Wednesday 17 September 2008

Bohemians 1905; Prague, Czech Republic.

I returned to Bohemians 1905 on my October 2008 trip. Last year I took some photos of the ground, but never saw a game here. This time it was a top of the table clash, where second placed Bohemians went above their visitors thanks to two earlly second half goals, for no reply. Not being unable to understand Czech I couldn't work out exactly what was going on, but there was some sort of commemoration of their Czechoslovakian championship win, a quarter of a century ago. Players from that team were guests of honour, & did an autograph signing session before the match. And were then feted on the pitch before kick off, delaying it for a few minutes!
The matchday programme had a replica of the programme against the same opponents, from 25 years ago.All in all a big occasion, and the crowd was 7258. It cost In a small room under the stand there was a small museum type display of that championship victory, and I queued up afterwards to look at that. I don't know if that was a special event or not, or if it's there at all games. I paid 110Kc for a ticket behind the goal, though I did 'bunk' into the main stand for the second half, and the glossy 44 page programme was 30 Kc.

Here are the away fans milling about outside their turnstile.

This graffiti was on a wall outside. I'm not entirely sure it's football related, or what it's about, but it's a safe bet it is...

Fans queue to have their photo taken with the club mascot!

I never had the 'bottle' to ask someone to take a picture of me with it! Even though that's what I wanted to do! how sad does that make me...

Fans mingle, and hit the beer stands, inside the turnstiles.

From behind the goal we can look through the fences & netting over to the main stand.

A few flags hung up down the side

This picture is magnificent! Terracing in the middle of the seats behind the goal! clearly the main bulk of hardcore Bohemians fans must have protested, & got them removed! Superb! Fan power!

Here I look over, behind the goal, from where I'm sat.

Looking down the small far end, where the away fans are. That's them in the section immediately to the right of their big flag as we look.

This is the rows of seating down the side opposite the main stand.

Another look across the main home end.

Here I've moved up into the main stand.

And from this angle you can see how packed it is behind the goal.

It's quite a steep stand.

Here I look across it, toward the away end.

The two mascots mess about, just before the second half starts.

A minute inot the half and it's one nil!

And the flares & smoke bombs start to get set off!

Don't worry...that's their own keeper!

A bit of action.

Game over! Time for the celebrations to start!

This is the stand emptied out.

But the terrace party continues!

And so into the little museum/exhibition, which was very popular.

I loved this picture of a packed crowd desparate for vantage points.

A stuffed kangeroo! Was this the original mascot? Who knows!

Wear your colours! Their famous green shirt.

What are they looking at past that pillar?

What's Czech for 'Championes. championes; ole, ole, ole!'?

And that completes my 2008 photos. Below is my orginal posting on this ground:

The name Bohemians is extremely confusing! There are TWO clubs called 'Bohemians' in Prague! But rest assured that Bohemians 1905 is the REAL one, who play at the Dolicek Stadium.
I saw a game here in October 2004, sadly i don't have digital snaps of that visit to show you, as the place has changed, with more plastic seats installed.

I've copied an attempt to explain the situation by the reknowned and expert groundhopper Leo Hoenig, from the Tony Kempster messageboard:

