Pribram is a bit like The Wall. You take the black, pledge your allegiance, work hard and get very little in the way of recompense. Unless you’re young.
Last season: 12th
CZEFootball predicts: 13th
Odds: 200/1 (Oddschecker)
Marek Bohac and/or Lukas Krbecek – Who is between the sticks for Pribram will have big gloves to fill given Ales Hruska’s departure to Mlada Boleslav. And you have a feeling those big gloves will come in handy if. Bohac made sixteen appearances for Viktoria Zizkov last season, keeping four clean sheets whilst Krbecek arrives from Banik fellow Narodni Liga side Banik Sokolov
One to watch
Ales Mateju – One of the many promising players to emerge from Pribram’s lauded youth system, Mateju spent last season with the PSV academy in Eindhoven. First-team football may not be obtainable straight away for the versatile defender, but playing time will come sooner rather than later.
Pribram’s 2013-14 season will be intrinsically linked with two moments of absolute farce that signed a light so bright on the ills of the game in the country, that only the men sheltered in their ivory towers failed to see what happened at the Energon Arena. It didn’t help matters that the two moments in question came in successive home fixtures, with the latter (partly) easing Znojmo towards relegation.
The first incident revolved around Jan Rajnoch’s sudden magical ability to concede penalties which provoked such outrage that the former international defender subsequently set up his own anti-corruption protest as a rather public riposte to the events that transpired. Then, with the eyes of the Czech media upon them, Pribram benefited from a number of questionable refereeing decisions against Znojmo. None more so than Tomas Krbecek’s 95th minute winner which provoked such outrage that three players were booked and the referee, Jiri Jech, who failed to spot a rather obvious foul on Znojmo’s Vlastimil Hruby, quietly disappeared from active duty. Two unsavoury incidents that managed to tarnish their season.
But away from the controversy Pribram are continually set up to just keep their heads above water. Manager Petr Cuhel has not installed an exciting or swashbuckling style of football since he joined in October last year, instead Pribram is a team very much in his image: uncompromising and slightly outdated with the likes of Tomas Zapotocny, Petr Svancara and Fernando Neves being very much exhibits A, B and C. Yet alongside the elder statesmen who have picked up the black home kit are plenty of youngsters with potential and players with technical promise, the Pribram academy has been churning out gifted players for a while now.
There is a certain irony that Pribram has one of the best youth systems in the country when you compare it to the football that the first-team plays, but in previous years players have head to PSV, Hamburg and Ajax without making an impact in the senior sides – though Mateju, back after a year in Eindhoven, could be the first to set a precedent.
But we may have to wait a while to see the academy graduates being given chances, if at all. Pribram’s first four fixtures read like a nightmare: Plzen, Liberec, Sparta and Mlada Boleslav. If they make it to the end of August with more than a point to their name then they’ll be counting their lucky stars. With a start like that, they could be playing catch-up all season.
In: Ales Mateju (PSV, end of loan), Fernando Neves (Slavia Prague), Lukas Krbecek (Banik Sokolov), Josef Hnanicek (Znojmo)
Out: Ales Hruska (Mlada Boleslav, loan), Milan Misun (Jablonec), Lukas Stratil (Viktoria Plzen, end of loan), Aziz (released), Josef Divisek (Taborsko), Jakub Jugas (Brno)
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 24th July 2014