My mom and dad weren’t exactly ecstatic when I told him that I, a seventeen-year-old schoolboy, would be commuting every day to Blšany. “Where even is that? Near Louny? And you say it only has a thousand inhabitants? But it’s sixty-five kilometres! How are you going to get there?”
But I wanted to do it. I wanted it very much!
It was clear to me that Aleš Chvalovský, the son of the club’s owner and goalkeeper for the Under-21 national team, would still be the first-choice goalkeeper, but this was a chance that might not come again.
I didn’t have a contract and as a free agent I could sign with anyone for the fixed rate of 350,000 Czech crowns.
And Plzeň hesitated.
I guess it was meant to be, it was fate. But František Plass, who worked as a scout for Blšany, still insisted: “Please, don’t tell anybody.”
I didn’t want to mess this up. I wanted to train with the senior squad of a top-flight club, and I could also play for their junior team in the Czech youth league. I knew it would help me move forward. How much? I wasn’t thinking of that.
If I may, I would now like to give the floor to a man who has since sadly passed away. His name was Zdeněk Kovář, he was the sporting director in Blšany for many years. He was great fun, selfless and big-hearted, with a prominent black moustache. It was under his leadership that a provincial club managed to get from the seventh division into the first league. And he was the man who offered me my first professional contract.
P.S. The following chapter coming up next week!