Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Sunday, February 5, 2017

SK Úvaly (Czech Republic)

SK Úvaly is a football club from the town of the same name, located around eleven miles east of the Czech Republic capital of Prague. The club was formed on the 30th March 1919 following a meeting at hotelu Křovák, where it was decided to collect subscriptions to try and buy a football.

The title Sports Club Kubalech was soon changed to Sportovní Klub Ouvaly. By October 19th 1919 the club had raised enough money to rent some land for a pitch near to the forest on the edge of town. In the opening game SK Pečky were defeated 8-2 in front of 300 fans.

The club struggled to survive in the first part of the 1920’s before regathering and renting a new ground and changing the club title to SK Úvaly in 1928 as well as joining local competition rather than playing in just friendly games.

In 1929 the street where the club was located was named in honour of Guth-Jarkovského, who had been Chairman of the club. A new clubhouse was completed the following year. The team competed in the 1B class of local competition.

In 1958 Úvaly reached 1A level, before reaching the regional championship in 1964; the third tier of football in the republic. The ground was improved with the construction of a grandstand, before the team dropped down the divisions in a period of decline.

By 2000 the club committee decided to try and restore the club back its former glory. They managed to attain a place in the Prague Championship before dropping back down after a terrible opening season at the new level.

The club decamped to play matches at Škvorec fpr a year while a new pitch with drainage was laid and cultivated, while new changing room blocks were constructed. In 2004-05 the 1B division was won.

The 2004-05 season saw the first team lift the 1A title and move back to the Prague Championship (Pražský přebor), while the youth teams at the club continued to show promise to set up a sound base.

The club continued to consolidate and improve their club facilities, going on to build new facilities for handball and tennis in 2010 as well as reconstructing the grandstand. The hard work paid dividends as the club reached the fourth tier of Czech football for the 2012-13 season and were placed in Divize B, finishing in fifth place.

Úvaly consolidated their place over the next few seasons, before a final eleventh placed slot saw them stave off the fear of relegation in 2015-16.

SK Úvaly will play in Czech League Divize B in the 2016-17 season.

My visit

Sunday 13th March 2016

My weekend in Prague was going really well and I was in good form after attending the Viktoria Žižkov Sunday morning match. I decided to walk into the city before heading out for my afternoon’s entertainment, which was to be between SK Úvaly in the fourth tier Divize B.

To reach Úvaly I needed to catch a train from Praha Masarykovo Nádraží station. I paid for my ticket on board, which cost around £3 return. The journey took around twenty minutes. On alighting I walked through the quite streets, which I noticed had loud hailers attached to assorted telegraph poles.

Just before heading down Klánovická, I bumped into a fellow groundhopper. This chap was from Germany and walking away from the ground. He broke the bad news that the game was off. This was extremely disappointing as the weather seemed fine; even if rain was forecast later.

Regardless, I continued on to have a look at Stadion SK Úvaly, where I found a tidy venue with a small stand backing onto Guth-Jarkovského. The rest of the ground was flat standing areas with tennis courts further along from the extensive changing room blocks.

Despite the disappointment I was happy to have filled in some time. I returned to the city and my room in Žižkov for a siesta before heading back down town where I headed to Rocky O'Reilly's Irish Pub on Štěpánská to watch multiple sports on the many screens and then enjoy a nice local meal at a fine traditional local establishment. 

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