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My Slovakian Dream

January 2009

I was finally here. I looked out of the window, looking at the four building opposite. This was certainly different from my time in England. I was use to the hustle and bustle of London City, something was happening all the time. It was alot different here, It seemed that if a dog barked then it would be the talk of the village for the next week. When my fiance told me that we would be moving to a village, i thought there would at least be a community of two thousand people, with a small shop, a church, etc. But within hours of arriving, it had hit me that this was a different world. a total of twenty people lived in this village. I was stunned

I had left England with a very good job, a nice circle of friends and my family. We had saved enough money to buy a house in Slovakia, and live for at least a year with out either of us getting a job. But the next Month was a long one

February 2009

A month had passed and i was extremely bored. I was yearning for England. It has it's bad points but it wasn't as lonely as this. My fiance loved it here, it was quiet, every one was friendly and she enjoyed her trips into Zilina city centre.
One night, i told her i needed to find a job. I couldn't handle being at home. I loved her, obviously, but i needed something to do. She didn't seem to agree but helped me in my search for a job.
I had been able get by speaking my pigeon Slovak but as soon as i began to Job advertisements, i knew i was in big trouble. It hit me that my Slovak wasn't as good as my fiance let on. Every job i pointed out, she laughed. "you can't do that" she would say, and i didn't even know what it was.
But i was determined. I decided i didn't need her help and i would find a job of my own. But my Slovak wasn't good enough. All i could find were cleaning jobs for Twenty Euro a week. I could barely bring my self to clean my own house, let alone some one elses.

March 2009

Still looking for a job, i decided to enrol for a two month course at the Zilina community college. I was going to learn Slovak. Every tuesday and Wednesday i would drive into Zilina and i would learn Slovak.
My Slovak gradually improved through out the month but still, no jobs caught my attention. My Slovak was still bad and i still didn't want to clean anyones house. The next two months went by with nothing. I managed to learn Basic Slovak in that small amount of time though

June 2009

Finally, Finally, i thought to my self. I applied for two jobs. I applied to work in the new fast food outlet in Zilina, Burger King. The money wasn't good but it would get me out and communicating. The second job was what i wanted though. It was for M.S.K Zilina, i had translated the add into English. they were looking for an English speaking accountant. Great, i had the first part down to a tee, i could speak English. And i also spent a year studying accounting back in England, a few years ago. At the time i had it in my mind i wanted to be a Banker, but once i gained the qualification, i had forgotten all about it, and i always thought to my self it was a waste of time but looks like it may be paying off now.
I was told by my Fiance that Slovakia was in a transition period and that employers wouldn't really look at your history. I told Burger King that i had worked for Little Chef for ten years in the U.K, which was obviously a lie but my greatest lie was to MSK Zilina.
I don't know why i done it, but i wanted to impress them. They wanted a five year job history, so My first Job i put down was financial controller for Sky Sports, the second was Financial manager at the BBC. But i also wanted to put something else in there, so i told them i had spent time at Windsor and Eton FC as a fitness coach, which wasn't far from a lie. I had actually helped two of their players get fit for an upcoming season. I also told them i coached at Fulham FC and Chelsea FC. To be honest, i thought i would have no chance of getting either job, so why not have some fun right?

Two weeks later
The post arrived, two letters stood out and finally something came in my name. One Was from Burger King which i opened first. It was some where along the lines of that they had already filled the position with some one local, but they would keep me on record for the next six months. Ahhh, so being English will go against me.
I didn't have much hope for the next letter, from MSK Zilina, so i left it for my Fiance to look at. I figured she would be proud of me for actually trying to get a job
Later that evening she approached me with a face of thunder. I thought she would be proud. But no, she demanded to know what the **** i was up to. I explained that it was for an English accountant, this is when she laughed. She had a huge smile on her face and told me my interview was in a few days, June 8th!

So i travelled to MSK Zilina's ground, the POD. We went through all the usual dribble, i was given a tour of the ground, the changing rooms etc but not the financial control, which i thought was strange. I was greeted to the owner of the club who told me the history of MSK Zilina.
Over the next few hours, he totally dismissed my time with Sky and the BBC, which i was glad about as i had lied about it but he wanted to know more about my time as a coach. I thought this was strange as i said i was a fitness coach, but i played along. I told him i was mainly behind the scenes and stayed out of public view but i had worked along side the managers and some times helped pick the teams. He had a huge grin on his face, and he kept on rubbing his hands.
Soon after, he stood up and shook my hand and told me they would be in contact soon. He asked if i had any special requirements, so i said i want all written correspondence in English. At least i would be able to understand the rejection letter. I made my way home and had to laugh to my self, that was very weird, although it was nice to see behind the scenes.
My Fiance, laughing, asked how the interview went, which i bluntly told her my rejection letter would come in a few days. She just laughed and told me that my Slovak was ****! i argued with her when she said, "Ok, so what job did you go for, with MSK?" Thinking she was a little stupid, i told her, "Maybe your understanding of English isn't as good as you thought, i went for some financial position there, they wanted an English speaker" She then said Check Mate..and i listened on in wonder. She re-read the job advertisement, they wanted an English speaking Manager.....for their first team squad!
I gulped, it hit my that my Slovak was still **** and i felt even lower knowing that even Burger King didn't want me. I went to bed early that night, in a sulk, declaring i wanted to go home

Three days later, i noticed a commotion out side. Two of the villagers were shouting, i peeked out and saw they chasing a donkey up the muddy lane. I laughed but before i knew it, the Donkey was making a B-Line for my newly planted flowers. They actually cost alot so i ran out side and began chasing the donkey with them. With in thirty minutes i had control of the Donkey and one of the Villagers, Lucas, said he would employ me to chase his donkey. Tongue in cheek i said ok, but it killed me inside to realise this was probably the only job i could do....or become a cleaner. No thanks

I made my way back inside, looking at my fiance, re telling my story of how i cptured the donkey, my version stood right up next to the famous story of St George slaying the Dragon, when in reality, i was making a fool of my self. My fiance laughed and gave me a quick kiss before informing me the postman had been with my MSK Zilina rejection letter in hand. I laughed and opened it, low and behold it was in English. At least they kept to their promise. But what came next surprised me


Dear Mr Drezzy
Further to our interview, the MSK Zilina board would like to welcome you to our club and offer you the first team Managers position.........

I read on, low and behold, they were impressed with my CV, which was all a lie, and said they firmly believed i coud make the step up and lead MSK Zilina to Glory. What had i done? It was the end of June, and i thought i would give it a go. My fiance wasn't too impressed but hey, i told her that i had heard of Players from foreign country's flooding into Eastern Europe, who were no good but these teams took them on any way. Why couldn't a manager do it?

---------- Post added at 04:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:08 AM ----------


D-Day

July 2009

Today was the big day. A few days earlier i had signed my contract and today i would be shown off to the world, or at least The Slovak press. I hadn't yet met any of the players but i had tried gaining information on them, they certainly were not like the players i was use to. I knew i wouldn't be able to lure any one like Drogba or Rooney to the Pod, firstly i didn't have the money and secondly, Why the **** would they want to come to Slovakia.
The Club owner, Jozer Antosik was a wealthy man and loved surprises. No one knew who was going to take the vacant position, he wanted it to stay a secret until i walked out onto the Podium. In a meeting before i was introduced, he told me i had his full backing, that he had invested a lump some of his own money into the club. He was tired of Zilina being a hit and miss team, He wanted them to play European Football every season. It was my Job to do that. Ooops

The Conference

Jozef was out first , greeting the media. They asked him a few questions

Media: Hello Jozef and thankyou for taking time to talk to us. What are yur aims for Zilina now?

JA: I want Zilina to take the next step, for far to long we have been a hit and miss team. I want us to play regular European football, i want us to be a constant threat on all front in Slovakia. This is why i have hired Mr Drezzy

The place went silent. Peeking into the room, i could see people getting excited before my name was mentioned. There were reports in the press that Jozef had managed to lure Guus Hiddink in, others had heard that maybe a top manager from Germany was coming. They even liked the idea of Christian Gross. But what they got was me, no one knew me, the Chairman of the supporters club was so disgusted, he left with out even hearing what i had to say. Then i was pushed out....

Jozef introduced me to the media but no one seemed interested, some one from the Zilina Football Press asked me if this was my dream job, but i didn't know what to say, so i just said i was happy to have the chance to manage a team like Zilina.

First question answered, that was easy. World Soccer Magazine were up next, who i hoped hadn't looked to see if i was a coach at Chelsea. They picked up on my Slovakian, and bluntly asked me if it would be a problem. I simply told them, in Slovak, that it wouldn't be a problem..

For the next thirty minutes i answered questions, but i wanted to get into my office with Jozef and talk about transfers. He had told me we had Thirty Million to spend. i had already asked him to send scouts out, which he had.
Later that evening i had arranged a kick around between the first team and reserve team. Time to act like a manager.......

---------- Post added at 06:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:47 PM ----------

Pre Season

(Will be posting monthly updates after this)

With the first day now passed, it was quickly Leading up to 7:45 PM at the POD. I had spent the day talking with my staff, whilst the lads were taking their first training session under me. We had talked about Zilina's previous two friendly games and it was clear to my staff and I that some drastic changes were needed. I was already having discussions with Christian Vieri about a possible free transfer. He only wanted a modest wage and as a club, we figured that he would bring a wealth of experience with him. We wasn't expecting him to be the player of old though.

