Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The honourable and great Czechoslovakian football of the first half of 20th century faded into just honourable for old time sake by 1970s. But that is international reputation and perceptions. At home – all depended on point of view: from Prague may be a disaster; from Slovakia – jolly good years. Decline in the centre, but the periphery flourished. 1972-73 was entirely Slovak provincial triumph with Spartak (Trnava), Tatran (Presov), and VSS Kosice finishing at the top three positions. And especially Spartak – it was amazing success: 5th title since 1967! The club founded in 1923 had won only one Cup until ‘the golden years’ – in 1951.They added a second Cup in 1967, then started winning championships – 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, plus one more Cup in 1971.

The success was attributed to their coach Anton Malatinsk√Ĺ, who is reffered to as ‘legendary’ nowadays. Perhaps the real reason was the financial back-up: Spartak was attached to the automotive plant TAZ and very likely the management of the plant was keen on sports and poured enough money to keep good players around, for provincial clubs normally cannot compete – better players tend to be lured by big clubs in big cities. By 1973 it was very experienced squad indeed:

With national players Kuna, Dobias, Adamec, Kabat, Masrna, experienced and respected Hagara, Geryk, Martinkovic, and young talent like Keketi and Varadin the team was well balanced and strong indeed. Well deserved title, to the envy of traditional leading clubs like Dukla (Prague) and Slovan (Bratislava).