Club: Slovan Liberec
Not many people managed to escape Liberec’s dire and relegation-threatened 2014-15 season with much, if any, credit. But, Ondrej Kolar was one of the few that did.
After making his senior league debut against Sigma Olomouc in May 2014, the young shot-stopper quickly established himself as u Nisy’s number one, fending off competition from the experienced Lukas Hrosso.
But as Slovan slipped to defeat after defeat, Kolar managed to maintain a certain level of competence that embarrassed his more established teammates. It looked clear that he would be set for brighter things further on down the line.
His displays did not go unnoticed by those in charge of the Czech Republic’s national teams as he graduated through the youth ranks, becoming first-choice for the Under-20s by the end of the year.
Kolar started 2015 in the same way that he finished 2014 – keeping goal for an underachieving Slovan Liberec side – but the year quickly went downhill.
After the opening league game of the year, he was forced to spend a month out on the sidelines with injury and would make his return to the first-team in Liberec’s comeback victory over Trinec in the Czech Cup. He appeared on the bench for the following fixture – only to vanish without a trace.
Looking into his disappearance, an interview, published last March, makes reference to a slightly problematic yet manageable Achilles issues. Evidently, it wasn’t manageable at all: Ondrej Kolar has not featured for Slovan since.
To make matters worse, the club signed two excellent goalkeepers in Tomas Koubek and Vaclav Hladky over the summer.
Looking forward, the one small ray of hope is that Koubek isn’t a permanent fixture in the Liberec dressing room. A loan acquisition from Sparta (via Hradec Kralove), Koubek will, in all likelihood, become Sparta Prague’s first-choice between the sticks this summer.
Hypothetically, this provides a (hopefully) fit Kolar with the chance to fight his way back into first-team affairs. But presuming that Hladky and Hrosso remain in the picture, I’d just be happy to see him regain match fitness in Liberec’s Juniorska Liga squad.
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 10th January 2016