Zilina's first game away was against Slavia Prague, a 0-0 draw in the czech capital. On paper i was impressed but my assistant told me it was men against boys and Zilina were lucky to come away unscathed. Next they had travelled to Poland and had beaten Polonia Warszawa 2-1. Again, i was impressed but i was told it wasn't a very good game and Zilina were lucky to score one, let alone two. So, i watched on in wonder as the first team played our reserves

MSK ZILINA Vs MSK ZILINA RESERVES
@ Pod Dobnum

My Thoughts: I am expecting our first team to win and i am looking forward to seeing them in action

FT: MSK ZILINA 1 - 1 MSK ZILINA Reserves

Goals For MSK - Jez 68

Goals For MSKR - Guldan - 5

Final thoughts

The players seemed lazy and treated this a a kick around. i was very unimpressed especially when i told them all to show me why they deserve to wear this shirt. I knew straight away there would have to be some drastic changes. Hopefully alot of players will come, and a few will go.

We had four days before our opening game with Presov, i needed to sign a few players and fast

---------- Post added at 10:04 PM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 06:26 PM ----------

July 2009

After a poor performance against the reserve team, i decided to bulk up our squad, signing five players before our next game against Presov.

Thoughts before the game

Presov would prove to be a tough game, so we needed to be focused. Over all, though, i thought we could get a result and i implemented this to my players, they seemed up for the challenge

Presov 0-2 MSK Zilina
from Tatran, Presov

Att: 5067

Goal Scorers for MSK: Jan Kadlec (65), Rivaldo (78)

After Thoughts

A good solid performance from the lads, the arrival of Rivaldo certainly looked like a plus. He ruled midfield setting up Jan Kadlec for his first goal of the season. Presov seemed to want to defend even though they went a goal down but the pure brilliance of Rivaldo undone their defence and he capped his performance with his first league goal.

---

After our first home game i was called to see the owner. I was thinking he would congratulate me on our first win, but as i entered the room, he had a face of thunder. What had i done wrong?
He pointed out to me our next game was a qualifying game in the UEFA cup. I couldn't see what the problem was, but he soon made that clear. I didn't have my coaching badges. What an oversight on my behalf. after a lecturing and my poor excuse of "I lost them", all was well. Josef was owed some favours by some one at UEFA and all of a sudden, i had all my certificates and badges. He knew dam well i hadn't gone on any course, but i guess he saw something in me, he gave me a lifeline.

---

Thoughts before the game

I was lucky to still be a manager, in my mind any way. It was time to repay Josef straight away. Gandzasar of Armenia would give us a game, i was told. I hadn't even heard of them, but i had to get the boys in the frame of mind to win. Deep down i was confident of a win but i wasn't familiar with them.

MSK Zilina 4 - 0 Gandzasar
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Att: 4148

Goal Scorers for MSK:
Robert Lewandowski (29, 76, 90+2)
David Kobylik (67)

After Thoughts

What a game, we should have won by more. We were One up at Half time and from watching the first half, it would be a miracle if there wasn't any more. Lewandowski had a great debut, ripping their defence to shreds. TO say i was extremely happy is a understatement.

-------

A couple of days had gone when i was speaking to the lads about our upcoming game against Trnava. Trnava had a good team, capable of winning the league. Our talk was cut short as Josef run into the training room, jumping up and down like a mad man possessed. The next round of the Euro Cup (UEFA Cup) had been announced. The winner of our game would play Braga of Portugal.

------

Thoughts before the game

The past two games were a test but i felt this one would be tougher, I expected Trnava to come to the Pod and attack us, and my scout agreed. But we were aiming for the win

MSK Zilina 0 - 0 Trnava
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Att: 4148

After Thoughts

We went out expecting them attack us, but they wanted to defend. The first half was shocking, no attempts on goal, no nothing. The second half picked up with both teams coming close to scoring but in the end, a bore draw was the result. I wasn't too happy with this result

-----

On the way to Armenia, i was very confident of qualifying for the next round. The boys were relaxed and so was i, i was finally feeling like i could make this work.
Thoughts before the game

Gandzasar 1 - 2 MSK Zilina (1-6 AGG - Zilina Through)
from Gandzasar, Kapan

Att: 4133

Goal Scorers for Gandzasar:
Andranik Sargsyan (60)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Robert Jez (11)
Christian Vieri (88)

After Thoughts

With four goals to catch up on, Gandzasar came at us from the go, hitting the bar in the second minute. But with ten minutes gone, Robert Jez scored a simple tap in which deflated the Gandzasar supporters and players. From then on, they lacked conviction and we were happy to knock the ball around. They scored in the second half in which they began to believe again but the result was confirmed when Christian Vieri scored a placed header a few minutes before the end.

-----

Our next game was at home against Petrzalka. I managed to study their last game, a 2-0 loss. These guys would not be pushing for the title, and would be lucky to stay up this season.

Thoughts before the game

Zilina were showing glimpses of the team i wanted them to be. We were favourites for this game and i wanted to destroy them

MSK Zilina 2 - 0 Petrzalka
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Robert Lewandowski (22)
Michael Bradley (61)

Att: 5429

After Thoughts

Petrzalka certainly showed willing in this game. We were stunned, they had four shots on goal before we even had a chance to get in the game. But twenty minutes in, Trusty Lewandowski managed to run around the keeper and slot home. They still came at us and in the second half, they played very well but a neat finish from Michael Bradley stopped them in their tracks. We made them look good today and never really got out of second gear, but a win none the less.

-------

I was called into the office by Jozef. He couldn't stop talking about the Braga game. Zilina had hosted top European teams in the past but no one of note for the past few years. Josef was happy and was asking me to do anything in my power to get a result, even though the press were reporting that Braga would win easily. To be honest, if we didn't pull our socks up, i was afraid of a mauling.

Thoughts before the game

I told the guys that they could win this game but secretly i was praying for a miracle. My scouts had warned Braga were on fire. But my players seemed pumped up and we were expecting a big crowd, we had to perform


MSK Zilina 4 - 3 Braga
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Sebastian Blanco (30, 65)
Sergey Krivets (36, 85)
Mathias Jorgensen S/O (48)

Goals for Braga:
Wason Renteria (9)
Hugo Viana (Pen 26)
Andres Madrid (67)


Att: 6058

After Thoughts

What a game! My fears seemed to be confirmed after thirty minutes as Braga put us to the sword. Two goals up, it could only get worse until Blanco scored a real poachers goal. This gave us beliefe and a few minutes later Krivets scored what only can be described as a wonder goal. Two all at half time. I was very happy, maybe we could steal something. But with in minutes Jorgensen was sent of for a two footed challenge. Braga seemed a bit more conservative in the second half, which was a mistake on their behalf as Blanco scored his second of the game. We were over the moon but soon brought back to reality by a fantastic Braga goal. 3-3, i would take this. As Braga seemed to settle for the draw, Krivets scored a sweet goal which in the end gave us the win. it was a great night although Braga were still strong favourites to go through.

End of Month Awards

Jad Kadlec received gaol of the month for his goal against Presov.

Rivaldo was given player of the Month award by MSK Zilina.

MSK Zilina are currently laying 3rd in the Slovak First Division, two points behind leaders Banska Bystrica after three game


Transfers

IN:-

serge aurier -- season loan -- rc lens
blanco -- 1.5 million -- lanus
michael bradley -- 3 million -- Monchengladbach
marian cisovsky -- 500K -- Timisoara
dentinho -- 4.3 Million -- Corinthians
jorgensen -- 1.2 Million -- FC Kobenhaven
kadlec -- Sparta Praha B -- Loan
krivets -- Lech Poznan -- 200K
kuciak -- Sporting club Vaslui -- 300K
lekic -- Partizan Belgrade -- 272 K
lewandowski -- Lech Poznan -- 3.1 Million
rivaldo -- 180K -- Bunyodkor toshkent
nelson -- 4.5 Million -- Borussia Dortmund
virei -- Free transfer

Players out

Tomas Oravec - to Racing Santander - £150,000
 
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August 2009

August 2009

My first month in charge of Zilina had gone really well, according to me and most importantly, Jozef. We both knew it was a long way until the finish line but this is where we wanted to start.

Thoughts before the game

After a great showing against Braga, we had a trip to Ruzomberok to worry about. I praised the lads before the game and told them to pick up where they had left of. I was just a little worried about our leaky defence in our last game


Ruzomberok 0 - 3 MSK Zilina
from Pod Cebratom, Ruzomberok

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Sebastian Blanco (44)
David Kobylik (69)
Nelson Valdez (81)


Att: 4592

After Thoughts

We failed to make our chances pay in the first half and to my relief, Blanco managed to net just before the whistle. Ruzomberok failed to show any thing in front of goal so i demanded more of the same, in which they replied very well. David Kobylik put the game beyond the hosts with neat header at the front post. And then Nelson Valdez made a darting run, past the last defender and chipped the falling goal keeper to put them out of their misery. A nice 3-0 win

------

Days after the game, we were on the plane heading towards Portugal. Spirits were high and every one was looking forward to the game. Especially Jozef. I had always thought of Owners as unruly and will sack you for any excuse. But Josef changed that. He had always been professional in our meetings, but that night on the plane, he showed his other side. He was wearing a Zilina shirt as he sat next to me. He then started saying how great it would be for us to win, or at least come away with a draw. He was like a little fat kid in a cake shop. I could see he was a fan and only wanted the best for Zilina. The Yellow and Green was flowing through his blood and i only had more respect for him after this. It made me feel a little bad about being on the plane to be honest, after all, i had lied to him to get the job and he had to pull out all the stops so i would get my coaching badges. But worse things happen in the world of football, like we would find out when the hosts of the World Cup 2018 and 2022 were announced a year later.

