Blansko “seas” the day in Trebic

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A few years ago as an icebreaker with one of my post-secondary school classes, I asked them all to prepare a joke. The following day, Petr stood up and asked me to name the three most famous beaches in the world. “Copacabana, Rhosilli and …..” , before I could name a third he shouted out “Trebic” (Tre beach) – a poor joke, but it got a lot of laughs and helped the lesson no ends.

Trebic is in a landlocked country and of course it doesn’t have a beach, but it does have a brewery and a football team… so, a perfect way to spend a Sunday.

This was our first away day of the spring season, I don’t really count Stara Risa two weeks ago as the game was played 27km away from their home ground in Jihlava on astro.

Blansko have started the second half of the season, much the same as they did the autumn, a bit hit and miss. The first game was cancelled, the second game we threw away a half time lead to lose 3-1 and then bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Velka Bites. So, we weren’t sure what to expect in Trebic, apart from a good day out.

The squad has been strengthened recently with the signings of the league’s top scorer, Tomas Sodomka, defender Vit Barta and the midfield trio of Dvorak, Kouldan and Petrik.. It looks as though the club had panicked at the thought of dropping down another division and bought a whole new spine of the team. Welcome boys.

We set off as we always do, from Brno Hlavni Nadrazi, Trebic bound with a couple of cans of Radegast to brighten up the trip.

The journey was a splendid one, the train takes you up and bit further up to the heart of the Czech Moravian highlands. We were met by a station guard and sunshine. Ahh, the sun where have you been for the past 6 months.. We were both pleased to see it and by the fact that we able to bask in it for the rest of our trip, we could say the sun was happy to see us too. Hip.. hip..

We always have a plan for days like this and Trebic is blessed with some wonderful tourist sights. The Jewish quarter is one of the best preserved in the world and rightly placed in the UNESCO heritage sight. So, over the river we went to the first port of call, Masaryk’s veiwpoint offering us a lovely view of the city. We are not sure why it’s named after the country’s first president, there’s not a town or city in the Czech Republic which doesn’t have something to remember Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, so Trebic built a view point.

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From there we took a walk past the city walls and down to the Jewish quarter to find the wonderful Cafe Art.

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After our first beer of the day, a delightful Dalesice 11, it was off to the brewery for some nosh and a quick look Basilica. Luckily for us, the kind folk of Trebic built the brewery right next to the monument, giving us the possibility to kill two birds with one beer.

Podklasterni Brewery will definitely feature in our brewery of the month, so I won’t bore you with the details. The highlight of our brief stay there was definitely the goulash soup, the lowlight was the gentleman on the table next to us. Obviously new to technology, he bellowed into his phone so loudly, my mother messaged me from her home in Cardiff to ask him to keep the noise down.

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Onto the game – the stadium in Trebic is one of our favourites in the league.. A covered terrace is a rarity at this level, but Trebic have one and it’s delightful. Our first stop was of course, the club house, where we were greeted by some familiar faces and the obligatory shot of slivovice, which we declined – work the next day, so we stuck to our beer and walked around the pitch to find a spot in the sun.

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As mentioned earlier in the post, Blansko had recently strengthened and it was our new striker, Tomas Sodomka who opened the scoring in 14th minute. Picking the ball up on the left-hand side of the penalty area, he neatly cut inside a bent the ball into the far corner.. If we’d had a song for him, we would have… honest.

The team continued to press and impress throughout the first half against a poor Trebic team. It’s no wonder they are adrift at the bottom of the table. We created chance after chance, but surprisingly couldn’t add to the Sodomka goal. We went in at the break just the one goal in front.

The second 45 was very much a brim full of Blansko on the 45..with us creating havoc with our two new wingers. The biggest surprise was that we finally clinched victory in 79th minute. A penalty gave Sodomka his second,Blansko 3 points and us, a celebratory pivo. Psikal wrapped it up with a 3rd goal with four minutes left to send us all home happy.

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One thing that I enjoy is that the players always come over to thank us for our support with a high five… I think it’s a nice gesture at the end of the game, only if we have won, naturally.

A couple of the players stayed behind to chat to us about holidays and the demise of Tisnov before being summoned back to changing rooms for their own private celebration.

