Yesterday was a momentous day in the career of veteran Falcon defender Petr Čekal. After five long seasons of loyal service to the Falcon team, the twenty nine year old defender was finally ready for an eagerly anticipated and greatly desired foreign transfer. In his five years with the Prague team, Petr Čekal played a total of 85 games (55 competitive and 30 friendly), during which he scored 25 goals (13+12) and received 14 yellow cards (8+6).
In his very last battle for the Horus Falcons – in the Falcon Nest yesterday afternoon against India’s Langer House – the game was stopped after ten minutes to bid a warm farewell to this Falcon faithful. A long lasting standing ovation by the fans and embraces from team mates saw the otherwise rock-hard defender leave the field teary-eyed. How much this stronghold in the Falcon defence meant to the fans is well illustrated by the attendance figures – for the first time in Falcon history more than 4000 fans came to the stands to watch a friendly game and, more importantly, to say goodbye to a much loved player. Replaced by Falcon defensive Youth Academy product Ladislav Hašek (19), Petr Čekal watched from the bench how his fellow defender Josef Motyčák led the Falcons to a 3-2 victory, scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot in the third minute of extra time.
Following the game, Petr Čekal joined his team mates on the bus to Prague’s Ruzyně Airport, where an emotional farewell took place as the entire team set out, in the company of the Langer House players and management, for Andhra Pradesh in India – to enjoy a well-deserved season break and the return game against Langer House next week Wednesday in the Wittelsbacher Klasse.
Petr Čekal and Falcon manager Horus70 afterwards returned together to the Falcon headquarters, broke open one more bottle of champagne and set down to watch some Champions League action on the big screen in the team VIP lounge – keeping one eye constantly on the HT transfer market engine. Finally, at 22.38 it was officially announced that Petr Čekal would move to Kraków to play for the Polish side Krosnianka Karpaty Krosno (KKK). At a brief press conference at the Falcon Nest later that evening, Petr Čekal had this to say:
Petr, what are your first thoughts on your new team?
“I just can’t believe it – I’m so excited! I have my first foreign transfer and will move to a great and ambitious Polish team. Moreover, I’ll exchange one of the most beautiful historic cities in the world for another one just as grand to behold. And I’m staying close to my hometown – so friends and family will not have to travel too far to come and see me play.
But to tell the truth, nothing compares to the knowledge that I have joined a team that plays the Golden League! That is not only the icing on the cake, but the little cherry on top as well! The mere thought that one Wednesday afternoon in the future, I might return with Krosnianka Karpaty Krosno to the Falcon Nest for a Golden League match-up already now sends shivers down my spine!”
Do you already know what your role in your team will be?
“I’ve only exchanged a few words with Mr. Hubeq, KKK team’s manager, thus far. It’s early days yet… Still, I hope to contribute both to the KKK defence, but also use my experience to help younger team players to develop both on and off the field.”
And what about the Falcon defence, how does their future look without you?
Bright! My replacement, young Ladislav Hašek (19), is a great talent, but still has a lot to learn in the B-team. I think the upcoming change of training regime will do him good and I expect great things from him in a season or two. As for my replacement in the A-team – what can I say? Ivano Liponi (21) flew in from Torino four days ago and had only a few training sessions with his new team. The result – he was elected Falcon player of the game yesterday! That is one remarkable debut and bids well for the future.
We wish Petr the best of luck in his new-found team and home!
(For the related KKK Press Conference, click here.)