Sunday 11th November 2018 ko 10.15
Fortuna Divize A/ Czech 4th League-Division A
FK ADMIRA PRAHA 4 (Pavlata 13 Doudera 54 Martinic 67 Zahalka 79)
Zahalka penalty saved 37
TJ TATRAN SEDLČANY 1 (Senft 69)
Entry 40 Kč (around £1.40 ) (for Robyn 20 Kč)
Programme 10 Kč
The tram snaked its way through virtually deserted streets in Prague’s 8th district, better known as Kobylisy. While the beery previous evening was the the cause of our relatively quiet selves, the great advantage of Czech lower league football kicking off early is that it gets you out of bed early, and you still have plenty of time afterwards for sightseeing!
Here the Groundhopper App proved it’s worth. What I wanted was a game fairly close to our hotel near Prague Main Station and preferably with an interesting ground. The closest place was here, and a metro to Kobylisy was a handy means of escaping Prague’s tourist areas and taking a look at her hinterlands.
I’ve long opined that if you want to see what somewhere is really like make use of local transport. And while I do like to try out a city’s metro system, a tram or bus allows you to see so much more. Here we alighted at Kobylisy metro and took the 17 tram to Líbeznická, just a stone’s throw from the the Stadion FK Admira Praha or Stadion v Kobylisy- whichever name you prefer!
I’m told the practice of charging women half price is common enough in the Czech lower leagues, and thinking about it, my visits to Kladno and the Most adventure were done in exclusively male company! The 20 Kč saving was put to good use, Robyn went to the bar for a round of beers and discovered that at 25 Kč for a half litre, it was well under half the cost of the bottle of water she’d bought at our hotel! That’s right, in the Czech Republic beer can be cheaper than water. Now there’s a slogan for the local tourist board!
The original club was FK Meteor Praha based here in Kobylisy and founded in 1896. Their history is one of being founder members of both the Czech FA and Czechoslovak First League in 1925. But when the club upped sticks a year or two later and moved south to Leben, a new club was quickly formed borrowing the Admira name from Viennese football, and eventually moved here to Na Pecích 46 in 1963.
They’ve led a more humble existence than their rivals, spending much of their recent history in the 3rd tier Bohemian League. They’d be very quick though to tell you that Meteor are also now playing in the fourth tier too although rather annoyingly Admira are in Division A and Meteor in Division B. The two grounds are less than 4km apart!
And that fact steers you toward the fact that Admira see themselves as a Bohemian League team in waiting. That was matched on the pitch as they dispatched their visitors with the kind of ruthless efficiency only ever seen from a good team. It left the three British visitors plenty of scope to explore, and it became clear that there was a significant contingent of German hoppers, no doubt heading for the Slavia Prague game that finished just as we were boarding our plane home.
If it hadn’t been for the photo on the Groundhopper App, I don’t think we’d have expected the place to be this well-appointed. Compare if you will a ground in another small country’s fourth tier, Trefelin in the Welsh League Division 3. The difference is remarkable, even if I’d highly recommend visits to both! The stand is just wonderful, a masterpiece of football architecture and if you don’t love the PA speakers then why are you reading this? Then there’s the terrace, home to the Admira Ultras complete with post-match pyro display!
The really curious part is to be found behind the far goal. There is no spectator access there, just an artificial pitch cut into the the hill at right-angels above and behind the main ground. Space was clearly an issue as the dugouts actually just out into thin air, above the main pitch’s goal!
It was in so many ways the perfect ground for the groundhopper. There was a quirky ticket for the Germans (The Fleapit is the other side of the street from the entrance). For the British the programme, that doubles as a raffle, but for everyone the most quirky characterful ground you could possibly wish for. Who could ask for more?