------
Thoughts before the game

I didn't want to show the lads any fear and told them we could do this. We needed to stop Braga scoring and we were through. Simple as. Out side i showed i was a leader, a warrior, but inside i was trembling and scared. I thought we would get stuffed


Braga 2 - 2 MSK Zilina (AGG 5-6 MSK Zilina Through)
from Estadio Axa, Braga

Goals for Braga:
Miguel Angelo Araujo (60, 79)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Dentinho (5)
Nelson Valdez (81)


Att: 9945

After Thoughts

i was hardly settled in my seat when i heard a small roar come from the Zilina fans. Dentinho had just scored a screacher from thirty yards out. What a great start. But that was it from us for the rest of the half. We were scared of conceding and spent the entire first half on the back foot. Braga just couldn't break us down. But on the 60th minute, Araujo past three players and our goal keeper to equal the score. They were after blood and we couldn't string a pass together. He then scored their second in the 78th minute and they were celebrating like they had already won the game. They took the ball of us from the kick off, fouling valdez. He was screaming to no one whilst i was taking my case up with the fourth official and at that moment they hit the bar. Our Goal keeper managed to grab the rebound and kick the ball straight to Valdez, who chested the ball down, took it past the last defender and slotted it past their keeper. I was over joyed, this killed Braga off. fantastic, we're through!

----

We had opted to spend the next day In Portugal before getting a plane home that evening. On the place Josef approached me again, thanking me, again. I told him to thank the players, they were great. I didn't tell him that i had thought we were extremely lucky. After an hour into the flight, Jozef was jumping up like a little girl again. This time he announced to the whole squad that they would be facing Athletic Bilboa in the next round. Great, i thought

-----

Thoughts before the game

Our next game was at home against Slovan Bratislava, the Man Utd of Slovakia. They were reigning champions but their form this season wouldn't have suggested that. It was important that we got the win and i told my boys this


MSK Zilina 2 - 1 Slovan Bratislava
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Nelson Valdez (10)
David Kobylik (34)
Christian Vieri missed penalty (49)
Vladimir Leither S/) (75) two yellow cards

Goals for Slovan:
Halenar (60)

Att: 6246

After Thoughts

Slovans form didn't take a turn for the better in this game, We were pinning them back for the majority of the first half with a messy goal from Valdez early on and a even messier second from Kobylik. But we were two up. Just after half time, Substitute Vieri was taken down in the penalty area but he blasted wide from the resulting penalty kick. Slovan then hit us on the break and Halenar scored, but Slovan still didn't try attacking us. We were starting to grow tired and had resulted to just passing the ball around. Again, in the 75th minute, Slovan hit us on the break. Leitner took down Halenar by the touch line, and was given a second yellow and was off. They hit the bar from the resulting free kick but then seemed to be to scared to come out of their own half. We had won the game but should have scored more.

---------

Thoughts before the game

Another win against a sloppy Slovan has put us top of the league. Next we would face relegation favourites Kosice which i thought was unfair as they were performing very well.


Kosice 2 - 3 MSK Zilina 3
from Cermel, Kosice

Goals for Kosice:
Kolbas (34)
Gottwald (Pen 70)
Kuzma Injured (44)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Nelson Valdez (10)
Lewandowski (14,20)


Att: 6757

After Thoughts

We mastered the first twenty minutes, scoring three goals. Kosice went down with out a fight. After twenty minutes, we began to resort to long balls and knocking the ball around. Kosice spirits picked up after half an hour as Kolbas scored a sneaky goal which should've been offside. Seems as if the Slovak F.A agrees with me on that one. For the vast majority of the match, not much happened until Kolbas was tripped in the box. Michal Gottwald scored the penalty. Kosice then spent the rest of the game trying to hit us on the counter attack but luckily for us, we survived. A very good showing in the first twenty minutes but otherwise a very average performance.

------

Bilboa, how the **** were we meant to get anything from them? Their next four games consisted of Barcelona, Zilina, Barcelona, Zilina. It was the first game that gave me a clue, they were thrashed 5-1 by Barca. I was also informed by Jozef that i had tickets for the return game, a few days before Zilina played Bilboa in the second game.

-----

Thoughts before the game

We were now showing full fitness. Barcelona played a very good system against Bilboa so i decided to risk it and copy it. I noticed that Bilboa also looked a few yards of pace, something mentioned to the lads


MSK Zilina 5 - 4 Athletic
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Sergey Krivets (21)
Robert Lewandowski (52, 64)
Nelson Valdez (60, 68)

Goals for athletic:
Ustaritz (10)
Gabilondo (17)
Llorente (29)
Ocio (73)


Att: 7033

After Thoughts

Bilboa tore us apart. for the first twenty any way, they were two nil up. but then our superior fitness levels began to show, and the use of Barcelona's system. Krivets scored a magical goal on 21 minutes but Bilboa scored on the break on 29 minutes. We were 3-1 down and half time but the lads believed we had a chance, Athletic were tiring and quick. And we dominated the rest of the half, and had taken the game to them. The score was 5-3 which i thought would be good enough to take to Spain but Ocio managed to grab a goal on 73 minutes. The rest of the game was tense but their lack of full fitness was in our favour.

------

I found it hard to play a team like Braga then to play a team no one had heard of. But this next game wasn't the same, Banska Bystica were a good Slovak team, always near the top of the table and on this instance, they were sitting two points ahead of us.

Thoughts before the game

It was important that we continued our winning ways, especially against Bystica. I wanted the same from the guys. The only thing i changed were our tactics, we were certainly not Barcelona.

Banska Bystrica 1 - 2 MSK Zilina
from SNP na Stiavnickach, Banska Bystrica

Goals for Bystrica:
Hucko (16)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Blanco (45+3)
Rivaldo (79)


Att: 8258

After Thoughts

We had a very sluggish start which is lethal against Bystica. They scored a blinding goal in the 16th minute and they bullied us around for the next forty minutes. Just before the ref blew his whistle, Rivaldo whipped the ball into the area were Blanco headed home. Banska were upset as they felt the goal was off side but i took the Wenger route, i didn't see it.
After half time, we exchanged blows, both teams coming close but it was the ageing Rivaldo who settled the game on 79 minutes, with a cool tap in. We won the game but i personally thought it should've been a draw. Another win, taking us back to the top

------

I was amazed, sitting in the Camp Nou watching Barcelona against Athletic. If only i could have a team like this, wondering if i would ever lure any top player to Slovakia. I doubted it. Any way, Athletic looked alot fitter here and were unlucky to lose against an uninspiring Barcelona. To be fair, they had won 5-1 in the first leg


Thoughts before the game

We had gone to Braga and got a result, tonight would be the same, Lets make Slovakia proud of us!


Athletic 2 - 3 MSK Zilina ( 6-8 MSK Zilina Through to next round)
from San Mames, Bilbao

Goals for Atheltic:
Iraola (Pen 17)
Gabilondo (25)

Goals for MSk Zilina:
Dentinho (71, 86)
Lewandowski (89)



Att: 26179

After Thoughts

Terrible start, Iraola dives and gets the penalty. He then scores it, level on Aggregate and they're winning on away goals. To make it worse, we were playing poorly and they capitalised on this and scored another. We had our heads down, even a half time team talk didn't work. Until Dentinho scored a thunderous goal on 71 minutes, we started to believe and Athletic faltered. four minutes before the end, Dentinho took the ball around four tiring players and scored another peach of a goal before Lewandowski finished the game with a delightful header. We made it, Just

End of Month Awards

Player of the Month - Lewandowski

MSK ZIlina are top of the league after 7 gmes, having won 6, drawn 1 and lost 0. They have 19 Points with the 2nd place team on 17 points.

MSK Zilina have been drawn in Group A of the UEFA Cup with teams, Hamburg of germany, Rosenborg of Norway and Slavia Praha of the Czech Republic.

---------- Post added at 03:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:25 AM ----------

September 2009

After the game at Athletic, the players seemed over awed by the stadium and spain in General. I had to bring them down to earth, we had a cup game again Iskra Petrzalka. They were a second division side and barely had a ground.

Thoughts before the game

Looking around the stadium, we decided to change at the hotel. it was just terrible, an old communist block for executions, at least i thought so. It was a horrible place, a world apart from Athletics ground. I saw this as a potential banana skin, and told my players to be alert and expect a tough game


Iskra Petrzalka 0 - 3 MSK Zilina ( MSK Zilina through to next round)
Iskra Petrzalka, Bratislava

Goals for MSk Zilina:
Rivaldo (45) (65)
Christian Vieri (52)


Att: 1151

After Thoughts

No goals scored at half time but to be fair, we had had 15 shots. Iskra didn't show anything, they seemed not to care, slow and unprofessional. Rivaldo scored from the start of the second half, scoring with a placed shot. Vieri scored a nice header when it seemed we stepped out of gear one and into gear two, with Rivaldo scoring another. An easy game where we didn't break a sweat.

------

On the bus home, half way through our Six hour Journey, the draw for the 3rd round was on the TV screen at the front of the bus. We all were silent until Ball number 3, Us, was drawn against Ball number 1, Nitra. A home tie against Nitra, all the boys cheered, it would be our next game.

