2017/18 – A Season in Review

We follow Blansko with hope and not expectation, so after relegation from the 3rd tier last season , our hope was more about staying in the league,a number of fine away trips and a few good performances on the pitch. We weren’t disappointed. Pre season saw the departure of much of the squad and our fan friendly manager, Zbynek Zboril. In their place we gained a mixture of youth and experience – bringing a mixed bag of results in the first half of the season. However, what’s guaranteed with Blansko is we like to play football and no matter what the result, the ball was always played on the ground… just not in the net very often. After being on the end of some real tonkings, the new boys seem to settle and produced some great results towards the end of the autumn season.

The spring season saw 4 players come in and the appearance of the most beautiful away kit we have ever seen. We were ever so grateful to the players for chipping in contributing towards the purchase of 14 shirts for various fans of the blog around the world.(Trnava based Matt LostBoyo called it the most comfortable shirt he has ever worn.)

The new kit brought good fortune and an upturn in results.. Safety from relegation guaranteed with 3 games to play. Out of 29 games played, we managed to get to 23 of them and thoroughly enjoyed the majority of matches, apart from Vrchovina and Tisnov away, where we looked truly out of our depth. With it being such a good season we decided to put some of our videos and photos on here for you to enjoy.

Thanks again to the players,staff and supporters for making supporting the team so enjoyable. When we started the blog 4 years ago we never imagined it would turn into a proper love affair.

Our player of the season goes to Jakub Splichal, our captain. In such a difficult season,always a smile on his face and continued to play football the way it should be played.

Young player of the season is Tomas Feik. He just about pips super-talented Dominik Smerda to the award. Feik was brilliant when ever called upon and scored a couple of great goals.

Goal of the season – Well, we could give it to Jiri Kratochvil for his goal against Stare Rise or Jakub Splichal for just the joy we all shared in a his goal against Sumperk which brought a much needed first win in six games, but we are going to give it to Tommy Sodomka for his Messi-esque equaliser against Vrchovina. (link)

Game of the season – Rosice away – great support and is always a battle. We should have won, but we didn’t.

Chant of the season – Well, we are undecided between “Feiking all over the world” and “We’ve got Dommy Smerda” – Personally, I think the Dommy Smerda chant just edges it and as I am writing this….:-)

Away fans – Slovan Rosice are just outstanding supporters… Best in the league. Although, we have asked to give a special mention to the Vrchovina fans too…

Best away trip – Trebic, nice ground, nice town, nice brewery, nice cafe

And that wraps up the season. Dekujeme.

2017: A look back at our top trips

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As the year draws to a close and we hammer mince pie shaped nails in to 2017, we at TBK have decided to go over some highlights from what must have been our most “interesting” year yet. From some of the most remote villages to some of the best beers, via the scrappiest games to the most beautiful castles – we have gone in search of adventures and found them at every turn. So here are some highlights from the last 12 months.

Landek Mine in Petřkovice, Ostrava

We went “mining” for points in Petřkovice and literally ended up in a mine. Attempting to win a well deserved point and pleasant service at the local restauarant proved both to be just as gruelling work. The visit to the mine was a treasure though, as was another trip to Ostrava which always seems to bring about the biggest Klobasa drinking sessions. This was no different. (Read more here)

Budapest – The Musical

TBK love a trip to Budapest anyway but this was a real highlight of 2017. After four hours in the dining car of the train along Ralph’s favourite river we arrived in Budapest to a rollercoaster of a trip which found us queing up for the whole first half of a Honved game for a second 45 minutes of purely forgettable football. And it was all downhill from there (well physcially anyway) as we ran around Hungarian’s capital taking in as many pubs as possible, Craggy getting the come-on from dodgy guys selling belts and being asked if we’d like some cocaine with our sausage. We even dreamt up a musical production. Click here to find the soundtrack – apologies in advance.

The Hunt For Pav the Drummer in Blansko

As far as happy endings go the finale to this trek through the snowy streets of Blansko on the hunt for our missing game-day drummer is right up there. Early in the year we braved 90 minutes of below freezing tempatures watching the mighty Blansko host Bohunice before we went off in search of Pavel, who had been missing for many months from the Blansko stands. Our search took us to several pubs in this industrial Moravian second home of ours before a spectacular conclusion in the final pub we tried.

Milan Pacanda – Lost and Found

Although you may well have never heard of him, Milan Pacanda could have been one of the European greats alongside other famous Czech names. This year he was at Vicemilice, where one third of TBK headed to catch a glimpse of his footballing genius. (Read the full story here).

Opava

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Opava is a nice town in itself but a trip there was extra special this year. We visited it on 17th November – the anniversary of the fall of communism in the Czech Republic, and we began the trip in the small town of Hradec nad Moravaci which has a pretty fancy castle and a great “post office” pub. The highlight though turned out to be the game of the season – Opava came from 1 – 2 down to win 3 – 2, scoring 2 goals in the last 20 minutes. Crackin’.

