Saturday, September 15, 2012

Like Hungary, there was a shift of power going on in Czechoslovakia, but in opposite direction – in Hungary, it was moving from the capital to the provinces; in Czechoslovakia – from provinces to the centre, from Slovakia to Czechia-Moravia, and from Bratislava to Prague. Like the Hungarian change, the Czechoslovakian one was not in full force yet, although it was on already more advanced stage. However, given the success of 1976, when Czechoslovakia won the European Championship, the results of the following season were somewhat strange. The clubs giving the bulk of the winning squad kind of underperformed. Clubs practically without national team players dominate the national tournaments. Some losers were expected – no one thought Jednota (Trencin), ZVL Zilina, SKLO Union (Teplice), and even less VP Frydek-Mistek capable of anything higher better than 10th place. None performed a miracle and Frydek-Mistek, a rare bird in First Division, finished 15th and returned to its normal habitat, the Second Division.

VP Frydek-Mistek - their stay in First Division lasted precisely one year and was never repeated. So, this 15th place is the highest achievement of the small club.

But at least they fought and tried to prolong their stay among the best – in contrast, VSS Kosice were pathetic. They finished last, 16th, with only 14 points. Seven points less than Frydek-Mistek. Not long ago VSS Kosice inhabited the upper half of the league's table and was considered tough, steady club, part and parcel of the Slovak domination. Yet, their relegation was not the bigger sign of Slovak decline.