------

Thoughts before the game

Nitra had a smart little team. Not one you would expect to put up a title challenge but they some times shocked the big boys. I told the boys before the game this would be alot harder then our last game.


MSK Zilina 1 - 1 Nitra 1 ( 4-1 On Pens, MSK Zilina Through to the next round)
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for Zilina:
Marian Cisovsky (30)

Goals for Nitra:
Robert Rak (76)
Penalty shoot out​

MSK: Rivaldo Scored
Nitra: Robert Rak misses
MSK: Lewandowski Scored
Nitra: Simonic Scored
MSK: Nelson Valdez scored
Nitra: Toth Missed
MSK: Kobylik Scored


Att: 5810

After Thoughts

A game in which we dominated much of the possession but we couldn't get many shots on goal. They were a determined team but we managed to break their resistance with a clever goal by Cisovsky. I thought this would open the flood gates, it almost did, we hit the bar and post in the matter of minutes just before half time. The second half was similiar and as the game progressed into the closing stages, Nitra were awarded a free kick after a silly foul by Jorgensen. The ball was played into the box and after Jorgensen failed to clear, Robert Rak slotted home to get the equaliser. Just before the whistle, Nitra had a goal disallowed for offside. The match went to Penalties. We sent the goalkeeper the wrong way each time. Whilst they blasted wide on their first, scored their second, and hit the post on their third. My first ever penalty shoot out as a manager, and i had won it!

------

We flew from Zilina to Prague. There was always a fierce but friendly rivalry when it came to Slovakia Vs the Czechs. They called it the Velvet connection, or something along those lines. I noticed all of the Slovaks in our team were really looking forward to the game. To me, it was another chance to win another game

-------

Thoughts before the game

The atmosphere was special that day. I'd been to a game in Prague before when Chelsea played, and it was amazing. I promised the boys if we won, we would go partying in Prague.

Slavia Praha 0 - 0 MSK Zilina

from Eden, Praha
[/COLOR][/CENTER]


Att: 17094

After Thoughts

I was used to winning now and after the game, i wasn't too happy. But Slavia wanted to win this one bad, and we'd stopped them. There was nothing velvet about this game though, more like mortar and bricks. No team had the upper hand and there wasn't a note worthy shot on goal. But we'd left Praha with a point, which was good enough

------

It was back to business in the league, with nothing much happening. Apart from a sneaky bid for Dzeko of Wolfsburg and a big for Jardel. I guess Zilina was going to become a retirement home for footballers. Needless to say, Dzeko didn't even want to talk to us and Jardel couldn't agree contract terms. But there was one more player we had our eyes on, word got out that he wasn't happy at his club. He was a young lad who we signed for 8.5 Million. ZIlina sold our soul in the deal though, only putting down a 200k payment. If it pays off, fantastic, if not, then it was bad business for us. His name was Eden Hazard

-------

Thoughts before the game

After a tough game in Prague, i let a couple of the lads have a rest for this game. Senica had a nice little team but i felt we could over come them


Senica 0 - 2 MSK Zilina
from Senica Stadion, Senica

Goals for MSk Zilina:
Detinho (8)
Blanco (13)

Att: 3997

After Thoughts

A great start to the game, we took it to Senica. Detinho scored an early corker which was quickly followed up by a Blanco cross gone wrong. He cross in from the right but had miss hit the ball, it ended up in the net. We pushed again and had a goal disallowed for a foul on the thirty minute mark. Come half time, i changed the side and experimented with a new formation, but it didn't have any effect.

------

I was sitting home with my Fiance, talking about how good the past few months had gone. She agreed and we cuddled as we watched the draw for the 4th round of the Slovak cup. We were drawn against Michalovce, a Second Division team. I jumped up in the air, spilling a can of Budvar on my Fiance. I scored later on in the night ;)

---------

Thoughts before the game

Two games at home and then we would welcome German Giants Hamburg to our Stadium, the modest Pod Dubnom. The boys were still focused on the league, HSV seemed miles away.


MSK Zilina 3 - 0 Dubnica
From Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSk Zilina:
Christian Vieri (13)
Rivaldo (55, 75)

Att: 6012

After Thoughts

This game wasn't that exciting. We didn't have many shots on goal, but neither did Dubnica. I jokingly said after the game it was the old boys work out, as Vieri netted a sleek opener and Rivaldo scored a superb free kick on 55 mins, and a nice placed shot on the 75th minute. Job done!

--------

Thoughts before the game

We trained like we always head but it was clear to me every one was waiting for the HSV game. I told the boys to concentrate on the next game, we needed a win to create a gap between us and the second team.

MSK Zilina 3 - 1 Dun Streda
from Pod Dubnom

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Blanco (11, pen 85)
Dentinho (pen 76)

Goals for Dun Streda
Belkovics (69)

Att: 6114

After Thoughts

Another game which didn't thrill the neutral. It was a battle between the midfield. Blanco scored a rebound on the eleventh minute which should've sent us on our way. But after half time, Dun Streda pegged us back. Belkovics with a beauty from 30 yards out. As the game was winding down, Dun Streda looked to settle for the point, but we kept on attacking. A cynical foul on Blanco was punished by a penalty which Detinho slotted home. We were two one up. And five minutes before the end, Blanco made a darting run into the box and was hacked down yet again. He took the resulting penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way.

End of month awards

Player of the Month Blanco.

Zilina are currently top of the Slovakian First division, winning 9 of there 10 games so far, and drawing one. They had 28 points with second placed team, Bystrica on 22 Points with one game more played

---------- Post added at 05:07 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:22 AM ----------

October 2009

With a good run of games, our next match was against German team Hamburg. Our spirits were high and we were ready!

----


Thoughts before the game

I was slightly nervous before the game but confident as well. My players were up for the game and i couldn't wait for kick off.


MSK Zilina 1 - 1 HSV
from Pod Dubnom, Ruzomberok

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Robert Lewandowski
Robert Jez Injured (14)

Goals For HSV:
Ze Roberto (6)

Att: 7859

After Thoughts

Lucky springs to mind. From the start to the finish, we were out classed and out played. Non of our players showed up, they all seemed nervous. Ze Roberto took advantage of our sloppy defending and hit a piledriver into the top right. On a rare Zilina attack, Lewandowski was one on one with the keeper, he kept cool and slotted home to the keepers left. But the rest of the game belonged to HSV. They had a goal disallowed, hit the bar, hit the post. The only player of ours leaving this game with any credit was our Goal keeper

----

Our next game was in the Slovak Cup, 4th round, or Quarter Final. We were playing second division team Michalovce, so i thought i would give some guys a rest, they were knackered after the HSV game.

----

Thoughts before the game

Even though i was using a mixture of reserve and first team players, we had enough to put this tie to rest before the second half


Michalovce 3 - MSK Zilina (1st Leg)
from Zemplin, Michalovce

Goals for Michalovce:
Baranyai (50)
Mikulanin (85)
Gasper (90+1)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
dentinho (74)

Att: 3693

After Thoughts
What a soul crushing display and result! My first defeat as a coach! We were poor in the first half and were lucky to go in 0-0. But the second half was even worse, our players seemed to think because they were playing teams like Athletic and HSV, they were guaranteed the win. They weren't. Baranyai got the opener with a sloppy header, but Dentinho scored with a rare attack. We should've picked our selves up and scored the winner but Mikulanin had other plans, scoring with another messy header. We had given up when Gasper seemed to walk through our defence and side kick the ball under our keeper. Poor result

------

The drive home was quiet, i was extremely upset with the team. If we play like that other the next few weeks, it would be a major blow to our aspirations as a club

-------

Thoughts before the game

I brought back some first team players for this game, looking to get a win in preparation for our trip to Norway.

Trnava 2 - 1 MSK Zilina
From Stadion Antona Malatinskeho, Trnava

Goals for Trnava:
Jorgensen (14) (OG)
Kozuch (33)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
dentinho (3)

Att: 13364

After Thoughts
Everything went well for the first fifteen minutes, Detinho scored a blinder with in the first few minutes of the game and we hit the post twice. We were sure to get a cricket score but under no pressure, Jorgensen over played a back pass to the Goal Keeper and into the net. Our heads dropped and Kozuch took advantage with a special header. We were down but not out. We did have a few attacks but Trnana played well, hitting us on the counter attack until we were too scared to go full out. First league defeat of the season

-----

I thought we would be flying high on our trip to norway, but we weren't. The players wouldn't show it but i knew they were worried with this dip in form. It was only a two game dip but we needed to stop it and fast. Norway was extremely cold. We had our work cut out

------

Thoughts before the game

I was fearing another thumping. Rosenborg had lost 6-1 to HSV in the first group game but we were not a HSV nor were we playing like one. Still, we remained up beat

Rosenborg 0 - 1 MSK Zilina
from Zemplin, Michalovce

Goals for Rosenborg: N/A
Iversen Injured (33)
Rada Prica Injured (51)


Goals for MSK Zilina:
Nelson Valdez (66)

Att: 20354

After Thoughts
This felt like the last few games. We didn't play well and Iversen caused havoc in our defense. Once again our keeper came to the rescue. If Prica and Iversen hadn't have been injured, this could have been a bad night, but it wasn't, nelson Valdez nodded in a lovely header after a cross drilled in from the right from Rivaldo. We managed to hang on and get our first win in the group stages

-------

We were back at home, our form still poor. We were stuttering. We had the second of the leg coming up and we had to turn a 3-1 result around.

-------

Thoughts before the game

I went for our strongest team here, we needed to send a message. Michalovce looked good last time around and we wouldn't be taking any risks.

