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 their maintenance.

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 fortunate 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 heightens 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 try today. They'll be delighted 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. Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby as he grows into a young man!

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


November 2018

Saturday, May 13, 2017

SK Motorlet Praha (Czech Republic)

SK Motorlet Praha is a football club from the Jinonice district of the Czech Republic capital, who were formed in 1912 as Sportovní kroužek Butovice, becoming Sportovní klub Butovice the following year. In 1921 the club was placed in the third tier of Prague football, winning promotion to the second level three years later.

In 1930 the club was renamed 1930 SK Praha XVII, the XVII to signify the number given to the Jinonice district. After relegation the club won promotion back to the second tier in 1936, as SK Walter became tenants of the club.

In the 1940’s all public meetings were banned in the country, although football continued. Membership grew by 1946 following the end of the fascist dictatorship under German rule and the club celebrated by building up the facilities at Stadion Motorlet.

In 1948 a merger between SK Walter, SK Praha XVII a Viktorky Jinonice  led to the club becoming Sokol Jinonice, and then Sokol Šverma Jinonice a year later as players departed as they were forced to represent the club of their workplace.

Under Soviet rule the club became DSO Spartak Praha Motorlet in 1953. The league structure was reorganised with Motorlet’s several sides all being promoted. The first team were placed in Championship UNV, the third level of Czech football. Under head coach V. Blažejovský, the club won promotion to Liga II.

The 1961-62 season saw Motorlet finish in fourth place, but a year later they lifted the Liga II crown to win promotion to the Czechoslovak First League. In the decisive game the team defeated Slavia Kovu Děčín in front of 12,000 fans at Motorlet Stadium.

The side returned to the second flight after just one season, in which they finished bottom of the table after only winning one game and then later dropped down to the third tier; settling there for several years in a mid table ending.

In 1969 TJ Motorlet Praha became the seventh different name that the club played under. The late 70’s progress to the two tiered NFL; gaining promotion to its higher level in 1979. The team descended down the divisions during the 80’s.

In the early 90’s Motorlet was renamed SSK Motorlet Praha, as the team progressed to the third level ČFL (Bohemian Football League) under the tutelage of Z. Peclinovského and F. Reichla before the title was changed again in 1994 to FC Patenidis Motorlet Praha.

In 2000 the club name was changed to its current title as the first team plied its trade in the 4. Liga Divize A, and a season in the B section. After successive second place finishes, Motorlet won promotion to the ČFL. However, their time at the third level lasted just one campaign.

Three third place finishes ensued in Divize B. The club was moved across to Divize A for the 2015-16 season, where they took the runners-up spot.

FK Motorlet Praha will play in Republic 4. Liga Divizní Skupinu A in the 2016-17 season.

My visit

Motorlet Praha 4 Nové Strašecí 1 (Saturday 12th March 2016) Czech Republic 4. Liga Divizní Skupinu A (att: 100)

The Saturday of my long weekend trip to Prague was going well, even if I’d been slightly disappointed to arrive at my morning match at Aritma to find the game taking place on the second pitch; an artificial surface adjacent to the main ground. Despite that I’d seen a decent game with a fair crowd and a basic programme, so I couldn’t complain.

Following a lovely holidaymakers lunch in Wenceslas Square of goulash soup and a special spicy Prague sausage, I headed south west on the B line metro to Nové Butovice, from where it was a short walk along Butovická to Stadion Motorlet.

This was despite firstly trying to gain access via the DTJ Jinonice tennis club and then through the local gym before finding the distinctive gates to the club. Once inside a couple of stewards pointed me away from the main pitch. I found this to be a lovely touch as they obviously wanted me to know where the clubhouse was, with kick off still forty five minutes away.

After ordering a nice cheap local beer and relaxing with an excellent free copy of the Prague football magazine Prazsky Fotbalovy Special, it suddenly dawned on me that the gents were in fact pointing to where the match would actually be played. The teams warming up on the artificial pitch behind the stand was all the evidence I needed.

This was another club who weren’t prepared to jeopardise their playing surface immediately after the winter break.

The second pitch was raised with just a small bank down the far side offering any kind of elevated view. The pitch had an artificial surface and was fully railed with a separate dressing room block behind the stand goal. The dug outs were over on the far side.

Once the game kicked off the visitors of Nové Strašecí, a small town thirty miles to the west of Prague, took the lead after just eight minutes, when Marek Hartman pounced after the home keeper had made a great save from an initial shot.

This setback seemed to wake the hosts up from their early slumber. It was soon to become apparent that the visiting defence and goalkeeper definitely belonged in the iffy category.

Martin Podzemský levelled things up on seventeen minutes with an excellent half volley, and then put his side ahead three minutes later as a long throw displayed the weaknesses in the Nové side before it was tapped home at the far post.

The score became 3-1 just before the half hour mark. In fairness to the Nové keeper, he couldn’t do much to keep out a cracking thirty yard shot from Jan Karbulka.

With no further scoring at the break I was left with a decision to make. I could hang about and see another ten minutes of the second half before heading to my evening game, or catch an imminent bus. I decided to call it a day. I wouldn’t have seen the final goal anyway, which was scored by Jakub Hájek with thirteen minutes left on the clock.

By then I was on the 149 bus on a scenic ride over Strahov hill towards Hradčanská to catch another bus up the hill to Juliska for the Dukla Praha v Vysočina Jihlava tea time kick off.

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