Player Profiles

At The Blansko Klobasa, we are often asked about the standard of football and about the players FK Blansko can attract, so we have decided to write profiles for the current squad.

Goalkeepers

DjuranDavid Juran – a native of Veverska Bityska, David has been with Blansko for  a while now. An extremely capable goalkeeper, he has been a stalwart of the squad for the past 5 seasons. His ability has not gone unnoticed and has spent time on trial at Znojmo and represented the Czech Republic amateur side at the European Championships in Serbia 2015. An injury this season cost him his place as number one, but still a favourite with us.

Songs – “We all live in a Juran submarine” and “David Juran, superman, follows us on Instagram ”

J FloderJiri Flodr -Anybody who keeps David Juran out of the team has to be a talent and Jirka, who is on loan from Zbrojovka Brno,  has been absolutely outstanding for Blansko this term. A Czech U19 international, we are convinced he will be the first Blansko goalkeeper to represent his country since Jarda Blazek. A superb shot-stopper.

Songs – “Jirka Flodr, he’s our number one (sorry David Juran), Jirka Flodr , he’s our number one (sorry David Juran)

Defenders

P_Gromsky_podzim_2016Petr Gromsky – Gromsky has more songs than Karel Gott and is another popular player with The Blansko Klobasa. 4 seasons ago he was playing 8th tier football with SK Jedovnice and now he’s holding his own in the MSFL. A swashbuckling full back, he’s keen to attack down the right wing. He’s always on fire.

Songs – “Don’t you want me Gromsky”, “Gromsky’s on fire” “He’s Gromsky floating down the right wing”

J_Splichal_podzim_2016Jakub Splichal – nicknamed “The Big Lebowski”by the Blansko Klobasa after spotting him slamming down strikes at a bowling alley, Kuba is another player who has risen through the ranks to play an important role in the club’s recent success. Calm in defence, comfortable in midfield. We like him.

Songs – “We’ve got Splichal, Jakub Splichal, I just don’t think you understand…..”

L_Kolacek_podzim_2016Lukas Kolacek – The grandfather of the team at 33, Lukas was signed from Vyskov (home of the worst beer in the world) in 2016 and has been handed the captain’s armband this season.. He’s our left back and often pops up with the odd goal. Reliable.

Songs- We don’t have one for him at the moment, let’s just say it’s a work in progress.

L_Hanus_jaro_2017Lada Hanus – A new signing who joined Blansko from SK Lisen in February 2017, we have only had the opportunity to see him a couple of times.  Former Zbrojovka Brno youth team player, he can play in the heart of defence or as a midfielder protecting the back four.

Songs – give us a chance..

T_Feik_podzim_2016Tomas Feik – A product of the Blansko youth team, 17 year old Tomas is a highly-rated footballer.  The only thing we can tell you about him is that he has nicked the shirt of Jan Koudelka, Wingy’s favourite footballer (after Mark Viduka) .

Songs – none

 

S_Pisek_podzim_2016Standa Pisek – Standa is a giant, standing at about 4 metres tall – he’s Blansko’s John Charles..able to play in attack and defence.. We see him more as a rock in defence, but our boss throws him in up front if we are in need of a goal. A top man, who organised home shirts for TBK, we owe him more than just a beer.

Songs – “Da, da, da, da ,da ….. Standa Pisek.. repeat”

Midfielders

L_Chloupek_podzim_2016Lubos Chloupek – A scorer of spectacular goals, Lubos is a regular on the right side of our midfield. He notched 6 goals last season on our way to the Divize title and is on his way to beating that this season.

Songs – none..Wingy?

 

J_Kucera_podzim_2016Jakub Kucera – On loan from Zbrojovka Brno, Jakub runs our midfield and as noted by Craggy, he runs in the same style as Steven Gerrard. A “box to box” kind of player, we don’t expect to see him at the club beyond this season. Before each game he shakes hands with Jirka Floder in a strange way 🙂 We believe they are friends.

 

R_Buchta_jaro_2016Robin Buchta – Robin has been at the club since the beginning of time, well it seems that way. Big pals with striker Jan Trtilek, he was the first Blansko player to invite us “backstage” for shots of slivovice. Love the club more than we do.

Songs – ” Robin, Robin, Robin, Robin …. Buchta.

 

J_Minx_podzim_2016Jan Minx – Honza’s favourite player is Gareth Bale, the greatest footballer the world has ever seen and just like the Wales superstar, plays his football down the left flank.. In pre-season he was banging goals in like they were going out of fashion..hopefully we’ll see more of the same in the real games. Another of Zbrojovka Brno.

Songs – ” Honza Minx, Honza Minx running down the wing ….”

