Exactly one month before the start of the European Minifootball Championship which will take place in Brno from 9th to 17th June 2017, the coaches of the Czech national team must submit a preliminary nomination of twenty names. Two weeks before the championship they will select the final fifteen which will fight for the medal at home Euro. No one will be surprised when the Czech star Ondřej Paděra will dress up the national jersey again. The 28-year-old striker took part in three European championships and he became the best shooter of the Czech team on two of them.
Therefore he couldn´t be absent in the preparatory camp of the Czech national team in Český Dub last week. “I do not want to sound arrogant, but I think that if I play in the national league as well as I do now and if I score some more goals, I have a great chance to get to Euro,” said the second best football shooter of the DRFG Super League (Czech National Minifootball Leaugue). With sixteen goals he lags a single goal behind his teammate from Blanensko, Jan Koudelka.
How do you see your chances after the camp in Český Dub?
“The coaches divided us into two teams, each one played one match and together we had about two, three training sessions. Of course, we don´t know the final nomination yet, but after the individual interviews with the coaches I feel that I won´t miss the championship.”
Did you feel a strong competition at the training sessions?
“It was obvious that we all want to play at the home championship. We played a preparatory match against the best players from Prague and the boys were unbelievable. I haven´t seen anyone to play like this in Super League for a long time, maybe they felt the chance to get to the camp. Besides these boys from Prague all the players in the camp have already met before, we know each other and we are friends. Everybody wants to participate in Euro but I haven´t felt anything insidious or hostile from the others.”
Do you feel nervous before the upcoming championship?
“When I started to play minifootball three years ago and I was called to the European Championship in Montenegro for the first time, there were rumours about Euro in Brno even at that time. I think I can speak on behalf of all the boys that we´re looking forward to the championship since then. I’m doing everything to get there. It’s going to be a celebration of minifootball.”
Did you watch the draw of the basic groups of Euro?
“I was aware of it, I knew when it was because I follow the Euro web page. I think the Czech Republic will be the favourite of our group. The Hungarians, who played well with the support of domestic audience last year, will be very strong. I don´t know anything about Israel and Latvia. Some team can stand out like the last year champion from Kazakhstan, but I suppose group A will be dominated by the Czech Republic.”
Do you have any experience with any of your opponents?
“No, I´ve only seen their matches. I’ve been to three European championships but I haven´t played against any of them, even in a friendly match. I have watched almost every Hungarian game last year because they always had a full stadium of spectators. I enjoyed watching them, I remember some players. As I have already said, I don´t know anything about the Latvians and the Israelis. It will be a new experience if I am selected for Euro.”
Published by Jakub Stefek