Bohemians 1905 – Viktoria Plzen 20 September
There is only one way to pass the time between football matches in Prague and that is at Bernard. Bernard is neither a man nor a saintly dog, but an excellent Czech beer maker with its own small chain of pubs. The only problem with Czech pubs and vegetarians (I.e. me and Gy) is that the food tends to be limited to cheese. That cheese may be pickled, fried or on top of a salad. We went for the pickled option with chips and a small note to do some exercise at the next available opportunity.
Gy supports while I check out my beer glass’ belt clip.
The last and final game of the weekend was one that I have been looking forward to for several years. Bohemians 1905 formed in 1905 with a green kangaroo for a badge as a result of the club being gifted a kangaroo by some inmates whilst on a tour of Australia in 1927. No historical record remains of what the badge was for the first 22 years of the club’s existence, but rumour has it was a stylised negative of Sartre who was also born in 1905 and remains my favourite bohemian. Boom.
Anyhow, Bohemians is to Martin what MTK is to me (although he has about ten years more supporting behind him so I am still very much in his shadow). Every time we meet he has been keen to show me the home of Bohemians and the time had finally come. It did not disappoint. Dolicek shares many of the characteristics of the eFotbol Arena that we had visited earlier in (the very long) day. This time throngs of fans bedecked in green congregated in the excellent beer garden in the shadow of the main stand. Being at a full stadium is a fairly rare occurrence for me. The stadium is hemmed in on all sides by the sprawl of Mittel European town. I like it. The Bohemka faithful filled the other end of the stadium with Viktoria Plzen’s fans tucked in in the most ridiculously small away section I have ever seen. (How many people have seen two Viktoria’s play in one day? – Interestingly the Plzen – Zizkov games are often referred to as The Battle of the Women.)
We were allowed to stand on the pitch’s edge. After my glories earlier in the day, I thought I was odds on for another ball touch (and ultimately a professional contract). As it turned out, I was denied by a small ball boy. He will never know the glory that he stopped and the pain that he caused. B’’’’’’d.
Was he the ballboy that stole my glory? Either way, he is tiny.
Viktoria are one of Czech football’s good teams. Often flirting with the Champions’ League Group stages, they dominated from the outset. Bohemka chasing shadows and the ball for most of the first half. That said, Viktoria stuggled to create anything of any note (I am writing this a week later so anything of note would have to have been something pretty notable). They did get a corner or two.
The second half was more of the same with the inevitable goal coming for Viktoria about ten minutes into the game. And that was more or less that. Bohemka threatened like a 1920s kangaroo that has just spent eight weeks on a boat to a winter’s Prague. Not very much.
Worst pitch invasion ever.
The game ended. But the party did not. Bars stay open for as long people stay at the ground. So we enjoyed a late afternoon beer before saying our farewells and departing from Prague for another day.
I’ll be back. If only to have my photo taken with the kangaroo mascot.
Rounding off a great weekend.