The Hunt for Pav the Drummer

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“Right, I will show you round Blansko during the winter break. It would be nice if there was a bit of snow.. it will make the place a bit more picturesque” Those were the words of Wingy, a resident of town for the last 23 years after deciding to swap a cushy job in a London office for life as an English teacher in South Moravia. Blansko needs snow to make a trip worthwhile.

Chris (Wingy) is probably the main reason, why we started following the local football team. A few years ago, we started going and such was the welcome from everybody at the club, we found ourselves spending more time at Udolni and beyond.. Now, one of the friendliest of friendly faces was Pavel the Drummer, the only regular Blansko Ultra at the time. You could guarantee that at every game, home or away, Pavel would be there, with his drum. Then back in November, after a few matches on tannoy duty, he disappeared. We know that sounds dramatic,  but we were genuinely concerned and nobody at the club knew of his whereabouts.

So, we decided, while on a tour of Blansko, to print off a picture of our drummer and ask the locals if they had seen this man…

A few days before the trip, Wingy pulled out with a serious bout of manflu, leaving the rest of us to wander round the town, taking in the sights and of course enjoying a few beers. First stop was the new allweather football pitch (needed to confirm our place in MSFL) and 90 minutes of football. Blansko were hosting Bohunice, a team from Brno playing a couple of tiers down from us. For us, it was a chance to see our two new signings and to be quite honest to watch a live game of football.. something we’d been missing.

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It was cold, very, very cold, definitely the coldest game we had ever been to (colder than Boundary Park)..we lasted 80 minutes before heading for the warmth of a local pub. Not even a hip flask full of homemade slivovice could keep us there for the entire game and we left the moment our new striker, Jindra Stehlik, scored our 6th goal.

Now,for the first time in the short life of the Blansko Klobasa, we vlogged our trip with a Polaroid Cube and the story of our trip is below.. With none of us being at all good on camera, we ask you to go a bit easy on us…

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Trouble on the terraces as Junior steps in

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With the Christmas period fast approaching we have some catching up to do after a busy few weeks. Here, Wingy takes us back to the home game against Vyskov where we unfortunately ran in to a spot of mild bother:

I’d like to start this report on a bit of a sour note, as it’s something which did slightly spoil what was otherwise a good afternoon at Udolni (result excepted). We were trying as usual to get behind the boys with our songs and chants, when a guy about 10 metres away (and whom we’d never seen before) started shouting across to us (and in a pretty aggressive way) that we should be singing only in Czech. Now our repertoire does, it’s fair to say, include quite a few songs in English, but we also join in the Fun-Club songs in Czech. And we have never before encountered any hostility from either Blansko fans, or any others. On the contrary, people seem to appreciate the fact that our support is passionate, but good-natured and genuine. And the reaction we get, both at the games, and on-line, (especially from the players), shows that there is generally only affection for us. The guy involved looked clearly as if he had a few too many, and didn’t even reappear for the second half, so we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. But a little sad nonetheless.

We have mentioned many times here an FKB Ultra Fan who we refer to as Pavel the drummer. He is part of the group of fans who call themselves the ‚Fun Club‘, and their support is usually based around drums. Originally there was a hard-core of about five Fun Club members, but slowly but surely these numbers have declined, and the two original drummers, who were Pavel and his son, who in true Czech fashion is also called Pavel, have since become one, namely Pavel Senior. And of late, Pavel Snr has been conspicuous by his absence, as at home games he now mans the tannoy, which has left the Klobasa feeling that something is missing. And this was certainly the case for our latest game at home to top of the table Vyškov. I was late arriving, due to the annoying habit that Blansko have of changing the start time from that of the web-site. And by the time I got there FKB were already a goal down (and according to the other guys, a pretty sloppily conceded one too. Which is something of a pattern in recent games.). And without Pavel we were struggling to get some singing going. But cometh the hour,cometh the man, as almost immediately after me saying that we didn’t see Pavel Jnr much recently, he arrived to save the day. With his drum. Alas, our joy was short-lived as our current favourite, Standa Pisek, stooped to clear a somewhat innocuous centre with a diving header, but only succeded in putting the ball straight into his own net. 0-2. And thus it stood at half-time.
The second half almost immediately saw a much improved performance from the Reds (still can’t get used to calling them that), as Blansko started to get a grip on the game and pressed for a way back in. Unfortunately, Vyskov added a third not long after half-time, so it looked like game over. But Blansko’s efforts paid off when the aforementioned Pisek rose to plant a firm header into the Vyskov net. The rest of the half pretty much belonged to Blansko, who huffed and puffed, but never really looked like they were going to get a point.

