Winter is definitely setting in. I saw it with my eyes and felt it with my feet. The sky was dark, the air was cold and the drizzle had picked up a notch so it wasn’t the ideal day to get out of bed at 8:30 on a Sunday morning. I layered up and put my trainers on, as they were the quicker option, and headed out for my tram. Half an hour later I was there, the home of Czech football. I met Grahame and Cian twenty minutes before kick off and we got ourselves a coffee and sat down to watch the warm ups. They were pretty much like my Monday night warm ups, a couple of stretches, a chat about the weekend and then take shots at the keeper. It was only 10am but the majority of the 471 strong-crowd were getting stuck into the beer. I was told they can attract five thousand people, but due to the weather and the opponents being poor, most people stayed at home.
The teams came out and did the obligatory pre-game handshakes before standing in a semi circle for a minute’s silence for the recent Paris attacks. One of the linesman was a woman, a sight that would’ve caused uproar in the backwards minds of Andy Gray and Richard Keys. They’d be frothing at the mouth, spewing jokes about the offside rule and ‘getting the dinner on’ had they been in attendance. The standard was much better than expected. I thought they were a 2nd division outfit but apparently they got relegated last season for financial reasons and now play in the third division. It only costs 50 Kc (£2.09) to get in so as refreshing as that is in the modern game, it’s hardly surprising.
The first half ended one nil to the home side and could’ve been a couple more but for a great save and some poor finishing. It was time to check out the sausages and get a pint. I had heard they do the best sausages in the league at Viktoria Zizkov but as it’s the only game I’ve been to, I can’t confirm or deny this claim. I can confirm it was the second best sausage I’ve had out here though, beaten only by the runny black pudding sausage I had the other night. We met some ex-pats at half time, a Glaswegian and a Swede, who are both season ticket holders. They invited us to join them for an away trip next weekend, so I may be able to offer a better judgement on the sausages next week. The second half saw the home team dominate and a further two goals were scored, one being a penalty. 3-0 the final score. We headed behind the goal for a bit of Zizkov tradition. After the game the players run along the stand behind the goal and high five their fans before kneeling in the goal mouth and singing songs with them. It happens at every home game. Nice touch and something the prima donnas in our league could learn from. As Grahame was ill, Cian was hitting the gym and I wasn’t far off developing trench foot; we all went our separate ways after the match, agreeing to meet up tomorrow for Ireland’s playoff match.
I got home and changed in to dry clothes and spent the next couple of hours attempting to write up a match report as my housemate said she might be able to get it published in the Prague post. It was tougher than I thought. I’d made a couple of notes during the game but I didn’t know any of the player’s names and they weren’t printed in the programme. You can’t keep referring to them as ‘their number 3’ or ‘the away keeper’ so I Googled and Googled until I came across the match report from today’s game. Took me plenty of time to find that though. It must have just gone live when I found it.
I then had a chat with a few folks at home, Dom, Lyons and Leon (be ashamed everyone else) and set about making some dinner. I’d forgotten to take the pork out of the freezer yesterday so my Czech Sunday roast was out of the window. I didn’t want to use any of the roast ingredients and I was not going to get myself wet and cold to give Tesco any money, so cupboard and fridge surprise it was. Butternut squash, chorizo, tomatoes, chillies and spring onion chucked in a pan and stirred around for a bit. It was alright, nothing to write home about or take photos of but it filled the gap at least. If it was food porn, it would definitely be the reader’s wives section.
With writing done and dinner eaten, it’s time to turn my attention to unwinding and getting ready for the working week. Fingers crossed the weather cheers up.