Position: Attacking midfield / forward
Why he’s here
Back in May 2011 fifteen-year-old made his debut for Pribram, becoming the youngest ever debutant in the Synot Liga in the process. Shortly afterwards the youth international swapped the Czech Republic for Germany as he signed for Hamburg and immediately took up residency in Die Rothosen’s youth structure.
Since making the switch, Dominik Masek has gradually risen through the ranks at Hamburg, become a pivotal figure in the Czech u19s when playing just behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1, and, in 2013, broke through into Hamburg’s second team. 2014 looked as if that progression would continue.
The past year has been...
…a mixed bag
The Hamburg contracted attacking midfielder ended 2013 with arguably one of his best performances in the Regionalliga (Germany’s fourth tier) as he scored twice against Hannover, proof that he was just beginning to flex his muscles at the right time. For Hamburg’s second string he was normally shunted around from position to position, but despite having no fixed abode his influence was increasing. Sadly, by the time the Regionalliga resumed after the winter break Masek was on a physio’s table and not on a football pitch.
But when the Elite Phase of u19 European Championship Qualification rolled around in the spring, Masek was back. He picked up the captains armband and led with aplomb as the Czechs sprung a surprise ten-man victory over their Italian counterparts, a game in which Daniel Holzer scored the only goal of the game. Masek was rested for the next game against Bulgaria, but he returned to the team for their final tie.
Whilst he made his comeback as the main component of Pavel Hoftych’s u19s, domestically for Hamburg, the rest of 2013-14 was a write-off. Masek did turn out for Die Rothosen’s second side, but his appearances typically came in little cameos from the bench.
Luckily, though, this campaign started off considerably better than the last one ended.
So far the nineteen-year-old has featured fifteen times for Hamburg II in the Regionalliga Nord and has five goals to his name. He is still played – seemingly – in a different position each week, but that continual relocation hasn’t hampered his abilities or, importantly, his contribution.
Whether he is deployed in a more advanced role or slightly deeper, his return of one goal every three games is a fine ratio for a midfielder – one that anybody at any level would be proud of.
The worrying aspect is that he tends to flicker in and out of the starting line-up. Seven of his fifteen appearances has come as a substitute and despite his prowess in front of goal, he just can’t seem to string together a successive run of games from the opening whistle.
His displays in the red of the Czech Republic t under 19 level, and most recently with the intermediary under 20s, have shown that he’s an intelligent and versatile attacking-minded midfielder who isn’t afraid of taking on responsibility in the final third. Over the next twelve months, he’ll hopefully continue his good form and a continuation of his prolificacy in front of goal.
But there is the big question that needs asking. Is he Bundesliga ready? Absolutely not, certainly not at this moment in time, but he thinks he’s capable of playing at a higher level than the fourth tier of German football. In 2015, we’d like to see him make that step up, sooner rather than later.
Reports suggest that his contract is up for renewal in the summer, so the next couple of months could be vital as he plays for a deal either with Hamburg or somewhere else.
- Posted by Chris Boothroyd
- On 5th January 2015