MSK Zilina 7 - 1 Michalovce (8-4 AGG, MSK Zilina through to Semi Finals (2nd Leg)
from Pod Dubnom, zilina

Goals for Zilina:
Eden Hazard (4)
Dentinho (16)
Blanco (34)
Nelson Valdez (47, 58, 77)
Lewandowski (52)

Goals for Michalovce:
Sninsky (27)

Att: 4511

After Thoughts
A proper result. We mean business and starting the scoring early. Hazard with a fantastic free kick leaving the keeper with no chance. Dentinho scored on 16 with a messy goal. Then blanco scored a bullet of a diving header. we were cruising, but Sninsky scored when we were hit on a counter attack. Half time, we were all tied on aggregate. But a hatrick from on form striker Valdez and a sneaky goal by Lewandowski, we were home and dry.

-------

I was extremely satisfied and the night before our next game, it was announced we would play Dun Streda in the next round. but that was months away, we were playing Slovan Bratislava and i expected a harder match then last time, they had improved a little.

-------

Thoughts before the game

We needed to get back on track in the league, and a win against Slovan would lift our spirits. We were riding high after wins in Norway and the Slovak cup.


Slovan Bratislava 1 - 3 MSK Zilina
from Zemplin, Michalovce

Goals for Slovan Bratislava:
Marek Kuzma (6)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Robert Jez (15)
Dentinho (42)
Putnocky (81 OG)

Att: 4430

After Thoughts
For a team playing in a capital city, with a huge Stadium, i was surprised how empty it was. That aside, Bratislava took the game to us and took the lead when Kuzma nut megged our Goal Keeper. Ten minutes later it was Level, When Jez hit a 30 yard Screamer. We didn't look back as Detinho recieved a pass from Hazard and rolled it pass Slovans keeper and into the net. We controlled the second half and cemented our win when Hazards cross was turned into the Slovan net bu their own player, Putnocky. We were back on track

End of month awards

hazard, Player of the Month

Robert Jez, Goal of the month, vs Slovan Bratislava.

Slovak League, Second in the league with 31 points from 12 games, ten wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. 1 point behind leaders Banska Bystrica, who are on 32 having played 3 more games then us.

---------- Post added at 06:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:07 AM ----------

November 2009

Thoughts before the game

We welcomed Rosenborg to the Pod today, i was looking for a better Performance


MSK Zilina 2 - 2 Rosenborg
from Pod Dubnom

Goals for MSK Zilina:
dentinho (25)
Rivaldo (58)
Kobylik Injured (39)

Goals for Rosenborg:
Roar Strand (51,68)

Att: 7518

After Thoughts
How strange, back in Norway we were totally out played yet tonight we were fantastic. Detinho scored a thunderous goal on 25 minutes. We hit the post, and minimised Rosenborg shots on the goal. We came out flying in the second half bur Rosenborg scored a goal against the run of Play. But Rivaldo still showed he can make a difference with a darting run into the box, around the keeper to score a fantastic goal. Again, Rosenborg hit us on the break and scored a lucky deflected equaliser. After that, Rosenborg kept attacking and we nearly conceded with one minute to go but Jorgensen cleared of the line. We out played them for most of the match yet it was only a draw. Still, we're second in the group on six points, two behind HSV.

-----

I was impressed after the Rosenborg game, Josef was delighted we were in the group stage. He came to me the next day with a polite reminder...He expected us to reach the SEMI FINALS of the competition. Was he mad? our good form had gone to his head, maybe being a die hard fan in charge of your club wasn't a good thing. But i told him i'd try.

-----

Thoughts before the game

Kosice were our visitors today and i expected a tough game. If i admired any one in the league it would be Kosice for their never say die attitude. I warned the guys this wouldn't be easy, prepare for a tough game


MSK Zilina 5 - 0 Kosice
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Robert Jez (7)
Blanco (21)
Nelson Valdez (66)
Bradley (74)
Rivaldo (78)

Att: 5249

After Thoughts
Not what i had expected at all. Kosice didn't turn up. They struggled in the final third whilst we flourished. A great all round performance, this was one of the most one sided games i'd seen since i took charge

--------

Our next game was at home, we were catching up on games missed. I told the lads this was a great chance to create a gap at the top of the league.

Thoughts before the game

We were confident ahead of this game, very confident. But Presov were flying high in the League, lying in 4th Position.

MSK Zilina 0 - 0 Presov
from Zemplin, Michalovce

Att: 6014

After Thoughts
Two points dropped in my opinion. We never got out of the starting blocks and Presov were happy to defend. We almost pinched the game at the death, when Hazard crossed into the box and Vieri flicked a header onto the far post. Unlucky but fair result

-------

Thoughts before the game

We still wanted to create more space between us and position two. Our visitors today were an on and off team, we didn't know who would show up


MSK Zilina 4 - 0 Ruzomberok
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Nelson Valdez (28)
Rivaldo (67, 77)
Christian Vieri (80)

Att: 5552

After Thoughts
Another good performance from us. We were a little slow and just seem to go with the flow, but we managed to hit four goals against a very poor Ruzomberok.

------

Next up, we had a double header with Nitra, the team that took us to penalties earlier on in the season. We didn't want a repeat of that today.

-------

Thoughts before the game

Even though we were scoring for fun, i changed the team a little and tried a single striker


MSK Zilina 4 - 1 Nitra
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for Zilina:
Detinho (10,20,90+3)
Nelson Valdez (35)

Goals for Nitra:
Simonek (6)

Att: 5551

After Thoughts
Another brutal display of finishing. Again, we never really got going and Nitra hit us with an early shock. But man of the moment Detinho netted another fantastic goal. From then on it was all Zilina, Nitra didn't have an answer for us. He netted his second ten minutes later with a brilliant header. Valdez, playing just behind the striker and in front of the midfield, killed of the game with a neat one two with Detinho and a smooth side foot into the net. And then, at the end of the game, Detinho scored is hatrick with a sublime 40 yard run, followed by a neat flick over the bemused keeper. Next up, Nitra away

------

Thoughts before the game

We played well against Nitra, and with only four days between games, i demanded more of the same, although i did change back to a 4,3,1,2 formation

Nitra 1 - 3 MSK Zilina
from Zemplin, Michalovce

Goals for Nitra:
Matus Mikus (90+2)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Dentinho (25)
Krivets (40)
Valdez (86)

Att: 7006

After Thoughts
We bullied Nitra from the start and it looked as if they didn't want to be on the pitch. Detinho was stunning the away support with his skills. He continued where he had left of with a 20 yard freekick, leaving the Nitra goal keeper stranded. Then Krivets scored a header from a corner whilst in the second half, Valdez completed our scoring with a 5 yard power shot. Mikus scored just before the final whistle, when our keeper dropped the ball.

---

With three games ln December, two in the UEFA Cup, left to play, the boys were looking forward for months break.

End of Month awards

Slovak Division One player of the Month: Valdez

Player of the month: Detinho

Zilina are currently top of the table with 44 points from 17 games. Bystrica are second with one game more played, on 38 points.
 
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Wow, your putting in a lot effort, nice story.
To tell you the truth, this is my first ever one and i was just going to post results. Then i read one a few posts back, about this guy from wales. That was immense and he hasn't even used FM yet. So i thought i'd spice it up abit just in case some one was interested in it.

Thanks non the less

---------- Post added at 07:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:44 AM ----------

December 2009

Thoughts before the game

We had two games left in the UEFA cup, against Slavia Praha and HSV. We needed a result here, because to go to HSV and get a result would be extremely hard

MSK Zilina 4 - 1 Slavia Praha
from Pod Dobnum, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Nelson Valdez (32, 37, 66)
Dentinho (63)

Goals for Slavia Praha:
Korinek (9)

Att: 6903

After Thoughts
We were on fire tonight, the crowd was loud and this felt like our final. Both teams stood of each other in the opening minutes but Slavia scored a wonder goal, from 40 yards out, in the 9th minute. Although i do put a little blame on the goalkeeper. But we stood up, we knew we needed to win and on 32 minutes, we equalised, Valdez scoring the a deflected shot from 10 yards. This shocked Praha and within minutes, we had a corner kick. Rivaldo flicked the ball on and Valdez tapped the ball into the net,scoring his third. We meant business.
I told the guys to keep it up and Valdez responded brilliantly having an effort cleared of the line. But the ball fell to Dentinho who scored another tap in. But three minutes later, Valdez wasn't denied his hatrick, Dentinho took a shot from 25 yards out and the ball was spilled by Slavias Keeper. Valdez was the quickest to respond and he scored a brillaint poachers goal. We were through to the next round, along with HSV. Fantastic achievement.

---------

We were buzzing from the result and couldn't wait for the game in Hamburg. Yet from every high comes a downer, and the lads seemed to be emotionally tired when we turned up in Bratislava to play Petrzalka

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Thoughts before the game

I tried motivating the lads, and they seemed up for it, but they were still a little tired

Petrzalka 0 - 0 MSK Zilina
from Pasienky, Bratislava

Att: 6553

After Thoughts
I couldn't get angry at the guys, they picked up a point in a hard game. It wasn't free flowing. As the game wore on, we rarely strayed from our own half. The closest chance went to Petrzalka,who hit the bar on the 80th minute

----------

Thoughts before the game

We were in Hamburg, every one delighted we had already qualified. It made the pre match team talk alot smoother

HSV 2 - 2 MSK Zilina
from HSH-Nordbank-Arena, Hamburg

Goals for Hamburg:
Van Nistelrooy (36, Pen 62)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Rivaldo (77, 85)

Att: 44410

After Thoughts
We played really well in the first half, despite this, Van Nistelrooy scored a screacher on 36 mins. This did seem to knock the wind out of us. We came out raring to go in the second half and missed two good chances before Jorgensen conceded a penalty for hand ball, which Van Nistelrooy placed in the right hand corner. HSV then took their foot off the gas. Non other then substitute Rivaldo gave us a life line on 77 with a cruel curling shot. And then on 85 minutes, he weaved his way through the defence and placed a neat shot through Rost's legs and into the net. A brilliant result for us, especially coming from two goals down.

