National League Season Review 2013-14: A nail biting finish

The final day of the National League season provided a caricature of Czech football.

Heading into that fateful day three teams, Ceske Budejovice, Taborsko and Hradec Kralove, were separated by a solitary point and, as luck would have it, Taborsko would be hosting Ceske Budejovice in a South Bohemians derby. It was a fixture built for the television cameras but Ceske Televize had opted to broadcast something concerning Sparta Prague. And people wonder why the second division gets the short end of the stick?

To make matters more interesting Hradec would be facing their own regional rivals in Pardubice as they, like Budejovice, attempted to secure an immediate return to the top flight whilst elsewhere around the country all the other fixtures were utterly pointless: Bohemians Praha and Loko Vltavin had been consigned to the CFL weeks before for being very useless all year, so besides the two promotion deciding games, nobody else gave two hoots – least of all the Sokolov, Frydek-Mistek and Vlasim defenders.

As for matters involving the top three; Taborsko suffered from the biggest bout of stage fright you’ll ever see, and Hradec Kralove decided it would be a good idea to fire blanks all afternoon. Taborsko would eventually crumble like fine pastry to a 6-0 defeat but, ridiculously, they were still on course for promotion due to Hradec’s wastefulness. Luckily, for Hradec, Emir Halilovic finally scored to send Votroci up alongside Cekse Budejovice. The two that were demoted from the Gambrinus Liga last year made an immediate return, albeit in a nail-biting fashion.

All three sides in the hunt on the final day deserved to be promoted for one reason or another: Ceske Budejovice were probably the best team in the division, bar a blip at the start of the season that saw Pavel Hoftych lose his job; Hradec Kralove were the most consistent over the course of the ten months and Taborsko were perhaps the most deserving. It’s just a shame they lost their head at the worst moment possible.

That or they were informed previously they had no chance of being granted a shiny new Synot Liga license beforehand…..

Elsewhere all the other FNL competitors seemed happy to tread water. Viktoria Zizkov showed flashes of promise, Zlin once again punched below their weight to finish mid-table and nobody really liked heading to Varnsdorf to play a game of football. Same old, same old.

Bar the battle between the top three, it was, unfortunately, a pretty formulaic season.

  • Top scorer: David Vanecek (Hradec Kralove) – 17
  • Highest attendance: Taborsko v Ceske Budejovice – 7,645
  • Highest average attendance: Frydek-Mistek – 3,465
  • Promoted to the 2014-15 FNL: Opava (MSFL) and Kolin (CFL)

Narodni Liga Table

# P W D L GD Pts
1. SK Dynamo Ceske Budejovice(Champions, promoted) 30 19 5 6 +37 62
2. FC Hradec Kralove (Promoted) 30 18 7 5 +27 61
3. FC MAS Taborsko 30 17 8 5 +19 59
4. FK Varnsdorf 30 13 8 9 +11 47
5. FK Viktoria Zizkov 30 14 5 11 +9 47
6. FK Banik Sokolov 30 13 7 10 -4 46
7. FK Usti nad Labem 30 13 4 13 +1 43
8. MFK OKD Karvina 30 12 6 12 +5 42
9. FK Fotbal Trinec 30 11 6 13 -7 39
10. FC Fastav Zlin 30 10 7 13 +3 37
11. FK Pardubice 30 10 7 13 0 37
12. FK Banik Most 1909 30 10 7 13 -12 37
13. FC Graffin Vlasim 30 11 3 16 -17 36
14. MFK Frydek-Mistek 30 8 10 12 -7 34
15. FK Bohemians Prague (Relegated to the CFL) 30 6 4 20 -36 22
16. Loko Vltavin (Relegated to the CFL) 30 4 8 18 -29 20

 

  • Posted by Chris Boothroyd
  • On 1st July 2014

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