"You should be confused, Mishi - as confused is the only way to view Czech Football The story should start on May 17 2003. The original (and then only) Bohemians were at home to Sparta Praha. It was an important match for both teams - if Sparta won, then they would have 64 points, and be assured of the title Bohemians were struggling at the other end of the table. Bohemians took the lead in the first half, Sparta got back into the game, and went ahead on 71 minutes There was a riot, and the game was abandoned in the 74th minute. (I was later told by a Bohs fan, the riot was just one person - I was watching on Slovakian TV prior to a game at Puchov, and if this was only one person, the Slovak special effects people are really good). The Czech FA awarded the game to Sparta, who won the title, while Bohs - already well known for crowd violence were relegated. The following season, Bohemians missed promotion by three points, but by the winter break 2004-5, there record was won 3, drawn 6, lost 6 and they had 6 points deducted, a total of nine points. They were then thrown out of the league in the Winter break, not playing the second half of the season at all. The reasons were financial, but the reputation of the fans did not help the club. A fans group was set up, getting advice from the likes of AFC Wimbledon on restarting the club. Meanwhile the owner of minor club Strizkov, got in first and renamed his club Bohemians Praha. This meant the fans club could not get the name of the club, ending up as Bohemians 1905, but they did get the lease of the clubs traditional ground, Dolicek. Neither club has been able to obtain exclusive use of the Kangaroo motive on the badge, (this may actually belong to a Bohemians sports club, which the football club was originally part, but had broken away at some time, probably to become a limited company). The Kangaroos relates to the football club touring Australia in 1927, and being gifted two Kangaroos, which were passed on to the Praha Zoo. In 2005-6, there were two clubs called Bohemians in the Third Division (CFL). Bohemians Praha were formerly Strizkov Bohemians 1905 (the fans club) arrived in this division by merging/taking over/being taken over by (your choice of history) AFK Vrsovice. Bohemians Praha came third, Bohemians 1905 came fourth. If there is a choice to be made between the two clubs, it is that the average crowd at Strizkov was low hundreds, while at Dolicek, it was around 3000 Xaverov Horni Pocernice finished 7th in the second division, but in financial dire straights, they sold their licence to pay off their debts. It was the fans club that did not hesitate to put a final nail in the Xaverov coffin by buying the licence. Their justification was that someone was going to buy the licence, so it may as well be them. 2006-7 was a good year for clubs name Bohemians. 1905 were promoted to the top division, Bohemians won the CFL and a place in the second division Curiously, last season (maybe 2006-7 as well), Bohemians Praha moved to the old ground of Xaverov - although reports say they may share Zizkov this season. At the end of 2007-8, Bohemians 1905 were relegated, Bohemians Praha were promoted. Bohemians 1905 claim to be the real Bohemians because they have most of the old fans, and they are in control of the Dolicek. Some of the former violent ultras seem to have been reborn as a far more benevolent force. Bohemians Praha can claim to be the real club, because they got in first! There is a lot to be said for the claim that Bohemians died in 2005, and these two clubs are Vrsovice and Strizkov respectively. RIP Xaverov Horni Pocernice "

So on with my tour!
Here is the entrance, with the magnificent kangeroo logo, which they adopted after touring Australia in the 1920's, I think.

These seats are behind the near goal, to the right of the entrance. Behind them are buildings that are premises on the main road. One of them is a bar, & when I saw a game here their roof 'doubles up' as a balcony, and they watch the match for free!

It's a very tight ground, and this is all the space they have down the far side.

This is the main stand, which is impressive. It has been 'modernised' since my last visit, as it had decaying wooden benches, which-call me old fashioned-takes away some of the character now they're gone.

And looking across to the open bank of seating at the far end.

Under the stand there are offices, changing rooms, the club shop-seen here- & the beer & food stands.

Here is the closer view of the home end. When I was here this was still an open terrace, it's a shame it's now had seats put on top. you can't beat an old fashioned terrace, as far as I'm concerned.

From the 'home ex-terrace' corner we look down the new seating in the main stand.

And across the pitch...

Under the stand there are lots of supporters' Ultra-style' fan stickers.

Despite the 'plush' surroundings old habits die hard. & ACAB is ACAB in any language!

Here is a look down the full length of the area under the stand. Note all the stickers on the left.

Some more 'Ultra' material

Loyal fans!


gee said...

i think they are called b's because the fans are artists as in original turn of the century fans

Rabbler said...

Could be, but to be honest, with some of your previous bizarre posts, I'll take your answer with a pinch of salt! More likely, before the formation of the Czech Republic in 1917, the country was known as Bohemia, I would think.

gee said...

if you want bizzarre have a look in the mirror

Rabbler said...

Thank you for that! Sticks & stones...and all that!

Any future postings from you, even if semi-rational, which I doubt you are capable of, will be deleted.

If you don't understand why....well that's bizarre behaviour for you. Bye!

gee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Best Damn Referee said...

I just attended a game while I was in Prague and Bohemians 1905 were fighting relegation with two games remaining. Saw a wondefful contest and a rare 2 - 0 win. The event was well worth it and the fans were fully supportive. I can't wait for my next trip here to see them again and one day be in the Champions League. A venue that every father should take his son or daughter to.