D_Duda_podzim_2016Dominik Duda – Signed in July from Opava, Dominik has been in and out of the team most of this season. He started in the centre of midfield, but found himself out on the right in games before the winter break. Has shown brief glimpses of his talent and we would like to see more.

Song – “Duda duda duda duda” (to the tune of the Adams Family”

S_Kolarik_podzim_2016Stepan Kolarik – We are writing this just after he missed a crucial penalty against Unicov, so we’ll try not to allow it to cloud our judgement.  Stepan’s favourite footballer is former Swansea midfielder Frank Lampard and just like Fat Frank likes to get forward at every opportunity. We’ve seen him score plenty during pre season, but he’s found the net only once this season. Very talented and has more clubs than Tiger Woods.

Songs – none.

J_Kratochvil_podzim_2016Jirka Kratochvil – Jirka is nicknamed “little mole”, we have no idea why.  Another homegrown player, he has a bright future ahead of him..He’s been unable to break into the first 11 this season, but we expect to see more of him this second half of the season.

Songs – none

 

Strikers

J_Trtilek_podzim_2016Honza Trtilek – Honza is a crowd favourite and a huge talent.. We all believe that with a bit more pace, he would be playing in the top division. Without wishing to use a cliche – he has an excellent touch for a big man.. Good with his feet and head, you are always guaranteed goals from Honza..

Songs – “Honza, Honza, Honza, Honza, Honza Trtilek”

J_Stehlik_jaro_2017Jindra Stehlik – Big things were expected of Jindra after he made his debut for Zbrojovka Brno in the top league, but he lost his way little and now finds himself spearing the attack for FK Blansko. We are hoping for great things from him. A January signing from SK Lisen.

Song – So come on Jindra Stehlik, score some goals for Blansko….”

J_Motycka_podzim_2016Jarda Motycka – Another player, we have not seen enough of. Jarda has usually been brought on from the subs bench when we are in need of a goal. A tireless runner, you just get the feeling he needs a goal.

Songs – none.

Milan Pacanda – Lost and Found

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It’s 8.30 on a Sunday morning, I am on a train and my groundhop today is to see Vicemilice in the 8th tier of the Czech Football League. It’s been on my bucket list for a while. In addition to this I am going to watch a 38 year factory worker, by the name of Milan Pacanda play football. I am not even sure you even care.

 The chances are that most of you have never heard of Milan Pacanda, he could have been a name in European football, up there with the Nedveds, Poborskys and Bergers of Czech Football fame – he once played at Old Trafford in a Champions League game, oh and in a successful Intertoto Cup run for Brno, but that is about as big as it got for Pacanda. It could have been so, so different.

In 1999, two years after making his debut for ‘hometown club’ Boby Brno, Pacanda was riding on the crest of the wave. He’d started the season extremely well, playing just behind the striker in an improving Brno team and scoring for fun. Scouts would turn up wherever ‘Paci’ (pronounced Patsy) played.

Such was his reputation in the game that Bologna had agreed terms with the young striker, then disaster struck.

After putting his side in front  away at Zizkov, he went for a ball with Viktoria defender Jan Zakopal, a player he’d played with at junior level for Czech national team, it was a ball that only one man could win and Zakopal knew that, so knowing he would come off second best made a decision which would change the course of Pacanda’s career – he went for the striker’s knee  destroying the ligaments and putting a bright career on hold. To this day, Zakopal (English translation ‘to bury’) insists he went for the ball, but those of us there see it completely differently. It was a horrendous challenge.

The following winter after five months of treatment, Paci made his first attempt to comeback only to damage his knee in his very first training session, putting him out of action for a further year. It was at this time he sank into despair, possibly depression,  finding solace in the casinos and bars of Brno and with it an addiction to fruit machines and alcohol. In addition to this he purchased an expensive car on credit and promptly crashed it while drunk, damaging his shoulder.

With a huge debt hanging over him he was pulled from the mire by his mentor and football father Karel Jarusek, who invited the footballer to move into his family home. I believe, but it is still unclear to me, that his agent cleared Pacanda’s debt. It was also at this moment they asked him if he wanted a second chance. Apparently, the footballer without saying a word just nodded. Jarusek brought in a strict regime and  with it a curfew. He trained hard and was allowed just one night out a week, on a Friday, but had return to Jarusek’s home by 10pm.

A year and a half at that disastrous afternoon at Zizkov, Paci returned to the pitch with two pins in his knee and a slight limp as he ran. The coach at the time, Pavel Tobias, brought him back slowly and it wasn’t until the following season that he began to make the starting eleven.