-------

I was in attendance with Jozef for the first knock out round draw. I didn't like it here, every one at the UEFA head quarters pretended to be your friend, and to be honest, most probably didnt know me and didnt care about my small team from Slovakia. We were drawn third from last, against AZ Alkmaar, with the first leg to be held in the Netherlands. We could've had a worse draw.
Then there was the draw for the second knock out round, if we are to make it through against AZ then we will have to face HSV or Celtic. I personally would prefer HSV as we've already played them twice and drawn both times!.

End of month awards

Three matches played this month and not another game until the 18/2/2010. So my award for player of the Month went to Rivaldo mainly for his performance against HSV.

Currently first in the Slovak First Division, 48 points from 18 games, 7 ahead of Banska Bystrica

---------- Post added at 10:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:42 AM ----------

January 2010

With no games this month, it's been a slow one. I decided to go home to England for two weeks when a few days in Jozef called. He said he had a ground breaking announcement, could i be be in Zilina by 2. I said i was in England on holiday, so he told me to take a seat.
At first i thought i was being sacked but he just announced that Zilina have signed some kind of deal with Inter Milan from Italy. He said our magnificent form in Europe had highlighted us. I thought great, a European Power House is going to take all our good players, but i was wrong, we had one coming our way....a 19 year old by the name of Balotelli. Rumour has it he had fallen out with top brass at Inter and was sent on Loan to us as punishment. I didn't mind, i thought he was pretty good.

We had also sent out some feelers to players who may be interested in Joining. We still had a modest transfer budget left and Jozef wanted to spend it. I was up for that, i wanted a couple of more guys in as Christian Vieri wasn't what i had hoped for. But the players we were after were probably not interested in us....i was wrong.

The Following players joined us in January:

Mario Balotelli - Loan Deal - Inter Milan
Gal - Andrezly - 210 K - Kosice B
D'Alessandro, Andres - 3.2 Million - Internacional
Stancik - 190K - Pribram
Mateja Kezman - 2.6 Million - PSG
Boulahrouz - Stuttgart - 2.1 Million

---------- Post added at 08:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:03 AM ----------

February 2010

So, we had signed some big players in the January transfer window, well for a club our size any way. I was honoured that they wanted to play in Slovakia. Hopefully this would open the flood gates for future, bigger named stars. Christian Vieri was released from his contract and headed back to Italy, whilst a few other players were loaned out and sold.

We started training abit earlier then we usually would, and this was because we had two tough matches against AZ Alkmaar. I was impressed by the new signings and how they had settled in with the squad. Time to see if our gamble had paid off


Thoughts before the game[/CENTER]

AZ were going to be a tough team to play and the bookies heavily backed them to beat us over two legs. But i think HSV are a better side and we played really well against them. The lads were fit and up for it.

AZ Alkmaar 1 - 2 MSK Zilina
from DBS Stadion, Alkmaar

Goals for AZ Alkmaar:
Lens (39)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Marian Cisovsky (4)
Michael Bradley (28)
Att: 16386

After Thoughts
We dominated the first half of this game and were unlucky not to score more. Within four minutes we has gained the advantage when Cisovsky scored a placed header. On the half hour we scored again, Dentinho hit the bar but Bradley was there to tap in the rebound. In a rare AZ attack, Jeremain lens blasted the ball into the top right hand corner. But at half time came, we had two important away goals. The second half saw more pressing from AZ but they didn't manage another shot on Target. We nearly widened the margin on 82 mins but Dentinho fluffed a shot, missing an open goal. Good result away from home here.

----------

The second leg was in a few days and we were all quietly confident heading into the game.

----------


Thoughts before the game[/CENTER]

We had a slender lead, a lead which i felt we were good enough to hold onto. We just needed to defend.

MSK Zilina 1 - 1 AZ Alkmaar
from Pod Dobnum, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Nelson Valdez (52)

Goals for AZ Alkmaar:
Schaars (86)
David Mendes da Silva missed penalty (45)

Att: 7466

After Thoughts
AZ were up for this game. But we showed great defending. They had managed more shots on goal but were shooting from far out. Unfortunately something would have to give and just after half time, we conceded a silly penalty for hand ball. But a Silva blasted wide. This knocked the wind out of AZ sails and we took advantage. 52 minutes, 0-0 on the night, Valdez headed in a smooth goal. It was uphill for AZ from then, as we camped in our own half. Just before the end, AZ snatched a goal but couldn't slot home another. We were through, to play Celtic.

---------

I wouldn't of said our games with AZ Alkmaar were fantastic displays of football. But we had done what we needed, we frustrated them both games and come away with the win.
We only had one league game in February, against second placed Banska Bystica

---------

Thoughts before the game[/CENTER]

We had played well in Europe, and i wanted to bring the form back into the league. We were playing second placed Bystrica, we didn't need to win but it's always good defeating your rivals.

MSK Zilina 5 - Banska Bystrica 0
from Pod Dobnum, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Mario Balotelli (6, 43)
Robert Lewandowski (54)
Mateja Kesman (61)
Marian Cisovsky (70)


Att: 6914

After Thoughts
Watching this game, you wouldn't have thought that Banska were second in the league. We out played them the whole match, they just didn't turn up. Balotelli scored within six minutes of his debut, i joked afterwards with him, about his punishment. He was dismissed to the outer rims of European football, but he was on fire and the fans already loved him. He scored his second just before half time.
I told the lads to take it easy and to enjoy the game, but they were in no mood for playi.ng around. Robert Lewandowski scored a deflected shot, showing me he still wanted to be the main man here. Substitute and New signing, Kezman also scored on, a neat little back heel into the net, from a Rivaldo corner. And on the 70th minute, Cisovsky scored a powerful header. Job done. We played extremely well her, it was a joy to behold

---------
End of month awards

I didn't give out an award for anything this month.

With 19 games played, we were top of the league with 48 points. ten points ahead of Trnava who had just over taken Bystrica. They both had 38 points but Trnava were ahead on goal difference

---------- Post added at 01:07 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 08:03 PM ----------

March 2010

A good start to the second half of the season, we progressed to the next round of the UEFA Cup and trounced our nearest rivals 5-0. Next up we were away to relegation favourites Dubnica

----

Thoughts before the game

It was essential we played with tempo and meaning, i wanted to make an example of Dubnica

Dubnica 1 - 2 MSK Zilina
Mestsky Stadion, Dubnica nad Vahom

Goals for Dubnica:
Zapotoka (16)
Nosek sent off (90+3)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Bradley (12)
D'Alessandro (43)

Att: 5005

After Thoughts
We were very sluggish in the first half, as we Dubnica, obviously fearing a thrashing. Kezman took a chance on 11 minutes but hit the post, the ball fell to Bradley who slotted home. Slowly we began taking the game to them but that was after Zapotoka scored a blinding goal after a solo run. Before the end of the half, D'Alessandro scored a free kick from 25 yards out. Although we played better in the second half, we failed to take our chances. A deserved win non the less.

--------

Next we were away in Europe. Our destination was Glasgow. Again, Josef gave me his prep talk on the plane, getting very excited again. This was a huge game for us, Celtic heavily backed to win. Did we have a chance?

---------

Thoughts before the game

I'd never been to Celtics ground before, and it was amazing. The atmosphere was crazy. I'd expect this if Rangers were here but not little MSK Zilina.

Glasgow Celtic 3 - 3 MSK Zilina
from Celtic Park, Glasgow

Goals for Celtic:
Shaun Maloney (45+5)
Ki Sung-Yong (56)
Samaras (82)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Andres D'lessandro (36)
Mario Balotelli (62,84)

Att: 57584

After Thoughts
Celtic came at us from the go, wanting to put this tie to bed early on. They bombarded our goal, With Maloney and Yong looking the most threatening. We didn't have an answer. On a rare counter attack, Balotelli was tripped out side the area. up stepped D'lessandro to put the ball beyond their keeper Boruc. Our fans were wild. There were three minutes of added time, but the referee kept on playing. Five minutes of added time! i was livid. That's when i saw a Celtic ball played into the box and Maloney finally undone us, scoring a perfectly placed header. 1-1 at half time.
It was the same after the break, and ten minutes in, Yong scored from ten yards out, Celtic were in front and it looked like they were most likely to score. Rivaldo was on, and he took some of the pressure away. He made a darting run through the defence and laid the ball of to Balotelli, looking for the 1 - 2, nut Balotelli blasted the ball into the back of the net. Celtic picked up where the left of and pinned us back and on the 82nd minute, Samaras pulled away from Jorgensen and planted the ball past our Keeper. We were lucky to still be in the game to be honest, Celtic had played us of the park. But with four minutes to go, Rivaldo broke away again, chipped the ball beyond the last defender to an Offside Balotelli. The linesman didn't wave his flag and he cooly finished. Abit of luck for us tonight, the match ended 3-3.