For us it was a beer at the closest pub to the station and train home to Brno with the points safely tucked into our rucksack.

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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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Klobasa overboard

Beer festival

Beer festival

A few years ago as an icebreaker with one of my post secondary school classes, I asked them all to prepare a joke. The following day, Petr stood up and asked me to name the three most famous beaches in the world. “Copacabana, Rhosilli  and …..” , before I could name a third he shouted out “Trebic” (Tre beach) – a rubbish joke, but it got a lot of laughs and helped the lesson no ends.

Trebic is in a landlocked country and of course it doesn’t have a beach, but it does have a brewery and a football team…so, a perfect way to spend a Saturday.

Urban brewery

Urban brewery

Urban Brewery served it’s first beer in 2012  and is one of a number of micro breweries opening around the Czech Republic and replaces the Trebic brewery closed 40 years earlier by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.  It serves a variety of beers, including a “British” ale, but as there was a beer festival going on next door, we only had the opportunity (sensibly) to try the lager – before heading further up the road to try our luck at one or five of the beer tents.

Urban lager

Urban lager

A couple more beers sunk and after listening to the man on the microphone tell us a minute by minute plan of the day’s events, we’d had enough and went in search of the Jewish Quarter of Trebic which basically rises from the river up to the hillside above the town. It fairly well preserved and has a large cemetery above the quarter. It is all well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area, although for us, it was a very short visit we had an engagement at FHK Trebic.

Trebic

Trebic

This was my second visit to the Horacky Stadion as back in 2012 I had decided to follow a team from the first round of the Czech Cup to the final. Whoever won the tie I would follow in the following round and Trebic lost in the 1/4 final to Gambrinus Liga giants Slovacko on aggregate. Last season did bring some success as they were promoted to MSFL as champions and have spent most 2013/14 in the top half of the league.

I like the ground, terracing alongside one side of the pitch, a nice old stand opposite and beer stands conveniently placed around the ground. The attendance for the visit of HFK Olomouc was well below the 5000 capacity, just 80 of us had bothered to turn out (possibly the lure of Travis O’Neill – yep never heard of him either) and the beers on at the brewery had persuaded the majority of Trebic to head there for their afternoon of fun). One fan, who had decided to go to the football was Zoltan the Hungarian lorry driver. Zoltan took a shine to Craggy and also the rest of his family and asked if he has a sister or a mother, a mother with cash. It has to be said that these characters always take a shine to Craggy and we are rather bemused as to why.

The Klobasa

The Klobasa

HFK Olomouc decided they didn’t want to play 2nd league football last season and got themselves relegated. They are well suited to this level, they have a few of the youngsters from Sigma and Brno in their side and play some lovely football. So, it wasn’t a surprise when they took the lead in the 30th minute, a shot on the turn from their extremely tall striker. We almost missed the goal, as Zoltan was demanding we translate every conversation into Czech…

Half time and we are summoned to the bar for a round of beer and for our new found friend to show his party trick. He asked if we knew how he stops himself drinking vodka…of course having met him only 30 minutes before, we answered..no. So, he ordered a shot and placed the shot glass facedown on his forehead – got a laugh and then drunk it….We pointed out that he hadn’t prevented himself from drinking, he just shrugged his shoulders and said that was part of the trick.

The Hungarian

The Hungarian

Second half and Craggy needed a break, so off he went in search of the Trebic klobasa. A few minutes he returned with two kingsize sausages and a couple more beers. By this time, I had decided that it would be a good idea to balance the sausage on the crash barriers and just as paper plate was perfectly in place, Trebic equalised, the crash barrier racked and in a matrix move, the sausage fell to the ground… 78 fans celebrated and two of us looked to the floor in disgust. Sausage overboard. Not our finest moment of the season.

So off we went in search of a replacement and I think both sides also decided that they’d had enough and played out the final 30 minutes with very few chances either side.

One thing we both saw was there is quite a noticeable step in quality in MSFL and if Blansko were to get there, they would have to invest heavily in the team. We love the effort the players put into every game, but sometimes that is not quite enough.

Trebic pitch

Trebic pitch