So Blansko’s bad run continues, and they are only not bottom because Líšen and Kroměříž are even worse. But as Ralph rightly said after the game, we’ll still be there even if they go back down.

Next up, for the Klobasa at least, is the long-anticipated trip to the lovely historic town of Olomouc to see us play Sigma Olomouc B, who stand at the top of our division, as the A team do at the top of Division 2. You will of course be able to read all about that game right here!

We’d just like to say at this point that we have received only the most warm welcome at Blansko. We support the club and the club even supports us. We are most grateful to the players, coach, supporters, the club house bar staff and, of course, Pavel the Drummer who have all made us welcome at Blansko. [All at The Blansko Klobasa]

Singing the Reds – Walking to Blansko

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I received a message from Ralph a few days before the game against Třebíč, asking if I was up for walking the 20km from Brno to Blansko?  The weather forecast looked good so we decided on it and gave ourselves around 6 hours to get there – accounting for pub stops along the way. Setting off from Obřany at around 8 in the morning, we opened our first bottle of Policka half way to Bilovice. The sun was shining, the Klobasa were singing, and the trip via Bilovice and Babice, alongside the river was perfect. At some point we lost the tracks and found ourselves walking for miles along a busy country road, risking death at almost every turn. The things we do for Blansko! Anyway, needless to say (after a pub stop in Adamov) we arrived in one piece and met Wingy, who will now give us the low down on all things Blansko. (This trip has been videod and will be “vlogged” soon. So stay tuned for a white-knuckle ride including near-death experiences and roadside fishermen casting rods for porn stars…)

Here is Wingy:

The Klobasa are big fans of the team shirt, even to the extent of buying our own. So when we arrived at Udolni for the game with third-placed Třebíč, we saw to our horror that Blansko had a completely new kit – red with a black chevron. WHAT?? You can’t do that to us! As it turned out, it may have put the hex on Blansko too.

The Koruna bar near the Blansko město station (a.k.a. ‚Kugler’s pub, as the former Blansko boss, currently doing very well indeed at Rosice, is the owner) is becoming established as the pre-match pub of choice for the Klobasa, but unfortunately we didn‘t make it this time round, due to meeting up with a friend before the game. And maybe this also contributed to the eventual outcome of the game (I am not usually superstitious – except for football!) And when we arrived and saw the shirt-change we knew that something was going wrong that day.

The first half didn’t have much to commend it from Blansko’s point of view, apart from one effort that bounced off the bar, and a couple of other half chances. It was a good half for Třebíč though, as they hit us with almost identical sucker-punch breakaway goals on 10 and 34 minutes. The second half was very different as Blansko pretty much dominated, and it was no big surprise when Jajub Splíchal toe-poked one back from about three yards out. The rest of the game Blansko pressed hard, with impressive performances by sub Kutal and the welcome return oif TKB favourite Jan Koudelka, but we just couldn’t make that breakthrough and snatch an equaliser.

So this was actually a decent performance, and an entertaining game, with a lot of hope for improvement. Definitely needed though, as we’ve now lost all three of our home games, and we face Zlín’s B team next at home. Watch this space.

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Going up!

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For the Blansko Klobasa it has been a great season. For FK Blansko it has been perhaps even better. When Michal Kugler left his post to pick up the managerial reins at Rosice, we were nervous about what the rest of the season would look like for us. Under Kugler, FK Blansko had seen a distinct improvement in performances following a disappointing previous season. However, from the chants of “you should’ve stayed at Blansko” following the impressive victory over his new Rosice team, it has been a roller coaster of a season seeing us bite our nails right up to the final whistle of the final home game against Polna, with victory resulting in the lads clinching the title. Seeing as this whole Blansko/Klobasa love affair started when Wingy took us to a home game, we will let him detail the rest of the story surrounding the thrilling end to this magical season. Firstly though, from all of us – thanks to everyone involved for making it a great season. See you on the road.

