Tuesday, 25 September 2018

FK Slavoj Stará Boleslav

FK Slavoj Stará Boleslav 3-3 TJ Sokol Chotětov (Stará Boleslav won on penalties)
Stara Boleslav

Date of visit: Saturday 22nd September 2018
League: Štředočesky Kraj - 1.B Třída sk B (7th Tier)
Ticket: Free
Programme: n/a
Beer: 25kč  (Staorpramen 10)
Attendance: approx 30

FK Slavoj Stará Boleslav

My last blog post was back in March so it's been a while but I'd like to get back into it. I'm starting with my 14th match of the season and a first visit to Stara Boleslav.

Stara Boleslav are another club who like the 10:15am kick off (you're not as unique as you think FKVŽ) so it was a fairly early start. The plan was to get to Stara Boleslav for around 9:30, watch the match, have some lunch and then head to Poděbrady for a 16:30 game. We were doing quite well until the 16:30 game part.

The station here isn't exactly central..
I drive through Stará Boleslav every Wednesday and I always assumed that the station would be somewhere in or near the centre. It isn't. Walking out of the station I couldn't get my bearings at all. No big red church in sight, no castle, hmm. We appeared to be in a forest next to the motorway D8. Google politely informed us that the centre was a somewhat ugly 29 minute walk away which at least meant walking past the pub so we could check the lunch menu for later.

Arriving at the ground we walked past the unmanned ticket booth and headed straight for the bar. The 'Na Slavoji' kiosk serves a good selection of snacks and drinks alongside the usual klobasa and fresh, crisp, draught Staropramen. Ah well, you can't win them all.

The 25kč Staropramen on tap at Na Slavoji isn't as bad as it sounds if you can get through the crowd..
We took our seat on the benches outide the main building and, thankful that it wasn't raining (no cover in sight), we settled down for the 1.B Třída clash between Stará Boleslav and Chotětov.

The match was, in a word, outstanding. It was my 14th game of the season and probably the best so far. Both teams were up for the game, it was end to end and both teams hit the bar and post before a late challenge enabled the home side to score from the spot and go in at half time 2-1 up.

Top quality stuff in the 7th tier of Czech football.
The fast pace continued after the break with the home side quickly extending their lead to make it 3-1. This was slightly baffling as Steve and I both commented that Chotětov looked the more dangerous side throughout. The away side pulled a goal back and from then on the draw seemed inevitable. Chotětov equalised in the last minute. Scenes! The match went to an equally entertaining penalty shootout which Stara Boleslav went on to win 5-4. Uff.

It was time for a bit of culture before lunch so we set off sightseeing. This particular venture involved turning right instead of left for about 200m and taking a picture of a church. Job done.

Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie

The town square in Stará Boleslav
We decided to have lunch in Hostinec Modrá Hvězda which is about half way between the station and centre. I've driven past this pub a few times and it caught my attention as there's an old bicycle hanging above the door. It's strange for me to admitt I actually quite enjoyed the beer at the game but changing to tank gambrinus 10 was a welcome if not huge step up in quality. They also sell Pilsner but we were on our 4th pint and still had another match to get to. At least that was the plan. The pub looks better from the outside and there are probably better options in Stará Boleslav...certainly in neighbouring Brandys nad Labem....but if you're after a basic Czech meal with good cheap beer and o2 sport then this is the place.

We went back to the station and took the 30 minute train to our next stop, the historical spa town of Poděbrady. I'd never been there before and while I knew about it's popularity (and beauty) I wasn't quite ready for the huge amount of tourists waiting for us on arrival.

We made our way through the park and the various mineral water springs (which Steve insisted on tasting - brave) and as we had 2 hours until kick off we headed towards the local mini brewery - restaurace v pivovaře. I'd heard terrible things about the service in this place so I went in with low expectations but it was fine. Beer is pricey at 38kč-49kč but they have a decent selection - 11 light, 12 light, 12 dark, 13 Czech ale, 14 IPA. I was completely bloated after my duck and dumpling lunch so I went for the 11 and I have to say it was far too sweet for my taste. If I ever go back I'll try the IPA but this was still quite early and I knew there was a lot more drinking to be done. If you go to Poděbrady it is worth stopping for a beer. The interior of the restaurant is excellent with its mix of wood and stone. You can find it right by the river Labe.

Zdroj 11 at restaurace v pivovaře
I thought I had planned this trip perfectly before realising the sports club 50 meters from the brewery was the yacht club rather than the football club. Oops. I knew we were close to Slovan Poděbrady which was just over the river but we were going to see Bohemia Poděbrady. Once again google prepared us a 30 minute walk and we set off knowing we'd get there just before kick off and head straight for the beer.

We arrived three minutes before kick off to what can only be described as an abandoned building site of a ground. It was nice of them to mention this on their website! I frantically searched for info online without success before finding a facebook post warning that their previous home game was being played on their all weather pitch across town.

FK Bohemia Poděbrady

 Google once again sent us on a 23 minute walk (steps were up to 12,000 by this point and my back was in bits) but when we arrived there was no football to be found. In conclusion....they were either playing at Slovan or a nearby village. Either way we gave up, found a pub and spent the next 3 hours listening to a violin, box, accordion trio and drinking some lovely Pilsner Urquell.

Náš Hostinec - Poděbrady
Despite the madness at the end and the bad back it was a good day. We saw a great game of football in the morning and walked miles through Poděbrady in the afternoon.

Next up for me is my first trip to Goodison Park since John Stead scored there in Paul Ince's first game as Rovers manager. See you on the 29th September Everton!