He stayed at Brno for a further 3 seasons, forming a fantastic partnership with Libor Dosek. The goals returned and helping his team to rise up the league and reach the semi-finals of the now defunct Intertoto Cup. Off the pitch things were also a little better, although not without incident. I particularly remember an incident after one home match – Pacanda and teammates, drinking after a draw with Sigma Olomouc, celebrated by smashing up a billboard outside a restaurant causing 20,000kc worth of damage. While his teammates faced the music, Milan disappeared for a couple of days, missing training. He was dropped for the next match.

Although there were times off the pitch where we saw the old demons returning, 2004 was a great year for the footballer. He married his childhood sweetheart Denisa and in the summer of that year secured 650,00o Euro move to Czech giants Sparta Praha.

His start at Letna was a good one. Under the leadership of Frantisek Straka, he bagged 6 goals in his first 7 games, forming a prolific partnership with Tomas Jun. But the wheels fell off when the coach was sacked and replaced with Jaroslav Hrebik who demanded discipline and order from all his players. Pacanda only ever really listened to two people and Hrebik was not one of them. He soon found himself out of the team and back on the fruit machines and his life began to turn sour. In 2005, he was sent on loan to to Tirol Innsbruck, where he continued to score and rescued the team from what seemed like a certain relegation. Even though he was a popular player with the Austrian side, he found himself back in Czech Republic. For Pacanda, it was the beginning of the end.

He returned to Brno for the start of the 2006 season, however in 3 seasons was to make only 30 appearances for the club,spending part of the time at Zlin and half a season in Kazakhstan. But even during his time abroad, rumours of his growing debt continued to do the rounds.

Pacanda, now becoming a footballing nomad, he signed for Znojmo ,in the MSFL, and things started to look up, he employed a personal coach, shed a few pounds and began the season in fine form. Sadly, another injury, followed by missed training sessions, forced the hand of the club’s management… One rumour was that he would only turn up at the club when he needed money…

“At the beginning of the season he helped us immensely, he looked like a great promise. But gradually his attitude ceased to fulfill our expectations. I am afraid that in the spring he probably will not be with us,” said coach Bohumil Smrček.

“We could only keep  Pacanda if he managed to put his personal life in order and we were at the time willing to help. Unfortunately he does not appreciate the efforts of the club management. Therefore, we have to let him go” said President 1. SC Znojmo Ota Withers.

In an attempt to clear his mounting debt and with collectors regularly calling round for a chat, he moved to East Slovakian team, FK Bodva Moldova, newly promoted to the second tier. Again, the season began promisingly and he was even made captain, but at the end of 2010/11 Pacanda was again without a team.

Surprisingly, his agent managed to persuade newly promoted Znojmo to give him another  chance in the second league. He once again got himself fit and started to impress, notably scoring a brace against Sparta’s reserve team. But the return was again shortlived and the old ‘Paci” appeared and then Milan Pacanda disappeared again, before finding a home at Slovan Rosice and back in the arms of Karel Jarusek.

It was during his time at Rosice, that rumours started to circle about his mental state. I read an article where he bravely admitted suffering from depression and even more worryingly about suicidal thoughts.

In an interview with Czech football magazine Hattrick, Pacanda recalled the moment he was at his lowest.

“I was standing on the tracks and wondering if I should lie down and wait for the next train”

“I was fucked,” he said openly. “But now I take it as a lesson for future life and I feel I am over the worst of it”.

As somebody who loved watching Milan Pacanda play football, I was saddened to hear of him talk about mental health issues that have affected him, but at the same time I’m so pleased he’s been brave enough to talk about it. Not enough of us are able to do that.

I arrived at the Vicemilice pitch  about 15 minutes before kick off (I am not too sure I could call it a stadium) and the first person I was to bump into was Milan, who was chatting away to one of the local fans, while enjoying a prematch cigarette. He eyed me with suspicion (everyone does) as I am sure he knows all the regular faces. I am not too sure why, but I avoided making eye-contact as not to arouse any further interest and made my way to the bar.

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A few minutes later, I heard one of the supporters say that Vicemilice were in trouble, Paci didn’t want to play, he was complaining of a bad back. Naturally, it was just prematch talk and  Pacanda took to the field after the shortest warm up in the history of warm ups. A couple of stretches,  an individual crossbar challenge, which he managed at the first attempt and then another cigarette before lining up with his teammates.

I won’t bore you too much longer with details of the game, only to tell you of two Milan Pacanda moments which sum up the talent of the man.. In the first half, he picked up the ball just inside the away team’s half. Heavily marked, he dragged the ball away from two opponents and played a stunning through ball for the opening goal.  You never lose it, do you?

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In the second half, he scored his only goal of the game, latching on to a pass from midfield he lobbed the goalkeeper from 25yards, another piece of skill, which would further show the quality he has.

Somebody once said of the player that if Pele belongs in a museum then Pacanda belongs on football pitch.  And with Paci breaking into a huge smile after his goal, you would find it difficult with that.

Welcome back, Paci.

 

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