Monday, October 26, 2009

This is the junior team of Levsky-Spartak, Bulgarian champions in 1971. Only one player made it in the first team – Voyn Voynov, right of the goalie. The right winger eventually went to play for the national team and at the 1974 World Cup, he is interesting here in another aspect: during the 1970s he and only one other player coming from the club’s youth system were established in the first squad. In the past, Levsky depended largely on their youth teams – now, with first team clearly in trouble, no youths were included, no matter how good they played. To the horror of Levsky’s fans the Police club mirrored the Army club – Levsky-Spartak started stealing players from other clubs. Whatever talent emerged in Bulgaria was snatched either by CSKA or Levsky-Spartak. No wonder youths were abandoned – it was easier to get already established players from elsewhere… Voynov made it and also he turned out to be with ‘old fashioned’ mentality – he played only for Levsky-Spartak during his not very long career. When the club no longer needed him, he declined other offers and retired. But that was just about everything good about ‘Suek’ Voynov: he never ranked high – fans prefer other wingers from before or after Voynov’s time, and rightly so. Voynov was irritating player – not very fast for a winger and possessed by time-wasting attitude: not a great technician, Voynov constantly whirled around himself, pretty much at one place, and hardly ever moving his eyes away from the ball. He slowed attacks and worse: keeping his eyes on the ball, he hardly knew where his teammates were and many an opportunity was lost because Voynov never saw it. May be not a great player, but a nice guy and surprisingly good coach presently. Voynov appeared in the squad partly because of constant troubles Tzvetan ‘Metzy’ Vesselinov was having.

‘Metzi in action. A very fast traditional right winger, Vesselinov was fragile player, easily injured. By 1972 it was clear that Metzy that he was not really to recover and he missed most of the season. Although predictable with his monotonous runs on the wing, Metzy was giving Levsky and later Levsky-Spartak an edge, which Voynov clearly was unable to provide. Metzy was much better goal scorer too.