Position: Attacking midfielder
Club: Bohemians 1905
Why he’s here
When Bohemians 1905 were in the second division a few years back a young and silky midfielder proved to be instrumental in helping the 1983 Czech champions back into the top flight of football. That was Petr Nerad.
Halfway through the 2013-14 season and Nerad looked as if he belonged in the top tier – even if his club’s future might not.
The past year has been…
Nerad made his debut for Bohemians 1905 back in 2012 when he appeared, against Dukla Prague, as a late substitute. In many ways, the club’s relegation at the end of that year provided him with the platform to move into the first-team without having to deal with the pressure of a cliched relegation dogfight. In the second tier, he became a mainstay as Bohemka bounced straight back up to the top flight, scoring five times in twenty-four games. Once back in the (then) Gambrinus Liga the amount of the first-team action dropped, but with twelve appearances in the first half of the season, he was provided with a solid platform which to build a hopefully impressive 2014 upon.
With Bohemians fighting for survival, there was an inevitable change of manager, but Ludek Klusacek’s arrival had no bearing on Nerad’s stature. A further thirteen league games were notched up during the run in, starting six times. The high point of which came when he dazzled against Teplice, scoring one and assisting as another.
During the spring he also made the step up from the Czech under 19s to the under 21s, making his debut at that level in an experimental side that slipped to a defeat against neighbours Slovakia. The door might not have been open, but it was slightly ajar.
With Bohemians’ survival secured, Klusacek stood down. And since the summer, the small and stocky midfielder has gradually dropped down the Dolicek pecking order.
Over the past five months, Nerad has featured just four times for the first team, spending alternate weeks either with Klokani’s Juniorska Liga side or with Meteor Prague VIII of the Czech third division. It seems that he just doesn’t figure in the immediate plans of Roman Pivarnik and sadly we’re now more accustomed to seeing Nerad twiddle his thumbs on the bench than dribble past opponents. From little we’ve seen, that careless abandoned that served him so well has vanished into the ether.
There has been a noticeable shift in Bohemians’ on-field philosophy since the appointment of Roman Pivarnik. The former Olomouc manager has typically set his side to be a little bit more progressive than that of his predecessor, but this attacking edge is also combined with the need to work hard and cover a lot of ground. This alteration has seen Nerad become something of a spare part as Jhon Mosquera and Elvis Bratanovic – both summer signings – are favoured in Nerad’s preferred positions. The twenty-year-old needs to knuckle down and earn the chance to wear the fabled white and green stripes.
And so the issue of a move away rears its head. Under the current system, he is a square peg in a round hole, a luxury attacking midfielder in a system that needs discipline and work rate. So he needs to work hard and show Pivarnik he does have a place or, potentially, cast his gaze elsewhere. He must only look at how Lukas Budinsky is performing for Karvina to see that a drop down a division might not be such a bad thing.
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 7th January 2015