Monday, November 24, 2008

Perhaps one more club should be added to the brown cohorts: Dukla. Unlike Platense and St. Pauli, this is newer club associated with establishment. It was found in 1948 as a club of the Czechoslovakian army and thus representing the Communist Party in a way: it was to be the correct proletarian club, opposing the old ‚bourgeaosie’ clubs. In the familiar pattern of Communist East Europe, Dukla was a club from the capital, Prague, heavily promoted by having free hand in recruiting the best players from the country.
Naturally, it was successful club, winning 11 Czechoslovakian titles – the only brown club not struggling to avoid relegation. Dukla’s best years were the 1950s and 1960s. Unlike the rest of the ‚browns’ Dukla had many great players, including Josef Masopust, voted European Fottballer of the Year in 1962.
The star in the famous brown and yellow jersey... but is it brown? Or is it Rouan red? Or terra cotta red? Whatever it was, it was changed by the middle of the 1970s – Dukla started playing in yellow (keeping the brown for away kit, however). The changed look in 1976-77:
Sitting, left to right: Netolicka, Stambachr, Samek, Vejvoda (coach), Brumovsky (assistant coach), Nehoda, Bilsky, Viktor.
Second row: Dr. Minarz (medic), Pelc, Fialka, Novak, Stastny, Tabor, Borovan (masseur).
Third row: Gajdusek, Mikus, Macela, Dvorak, Svehlik, Bendl, Rott, Vizek.
Good days... 11 national players from various years; 3 European champions from 1976 in the above foto. Good days ended after the fall of Communism. By 1993-94 Dukla had financial difficulties and was relegated directly to 3rd Division in part because of them. Having been ‚Communist club’ did not help either – there was no more enthusiasm for saving the club in post-Communist Czech Republic. Eventually, it was merged with another club under the name Marilla and moved to the small city of Pribram. Recently Dukla was revamped as indepependent club (the other club in Pribram existing separately), currently playing in the 2nd Division. The curse of the brown, I may think – no ‚brown’ club is successful in a long run. And, to end with similarities, like Platense and St. Pauli, the only famous donning brown jersey in the last 20 years – Pavel Nedved – achieved fame elsewhere. Tough legacy for Coventry fans... are they not in Second Division now? Whoever wears brown goes down.