Czech national team members, who had won the continental championship in Prague also dominated the European Minifootball Cup for under 21 players in Jevišovice in the Znojmo region. General manager Petr Brejla with the head coach Zdeněk Parůžek divided the Czech national team into two similarly strong halves. The red team was made of the European champions, who are gradually leaving the national team due to exceeding the age limit of 21 years of age, and of some newcomers. Younger players, who in June won the European championship, together with some new faces, wore the white jerseys.
In the finals, the Whites defeated Austria after a fierce fight 7:5 “Winning is a must, so far I have not lost a single game in the national team,” said Širůček with a smile. He, together with the Czech captain Lukáš Haspra, has won in the last twelve matches of the national team. “We had the toughest match of the tournament with the second Czech team. In the finals, I had no worries, we just got satisfied with the result too soon, thirty minutes is a long time,” commented the striker from Blansko the drama which the Czechs allowed after the break, though they won the first half 6:0. The Reds occupied the fourth place in the tournament. “After creating the two teams we are glad that the young unit with more newcomers was more successful, they can stay on the winning curve. On the other hand, for the older players the departure from this age category is bitter since they finished last in the tournament, although it could have turned out differently,” said Parůžek.
European Minifootball Cup was opened by a famous former player Petr Švancara, who celebrated his thirty-ninth birthday on Saturday. In the first game the two Czech teams met and the white team won 5:4. We could watch a fantastic solo across the field made by a goalie Dominik Kunický. A wonderful winning goal was scored by Daniel Kasal the defender from Most. “My first contacts with the ball were poor. I was a little bit nervous, but it has been gradually getting better and better. In Jihlava we play in a different way and it took me a while to understand the system. After fifteen minutes, I got used to it and it was cool,” described his premiere attacker Lubor Trojánek, who wore the red jersey.
In the second semifinal Austrians defeated Slovakia 5:4, so in the battle for the third place the red Czech unit met our eastern neighbors, who lost the previous four mutual duels. This time they finally claimed a victory 5:3. The Red team resisted, even though they had only one substitute, as two members of the roster had to leave after the semifinal to play for their clubs. “The loss with Slovakia is a bad luck, but all the boys deserve a compliment. At least the white team won in the finals, I believed the boys. They’re friends and I get a great experience from each tournament they participate in,” claimed a Czech faithful fan Patrik Linke. In the finals, he was satisfied with the white Czech team, who defeated Austria 7:5; even after a six goal leadership before the break nobody expected such drama. “In the finals some of our boys showed they are not experienced enough. We have to work on this and make them a team. We must get them mentally at least to the level of the team that we had before. This tournament was the first step and we believe we found players who we can work with,” said Parůžek.
Some outstanding players had to say goodbye to the national Under 21 team in Jevišovice for example, the best player of Euro Daniel Kavka, Czech number one goalie Vaclav Šlégr, Pardubice defender Jan Rosůlek, a pair of defenders from Brno Jan Hloch and Michal Mezník, Blansko midfielder Pavel Blaha and Prague defender Břetislav Tvrzník. “There is no need to look into the past, we do not want that. The victory and performance of the young players showed us that the new generation has quality. But the leaving generation managed to form a great team and was very successful. It is questionable whether it will be followed by younger players,” mused the head coach. For example forward Širůček will have to get used to new teammates. “I will miss the guys. When you win the title Champions of Europe with someone, it is clear that they are high-quality players. But also the new guys fit in just fine, they are smart and bring something to the national team,” said Blansko striker. “Hopefully the series of matches without a loss will last as long as possible. It depends if I get another invitation to the national team. Every footballer wants to represent,” said Širůček.
European Minifootball Cup for under 21 players
Czech Republic „red“ – Czech Republic „white“ 4:5
Goals: 3. Hloch, 9. Trojánek, 35. a 43. Kavka – 10. a 57. Kasal, 4. Tošenovský,
18. Kunický, 48. Chábera
Third place game:
Czech Republic „red“ – Slovakia 3:5
Goals Czech Republic: 25. Kavka, 27. Trojánek, 49. Drašnar
Czech Republic „white“ – Austria 7:5 (6:0)
Goals Czech Republic: 12., 14. a 36. Chábera, 23. a 25. Minx, 7. Širůček, 26. Tvrzník