Here’s more from Wingy:

THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER – IT IS NOW!

If you follow a smaller club, you obviously have a different measurement of what constitutes success. Two or three years ago I was watching a YouTube clip after Darlington FC had won the F.A. Trophy by beating Mansfield Town at Wembley, and one woman when interviewed said it was the best day of her life. And I understood her completely. What was important to her was that it was her club, from her home town, and she and the 15-20 thousand other Quakers fans were joyous at them winning something for once. When Ralph, Craggy and I (Wingy) started supporting Blansko it was with the most modest expectations. And we’ve been more than rewarded for our efforts. More than anything else, we’ve had a huge amount of fun, but we’ve at times seen some surprisingly good football. And throw in some late winners and equalisers, and the odd spectacular goal, and it’s easy to see why we’ve developed a great affection for the club, and feel thoroughly a part of it now. And this last week of the season has surpassed anything which came before. As it stood last Sunday, there were three teams battling it out for the top spot, with only one point dividing them – Blansko, Hodonín and Uherský brod. And, to be honest, I’d have put my money on Hodonín – they’ve got more money, and look like a team ready to play at a higher level, and they had two home games remaining which you would certainly have expected them to win. So Blansko needed to win both their games. And thus it was that we found ourselves in Zd’ar nad Sazavou for the penultimate game. Things didn’t start too well, with Zd’ar pretty well dominating the opening exchanges, and it was no great surprise when we fell behind. But this seemed to galvanise FKB and they went in at half-time three-one up. “Game over” you’d think, but this being Blansko it was never going to be that easy. And sure enough, Zd’ar upped their game, and pulled it back to 2-3 and pressed for an equaliser, with at one point an innocuous cross rebounding off our crossbar and fortunately being scrambled clear. But then came the point that possibly saved our season. Blansko mounted an attack and the centre was only cleared to just outside the penalty area, where Franta Schneider was waiting to wallop it first time into the net. What a goal! GET IN! But there was more to come, as Zd’ar got a late penalty and pulled it back to 3-4. Fortunately, we hung on, and with Uhersky Brod losing away, and Hodonín unsurprisingly winning, the last game came down to a straight fight between us and Hodinín.

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Originally our final game, at home to Polna, was down to be played on a Saturday. But, at Hodonín’s request it was put forward to Friday. Unfortunately we were a Klobasa short, as Ralph was away on International Duty, supporting Wales in the Euros, so it was left to Craggy and myself to hold the fort. I had arranged to meet Craggy there, as I was coming with my father-in-law, and as soon as we arrived I could see something had changed. Queues!! Almost unheard of at Udolni! Unfortunately, presumably because of the date change, FKB hadn’t managed to organise an extra temporary bar, and so by the time we had got served at the bar the game had already started, and within two minutes had a penalty (which they missed). As Craggy was waiting in the stands with the ultras and I (father-in-law in tow) walked up to take our seats, Blansko took the lead, a well taken goal by the again excellent Honza Trtílek, who added a second a few minutes later. And not long after that Pavel Mezlik added a third. Three-up with 18 minutes gone! Surely we couldn’t blow it now? But then later in the half they put over a cross to one of their guys, who looked a country-mile offside, but he smashed it past Juran in our goal, and so we went in 3-1 up at half-time for the second time in a week. A couple of minutes from the end Petr Svancara made his final bow as he was subbed , to grateful applause from the Udolni faithful. And, although we looked nervous at times, we held out. Cue wild celebrations – even some flares, smoke bombs and fireworks.

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Then we got on to the pitch to have our picture taken with the Klobasa flag and Svancara, and off for a couple of swift Slivovices with the Fun Club!

So, that’s it for another season, and what a season it‘s been. Hopefully going up to the MSFL, if we have got the money. For the Klobasa, some great trips out, and a lot of laughs (and for me personally, only one defeat all season, and the three away games I got to finished 3-0, 4-3 and 4-3, all to Blansko!). Massive thanks to the club, especially Petr Svancara, and other fans of FKB, for appreciating our support. We will definitely be back next season, no matter which division they are in (would love to see us at Olomouc B though!!). And thanks to you all for reading this, and we hope you come along to a game one day!

COME ON BLANSKO!!!

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