----------

Sandwiched between our games with Celtic was the visit of Senica. The lads were a little tired so i made a few changes.

---------

Thoughts before the game

We took a light training schedule before the game, it was a relaxed atmosphere, not as intense like before the Celtic game.

MSK Zilina 4 - 0 Senica
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Maria Balotelli (27)
D'Alessandro (Pen 34)
Nelson Valdez (36)
Lewandowski (75)

Att: 6012

After Thoughts
A relatively easy game for us to be honest, Senica were flirting with relegation, just a few points ahead of the drop zone. They done them selves no favours here. We put the game beyond reach 36 minutes into the game. Lewandoski scored in the second half to end the route.

---------

We had some major problems against Celtic in the last game. They out played us from the first whistle. I was confident they would turn up and try the same again, so i instructed my players to tackle hard and man mark

---------

Thoughts before the game

The guys were motivated and we had a huge crowd, the Celtic faithful brought 1500 fans with them, who just added to the great atmosphere

MSK Zilina 4 - 0 Glasgow Celtic
Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Nelson Valdez (27)
Mario Balotelli (38, 52, 65)

Att: 8065

After Thoughts
The first twenty minutes went to Celtic who threatened to score a couple of times but my tactics seemed to be working. Robbie Keane was back for them, but he was being frustrated by a superb Jorgensen. We tackled hard, and man marked, they weren't as free flowing as before, and this bothered them. Step up Nelson Valdez, a glancing header at the far post trickled into the net, giving us the lead. We pushed on, this time playing them of the park, but they still showed signs of crippling us. Maria Balotelli then scored 7 minutes before half time, chipping a stunned Boruc. Celtics heads went down and Rivaldo should've scored but it was not meant to be.
We were on Fire in the second half, stopping Celtic moves early. Balotelli then pounced on a bad back pass and majestically glided past Boruc and put the tie beyond any doubt. A well placed header twelve minutes later earned him his Hat trick. Celtic were stunned and we went on to win 4-0, 7-3 on aggregate. A huge European Shock!.

-----------

The lads were on a high after this game, and we welcome Trnava to the Pod just a few days later.

----------

Thoughts before the game

We needed to pick up from where we left of and send Trnava a message, they had beaten us already this season and were sitting behind us in Second.

MSK Zilina 8 - 2 Trnava
from Pud Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Valdez (4, 34, 41, 45+1)
Blanco (8, pen 90)
Kezman (70)
Balotelli (74)

Goals for Trnava:
Kone (32)
Pichou (66)

Att: 7242

After Thoughts
Absolutely fantastic game, we slaughtered them from the get go. Man of the match Valdez sunk Trnava on his own. From start to finish, we didn't give up!

---------

After the game Jozef was jumping with joy again, he said Zilina were playing their best football ever. But he had better news, we would Play Benfica in the next round of the UEFA cup. and if we win that, we could look forward to Werder Bremen or Fenerbahce.

---------

Thoughts before the game

I didn't say much to the lads to be honest, they knew i wanted more of the same this game!

Zilina 7 - 0 Petrzalka
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Valdez (8, 68, Pen 76)
Blanco (34)
Jorgensen (56)
Rivaldo (79)
Kezman (81)

Att: 5988

After Thoughts
What could i say? Zilina played fantastic with the wonderful Valdez scoring his second hatrick in as many games. This was the form we needed to bring into the Quarter Finals against Benfica

End of month awards

Player of the Month: Nelson Valdez

---------- Post added at 04:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:07 AM ----------

April 2010

We were playing fantastic heading into April, our next opponent was Benfica, in the first leg

---------

Thoughts before the game

I told the lads we needed a positive result here, the next tie would be extremely hard if were to go there on the back foot.

MSK Zilina 2 - 2 Benfica
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Balotelli (12)
Valdez (28)

Goals for Benfica:
Saviola (72)
Cardozo (81)

Att: 9203

After Thoughts
We started of very well, catching Benfica of guard. The superb Balotelli scored a volley from the 18 yard line to put us one up. We continued to dominate possesion, pinning Benfica back. Our efforts were payed of when Valdez headed into an empty net after a mistake by Benfica's Keeper. We went in at half time in total control.
Fifteen minutes following the re start, we were still dominating play, frustrating Benfica. But we were unable to break them down again, and we began to defend deep. Saviola won a scramble in our penalty area, tapping the ball home. Suddenly Benfica were a different team. Cardozo scored a wicked header and we began to panic. We were all over the place and were lucky to escape with a draw. We were shocked, stunned to say the least. We should've taken advantage when we had the chance

---------

A good performance against Benfica saw us go into our first leg Slovak cup tie against Dun Streda. We were favourites to win and i couldn't see us losing

---------

Thoughts before the game

I made seven changes to the side that played against Benfica. I was sure we were strong enough to win anyway.

Dun. Streda 5 - 2 MSK Zilina
from Mestsky Stadion DAC, Dunajska Streda

Goals for Dun. Streda:
Vidakovic (6, 12, 68)
Ntsogo (26)
Belkovics (63)

MSK Zilina:
Valdez (pen 65)
Dentinho (84)

Att: 6100

After Thoughts
Shocked is not the word, we didn't turn up. We were out played by a superior team. This was the worse i had ever felt, as far as football was concerned. We were outplayed and didn't have an answer.

-------

We were down, We were given a walloping and taken back down to earth. We were heading to Portugal to play Benfica, a team that could punish us if we didn't step up!

--------

Thoughts before the game

I watched the guys in training and they seemed positive although clearly shocked by our thumping a few days before. I knew we needed an early goal.

Benfica 3 - 3 MSK Zilina
from Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon

Goals for Benfica:
Di Maria (45+1)
Saviola (57, 87)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Valdez (17)
Blanco (49)
Kezman (61)
Aurier Injured (24)

Att: 32655

After Thoughts
We needed an early goal to shut the home fans up, they were loud. Benfica didn't play with any conviction, they were playing with Bravado. They thought this would be easy, but valdez, who else, stunned them on 17 minutes. The rest of the half was like a game of chess, both teams hesitant. We didn't want them to score, and they didn't want us to score but towards the end of the half, Di Maria broke behind our defences line and chipped our goal keeper. The Stadium erupted. If things were to stay the way they were, we were out.
We came out all guns blazing and that paid of as Blanco scored a bullet of a goal, the out stretched Benfica keeper unable to reach the ball. We began to sit back looking for the counter attack but this was a mistake, Saviola tapped in from two yards after a deflection Jorgensen. Bravado entered Benfica again and Kezman was one on one with the keeper on 61 minutes. He kept his cool and placed the ball under the keeper and into the net.
Time was winding down and Benfica showed us no Mercy, but we broke away and hit the bar. They then rushed down the other end of the field, our defence stretched and Saviola scored another. But we managed to hang on and go through to the Semi Finals, we were lucky, again.

----------

We were the darlings of Slovakia but we received some stick about our first leg cup defeat. We wanted to continue our wonderful league run.

----------

Thoughts before the game

I was confident against Bratislava. they were playing poorly this season.

MSK Zilina 2 - 0 Slovan Bratislava
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Dentinho (4, 84)

Att: 6153

After Thoughts
It was a bland game, neither team seemed to try. Bratislava seemed like they didn't want to be there, Dentinho continued his good form with two screachers. There shouldn't be a thing like an easy game, but this was close to that

-----------

On the way down to Kosice, i was watching a DVD of Werder Bremen for our next European game when Jozef showed me something in a paper. The Kosice boss was ripping into me for no reason. Jozef had called up an agent to give my reply. That we were looking forward to beating them!

-----------

Thoughts before the game

I wanted an easy game, simple as that, but after the Kosices camps comments, i wanted to tear them apart

Kosice 0 - 3 MSK Zilina
from Cermel, Kosice

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Balotelli (30)
Marian Valensky own goal (73)
Lewandowski (80)

Att: 6779

After Thoughts
I wasn't impressed with Kosice today. They were negative. Their tactics were shocking. I thought they would give us a game after they began to comment on us. We tore them to shreds with out even trying. I enjoyed telling the press that Kosice were tactically terrible!

---------

Thoughts before the game

We were playing Dun. Streda again, we needed at least three goals and to stop them scoring. But i felt we could do it

MSK Zilina 2 - 0 Dun Streda 0
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
D'Alessandro (29)
Lewandowski (88)

Att: 9548

After Thoughts
Den Streda turned up to defend, and they done this well. Shot after shot was either saved or deflected. D'Alessandro scored a fantastic free kick, which is when i thought the flood gates would open, but they kept on defending. We hit the bar numerous times, we were unlucky. In the 88th minute, Lewandowski pounced on a rebound and put us two goals up, one behind on Aggregate. In the dying seconds, Valdez went down in the box, clear foul. But no penalty given. We were out. Out in the Semi Finals. our first leg showing wasn't good enough

---------

I admired Den Streda for the way they set up, and congratulations to them, they deserved it in the end.

----------

Thoughts before the game

Werder Bremen would probably prove to be our toughest European test yet, we needed to be on form

Werder Bremen 0 - 1 MSK Zilina
from Weserstadion, Bremen

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Lewandowski (90+1)

Att: 5988

After Thoughts
We had two shots the entire game. Bremen bullied us all over the pitch. We should have lost this game by at least five goals but lady luck was on our side. I would've taken a draw but into stoppage time, Lewandowski was on the end of a Ballotelli cross and headed over their Keeper. We won the match, to the disbelief of the Weserstadion.

