The flight is an hour late on a Friday night in early Autumn. You are tired and you know that that hour is going to make the beer taste sweeter when it finally comes if it ever comes. Gy is grumpy: she does not like waiting. You wonder why you bother. Maybe you should have spent the weekend at home. The flight is one of those droney uncomfortable one that feels like it never ends. The guy that you ordered to pick you up from the airport is hiding, but you find him eventually. The beer does taste sweet when it finally comes, but you are too tired to care. Sleep comes quickly despite the foreign bed.
Then you wake, you realise, it all makes sense. Three football matches of varying quality with one of your best friends and a bizarelly enthusiastic fiancée in two days. Prague…we meet again.
Loko Vltavin – Sokol Zapy 19 September
Lookadooo, Lookadoo, They play on U Průhonu, They hate the Králův Dvůr, Lookadooo…
That cry could not be heard anywhere as we approached the ‘stadium’ (although I am deaf). According to Martin rules, a stadium must consist of four stands. Strange rules, but we are in his country so we will adopt the expression ‘sporting complex without roof’ (as used by Orban when stadium became the taboo word in Hungary – now the taboo words are immigrant and wall, but that is a whole other story).
Much like our visit last year, the game started at a cheerful 10.15 on a Saturday morning. Unlike our visit last year, it was warm(ish) although the beer was still cold enough to merit a drinking mitten. I love this place. Lokado would be my team if I was from Vltavin (which if I remember from my previous research is not a place but a mineral). Ok, Lokado would be my team is Vltavin was my Kryptonite.
Beers in, whistle blown and we have one male linesman and one male referee.
The yard arm is always lower in Prague
The game was of the quality that we have come to know and love. Poor and frentic. The poor male referee was overweight and struggling with the heat and the weight. He did well: no yellow cards are fair representation on the players meant no harm as they came into the tackle a tad on the late side (they are just a bit slow).
Lokado were sporting a new green chess board shirt. It looked good. Also meant that the shirts could be used by the Lokado chess teams next season.
Contemplating what could have been if I had been a Czech 1960s tennis star.
The game was won by a diving (collapsing header) from Lokado player whose name I always forget after a pass from someone else. (Sorry I had had two beers and the sun was still an hour or two from peaking in the autumnal sky).
Well done Lokado and to all the officials who were all equally excellent. Lokado go second so we could be coming back from the promotion party. (Apparently it is not on a train.)
Glad I got my haircut for a Lokado win.
2-1 (but no Mr Achilles)