14-02-2005

Cech and Baros on new trend of Czech players in English league

Milan Baros (on the right), photo: CTKMilan Baros (on the right), photo: CTK Never before have there been so many Czechs in the English football league, with the highest profile transfer in January Jiri Jarosik's move from CSKA Moscow to Chelsea (coincidentally, a new restriction on foreigners in the Russian league is causing many Czechs to look for pastures new. This trend looks set to continue; Sparta Prague's Tomas Sivok, for instance, is reportedly the target of several clubs in the Premiership.

Record-breaking goalkeeper Petr Cech is probably the most successful Czech ever to play in the Premiership. He says his compatriots have had a good reputation in the home of football for some years.

"I think even [Patrik] Berger with [Vladimir] Smicer, Milan Baros, maybe I hope me as well, maybe we opened the gate for players from the Czech Republic. Especially after joining the European Union and the problems with work permits - a couple of years ago it was a big problem to join English teams.

"I think it's normal because we played very well during the European Championships. The youth teams are always playing very well and winning trophies. So maybe this is the reason Czech players are coming to England."

While Petr Cech made an immediate impact at Chelsea, his international team-mate Milan Baros had to persevere for some time before breaking into the first team at Liverpool.

"Of course it's different than the Czech league. But I think it's just about confidence and if you can play properly in the team. You have to start slowly and then you can get into the team."

Koller equals Czech record, scoring a goal a game for Dortmund

Jan Koller, photo: CTKJan Koller, photo: CTK Milan Baros's international strike partner, Jan Koller, is in brilliant form at the moment. Last week he equalled the all-time Czech scoring record with his 34th goal. Then on Saturday Koller got his fifth goal in five league games for his club Borussia Dortmund.

Respected former international Hasek standing for top job at Czech FA

Ivan Hasek, former captain of Czechoslovakia and Sparta Prague, is to stand next month for the chairmanship of the Czech football association. Hasek, who is 41 and has a degree in law, is a widely respected figure in the Czech game; he could be just the man to win respect back for a sport tarnished by a series of scandals. His strongest opponent appears to be Vladimir Kostal, business manager of the Czech national team and Sparta Prague president.

Sarka Zahrobska wins first ever Czech medal at Alpine ski World Championships

Sarka Zahrobska, photo: CTKSarka Zahrobska, photo: CTK It was a dream come true for Sarka Zahrobska on Friday, when she took the first Czech medal ever at the Alpine ski World Championships in Santa Caterina, Italy. What's more Zahrobska won the historic bronze slalom medal on her 20th birthday.

"Before the second round I thought it would be hard to hold on to fourth place. The thought of winning a medal was in the back of my mind, but I really didn't expect it. Now I'm really enjoying myself because it's my first medal."

Czechs recover to come second at Swedish Games

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK The Czech Republic came second in ice hockey's Swedish Games at the weekend. After losing 3:2 to the hosts in their opening game, they bounced back in style, beating Finland 3:2 and Russia 4:3. The Czech team are really looking good, just two months before the start of the World Championships in Vienna.

14-02-2005