The rest of the Saturday blurred into a mixture of shopping, beer and curry. It was a fairly good balance. And when Gy asked whether there was a game that we could go to on the Sunday morning we realised that we had struck that balance just right…I think she loves football really.
Viktoria Žižkov – Jiskra Domažlice 20 September
As it turned out there was a game (Martin and I knew that all along) and what a tantalising fixture it was. Žižkov are another one of those teams that has been chronically mismanaged from a financial perspective and like so many others has found itself demoted to the nether regions of lower league football.
The enticingly name eFotbal Arena was to be the venue (I think it constitutes a stadium). I would suggest that letting your stadium be sponsored by an unknown brand with a bizarre sounding concept is not something to make you your millions.
The stadium (I am going with it) seemed to be located not far from the middle of the town. No idea if that is right, but I do know that the tram from Martin’s house was down a big hill.
Floodlight – also used as toilet by away fans. I saw you.
Small brownfield site and was slotted in behind some old, old buildings and some classic 70s looking office building that were probably built in 1993 by architects who should have known better. The security were friendly if a little bemused by our suitcases (we were between accommodation), but ultimately saw us as no harm (clearly never seen Gy in full flow).
The toilets left much to be desired. The dank smell of stale urine that is becoming ever so less common in the Central Eastern Europe for better or for worse. I think probably for better although who doesn’t like a dark toilet with no water and non-locking doors.
The game was again the quality that we know and love in the Czech Third Tier. To be honest anything more sophisticated would be lost with my eyes still caked in sleep dust (or beasties as my Scottish mother scarily calls them). I think they are a sign of weakness in Scotland. In Hungary, it is just a sign that you have just not washed your face since waking up. Oops, caught a tangent again.
The beer was lager as you would expect. But Czech lager is good. The thought of Soproni makes me shudder. The thought of Soproni at 10.15 makes me sad.
Czech beer making us happy. Note that Martin has drunk far more than me.
THEN…a moment of eternal glory in the history of TimmyBacsi. One of those moments that happens once in a lifetime. I became possessed by the spirit of a great footballer. Let me explain…play was developing near our corner of the pitch when a cross caught a defender’s boot and spun into the air, heading into our direction, but the safety of the metal fence meant that surely there would be no danger. But no, Gy’s increasingly high pitched wail (she is as scared of balls as I am of flying dogs with lentils for eyes), the bouncing ball had evaded the fence and was heading towards us. I pushed Gy to safety and did the only thing that a man can do in such a situation. I forcefully returned the ball to play with my forehead. Caboom. The crowd roared. I had saved Gy from a close call with a flying ball and performed a header that Ledley King would have been proud of. I think I will never want for a drink in the Žižkov area ever again.
I lost interest in the game after that, I no longer wanted to spectate. I wanted to play. I watched every header with interest but none came close to the sheer heroism and technical ability of my header. I think I still have concussion.
Home players celebrating a great header.
Žižkov won. I loved the place. Special mention for the seven away fans and a drum. One day they will feature in a RomCom TimmyBacsi spin-off