----------

Thoughts before the game

We had Nitra in the league, a team we dominated in our last two games against them. I wanted to continue this

MSK Zilina 2 - 0 Nitra
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Eden Hazard (14)
Valdez (48)

Att: 6040

After Thoughts
we had played so hard in our last couple of games so it was nice to have the tempo dropped. Hazard put the sword to Nitra opening the scoring early on. Valdez then added to his season tally with a neat poachers goal. Nothing much to note to be honest.

----------

Thoughts before the game

We had to get an early goal against Bremen, that would shock them hugely.

Zilina 0 - 0 Werder Bremen
from Pod Dubnom, Zilina

Att: 11108

After Thoughts
Bremen attacked us from the start and it was like the first leg. We were extremely lucky to come away with another clean sheet, but this is football some times, Zilina made it to their first european cup final, ever.

End of Month awards

Player of the Month: Mario Balotelli

Zilina were out of the Slovak cup after a shock exit in the Semi-Finals but were through the UEFA cup final with an equally shocking win over Bremen. We were top of the league , 69 points from 26 games. Trnava were second with 59 points from 29 games

---------- Post added at 04:49 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:42 AM ----------

BREAKING NEWS

Josef approached me and congratulated me on our win against Bremen. He was also happy with our league performance. He told me he considered sacking me earlier on in the season for the Coaching badge fiasco but he was glad he listened to his heart rather then his advisors, who no longer were at the club. I told him thank you and i would give my all to Him and Zilina. He said i was a manager with a good reputation, coming from out of no where in which i replied i had owed it to him.
he then told me the Slovak FA had been in contact and i thought they had got wind of the coaching bag fiasco, but i was stunned as Jozef went on. I was aware that National team Manager Vladmir Weiss had recently left Slovakia looking to try his luck in South America. Naturally, They would need a new manager. Jozef said they wanted me. I was shocked, what would this mean for Zilina?
Jozef told me he would be happy for me to take the job but wanted me to stay on as Zilina's Manager.

Four days later i was still in charge of MSK Zilina and now National Coach of Slovakia. I was going to the world cup!

---------- Post added at 04:38 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 04:49 AM ----------

May 2010

Thoughts before the game[/CENTER]

We were nearly there, just a few points from winning the League. We had out played nearly every team in Slovakia, we were on a high

Banska Bystrica 1 - 3 MSK Zilina
from Stiavnickach, Banska Bystrica

Goals For Banska Bystrica:
Seye (77)
Gajdos Injured (62)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Rivaldo (22)
Balotellia (33)
Blanco (79)

Att: 7553

After Thoughts
One step closer, the boys were over the moon. A classy performance from us and we ended the game early on, we should've won by more

---------

---------- Post added at 04:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:38 AM ----------

Thoughts before the game[/CENTER]

A home game against Dubnica was next, the team planted at the bottom of the table. Four more points at the title was ours, we needed a win

MSK Zilina 3 - 1 Dubnica
from Pod Dobnum, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Dentinho (2)
Maria Balotelli (7)
Valdez (44)

Goals for Slavia Praha:
Filo (70)

Att: 5195

After Thoughts
Within the first ten minutes we had put the game out of reach. We out played a demoralised Dubnica and deserved the win
---------

---------- Post added at 05:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:45 AM ----------

We were on our way back to Hamburg. I reminded them of our game with HSV there earlier on in the season. The odds and crowd were against us, but we done it. We could do it again!

Thoughts before the game[/CENTER]

We'd reached the end of the line, we had two options. To derail and fall or to stand up, be counted and be proud. It was a war cry, to be honest, i was so proud of the guys, they had done everything i asked and more. This was their final.

At. Madrid 1 - 2 MSK Zilina
from HSH-Nordbank-Arena, Hamburg

Goals for At.Madrid:
Forlan (52)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Kezman (72, 83)
Michael Bradley S/O (76)

Att: 46500

After Thoughts
Magical! Madrid obviously under rated us, they thought their name was already on the Trophy. We traded blows through out the first half, but our early skirmishes made us both aware of each other.Madrid came out flying after the break, tearing us to shreds in the process. Forlan Scored a corker from the edge of the area but this seemed to inject complacency into them. We started to attack, stringing passes together, and it paid of when Kezman netted from four yards out. A few minutes later, Bradley was given a second yellow card. They started to jump around like they had Won and to their suprise, Kezman picked up the ball from 30 yards out, past one defender then slotted home to score the winner. It was too late for Madrid to reply, Zilina were Champions!

---------

---------- Post added at 05:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:10 AM ----------

Thoughts before the game[/CENTER]

We were playing out next game at home, as Champions of Europe. The crowd was hot and we wanted to give them a show. A draw in one of our final five matches would mean we would win the league

MSK Zilina 1 - 2 Dun Streda
from Pod Dobnum, Zilina

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Nelson Valdez (45+3)

Goals for Dun Streda:
Pajic (77)
Speranza (90 +4)

Att: 8123

After Thoughts
We slaughtered Dun Dtreda in the first half, missing chance after chance. At the ned of the half, an extremely tired Valdez managed to head home to give us the lead. During half time, we got word that Trnava were 3-0 down, at home. If they lose, we win the league. This news had a bad affect on our players. They were withdrawn in the second half. Dun Streda scored on (77) and then again at the death, but it didn't matter, we were Champions. This was our last home game of the season, and although i wasn't impressed with the second half, i didn't say anything, we'd worked hard all season. The fans loved us parading the UEFA cup, along side with the Slovak League title.

---------

Presov 1 - 2 MSK Zilina
from Tatran, Presov

Goals for Presov:
Krivets (own goal 45+1)

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Hanek (own goal 7)
Lewandowski (90+2)

Att: 4994

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Ruzomberok 0 - 3 MSK Zilina
from Pod Cebratom, Ruzomberok

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Jorgensen (29)
Kobylik (39)
D'Alessandro (75)

Att: 4797

-------

Dun. Streda 0 - 2 MSK Zilina
from Mestsky Stadion DAC, Dunajska Streda

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Dentinho (37, Pen 52)

Att: 6100

-------

Senica 0 - 4 MSK Zilina
from Senica, Senica

Goals for MSK Zilina:
Kezman (3)
Blanco (8)
Valdez (19)
Rivaldo (39)

Att: 3928

With us winning, Senica were relegated from the Slovak first division:

---------- Post added at 05:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:37 AM ----------

FINAL LEAGUE STANDINGS 2009/2010
ChampionsMSK Zilina - Points - 87
Trnava - Points - 66
Banska Bystrica - Points - 54
Presov - Points - 50
Dun.Streda - Points - 50
Slovan Bratislava - Points - 50
Nitra - Points - 47
Kosice - Points - 46
Ruzomberok - Points - 40
Petrezalka - Points - 24
Dubnica - Points - 22
RelegatedSenica - Points - 21
 
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WORLD CUP, S.AFRICA

This was the first time i met the lads, on the plane to South Africa. I was appointed so close to the world cup that we didn't have time to play a friendly. I wasn't too worried though, this was Slovakia's first ever appearance at a World Cup finals.



Slovakia 1 - 2 S.Africa
from Newlands, Cape Town

Goals for Slovakia:
Robert Jez (80)

Goals for S.Africa
Parker (30)
Booth (64)

Att: 60000

A nightmare start. S.Africa were pumped and took it to us in the opening moments. We were nervous and it showed, half an hour in South Africa's Parker punished some terrible defending, hitting the ball to the keepers left. And it didn't get any better, they came at as and on 64, Scored a well deserved second. I didn't know what to do, we were lost. Jez came of the bench and scored a neat header, but we were never in the game

------

We needed some kind of result against the Americans in the next game. I had to boys do extra, but light, training so we could come to grips with each other. Hamsik was back in the side too.


United States 0 - 5 Slovakia
from ABSA Stadium, Durban

Goals for Slovakia:
Hamsik (23)
Vittek (39, 40)
Holosko (47, 89)

Att: 65000

A totally different team. We were awesome tonight, the boys done exactly what i had asked them, if not more. We outplayed the clueless Americans. First Hamsik scored a beauty of a free kick, from 35 yards out. Vittek then punished a lazy American defence with two goals in two minutes. 3-0 up, looked like we were going to get our first win in the World Cup Finals. After the break, we hit the USA on the counter, with Holosko scoring. He also added a second to his tally with one minute to go, American stopper Howard dropped the ball at Holosko's feet, who took the gift and slotted into an open net

--------

Our next game was against the North Koreans, who hadn't managed a goal or points yet.


N.Korea 2 - 2 Slovakia
from Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Goals for N.Korea:
Krang-Hoon (46)
Cha Sung-II (70)

Goals for Slovakia:
Holosko (17)
Svento (23)

Att: 62567

I thought we had turn the corner against the Americans. But we hadn't. We were on fire for the first half an hour, we scored two but should of had Seven. Thats when Korea started getting back into the game. I was glad to get the lads in at half time, give them a boost, but straight after the kick off, Korea Scored a dubious goal, obviously an offside to any one else in the world apart from the match officials! We did show some strength later on in the half, hitting the post and wood work, but it was not to be. Korea hit us on the counter, scoring a cheeky lob. We never picked our selves up after this. We were out of the competition.

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Drezzy Leaves Slovakia and MSK Zilina

I've accepted a contract offer with Millwall, to read the continuation of this Story, then please check out Millwall FC: A Youth revolution in the FM2011 story's thread
 
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