and to quell the tedium of one summer afternoon in Brno, I decided to take a trip out to Bucovice, a small town about 30km away, I was not disappointed. How many grounds have nicely trimmed hedges in between the dugouts..? I know who gets my vote for groundsman of the year.
5. Štadión KFC Komárno, Komarno.
Komarno is a town on the banks of the river Danube, separating Slovakia from neighbouring Hungary and it’s home to the weirdest terracing I have ever seen..This goes in into our top 15 because of the terracing.. just take a look below. The capacity of the ground is 13,000, but I am not quite sure it would pass a safety check should they ever be in a position to fill the stadium.
6. Ynys Park, Ton Pentre.
Living abroad I don’t get the opportunity to watch the Welsh league very often, so in December I was so happy to finally get to Ynys Park, the home of Ton Pentre FC. Another traditional old ground with a beautiful view, this goes in our favourites, not only for the ground, but for the welcome we received and for serving tea in a mug.
7. Stadion na Údolní, Blansko
We couldn’t possibly make list without including our second home. At the beginning of the season, money was made available to strengthen the playing squad and to tidy up Udolni. Gone are the wooden benches in the main stand, but we have seen a return of the grassy terracing that has been missing for many years and that for us is money well spent.
8. Sportovní areál, Drnovice
Built in the heart of the village of Drnovice, this stadium has hosted top league, European and international football matches. It has sadly fallen into a state of disrepair , but the history of 1990s Czech football is there for us all to see.
9. Stadion U Tržiště, Velké Meziříčí.
This is a personal favourite of mine, not necessarily for the actual ground, but I love a 10.15 k.o and FC Velké Meziříčí always kick off early Sunday morning. In addition to the early start there’s a pub next to the ground that does a lovely pint of the local brew.
10. Earlsmead Stadium, South Harrow.
My first game back in Britain this Christmas was Harrow Borough v Merthyr Town and although the result didn’t go the way of The Martyrs, it was a brilliant day. Highlight was the Merthyr away following who filled the clubhouse with cuddly toys for the Grenfell appeal. There is some genuine solidarity in non-league football and the people we me met on the day are exactly the reason why we love football so much.
11. Fotbalovy Stadion Loren, Kutna Hora.
Another wonky terrace, another 10.15k.o and another ground serving a local beer. It’s much the same as Velké Meziříčí really. However, Kutna Hora is a little prettier and is always a good day out.
12. Stadion Na Šlajsi, Lanžhot.
It’s very rare in Divize D to find a club with partizan support, well in our experience anyway. You get the odd chant, the angry man shouting at the referee, but to hear a crowd sing and shout for 90 minutes is something very unusual. Step forward the fans of FK Lanzhot, it’s good to have you in the fourth tier.
13.Stadion pod Přehradou, Bystrc
Just like Udolni, we couldn’t create a list of favourite stadiums without including Dosta Bystrc. It’s a Sunday afternoon of pure pleasure.
14.Všesportovní stadion,Hradec Králové.
This could easily have been AS Trencin’s ground as we are adding this purely for the “lollipops”. The most spectacular floodlights in football.
15. Stadion Dukla, Havířov.
Outside of the top tier of Czech football, you don’t often see a ground with four sides. And just because of that, MFK Havirov is without doubt my favourite ground in this country.