Saturday 29th September 2012 ko 10.15am
Česká Fotbalová Liga
SK KLADNO 2 (Orolín 62 Tóth 76)
FK KOLÍN 1 (Novotný 60)
£1 = 29 Czk
Entry & Programme 50 Csk
Badge 40 Csk
It seems that if you own a SatNav, the world ends at Germany’s eastern edge! Lee had brought his SatNav for the weekend’s driving, but the Western Europe map installed, did not include the Czech Republic. We’d printed off maps from the internet, but when Lee upgraded the car so the 4 of us could give Stuttgart-based Andreas a lift, the built-in SatNav proved to be a godsend. It had ALL of Europe included, so long as you understood enough German to operate it!
From Regensburg it took around 90 minutes by autobahn to reach the Czech border. The first port of call was buy a vignette, allowing use of the Czech motorway system for a week. It’s advertised at €16, but here’s a groundhopping top tip, pay in cash, in Czech currency, as its cheaper. It seemed to us that paying in Euros acted as an ignorance tax. We stopped for fuel too, as that’s cheaper on the Czech side, and made our way via Plzen to the small city of Kladno, around 25km north of Prague. It had been 20 years since my last visit to the Czech Republic, and whilst the motorway was a massive improvement, the only other change I could see was the rash of Tesco stores in every town. I didn’t find out whether my clubcard was valid here!
Kladno is very much an industrial place, still with the factory in its centre, typical of the former Warsaw pact countries, with the big chimney distributing smoke to the suburbs. The Stadion Františka Kloze is part of a larger complex including ice hockey and tennis. It reflects the club’s past playing in the 1-Liga and 2-Liga for the majority of its existance, before being relegated to the amateur ČFL, or 3rd Division Bohemian League in recent years. There are 3 sides, all seated but the dominant feature is the main stand, towering above everything else, built as it is above the changing rooms and clubhouse.
František Kloz, incidentally is the club’s most famous player, spending most of his career at Kladno. He scored 179 goals in the top flight, and played for his country 10 times, before being killed fighting the Nazis in May 1945.
We strolled round to the far side to watch the first half, I mean you just have to take pictures with that stand as the backdrop don’t you? Sadly the 5 of us spent most of the time taking pictures of the ground as the game was dull. I managed to source teamsheets, and badges for those interested by using my few words of German, and the club were sufficiently impressed by my efforts to give me a club lanyard!
Fortunately the game did liven up for 15 minutes, enough time of the visitors to open the scoring with a superb 25 yard free kick from Jan Novotný, only for Kladno’s Slovak forward Pavol Orolín, on loan from 2-Liga Bohemians of Prague, to equalise with a low shot two minutes later. Kladno took a somewhat fortuitous win later on when Marek Tóth’s thumping shot proved to be unstoppable.
We were just pleased to have ticked off an excellent ground, and for 4 of us, collect another country-point. It was also the only time we had a leisurely drive between grounds. Of course if you know me, I like to be busy.