The first blog on football in Gibraltar, up since March 2010
The Opposition: Slovakia
Match: Gibraltar vs Slovakia (Friendly Match)
Date: November 19 2013
Stadium: Estadio do Algarve
Kick Off: 18:30 local time
Gibraltar’s friendly against Slovakia on November 19 in the Algarve will be an historic occasion, as the men’s national team takes to the field for the first time as full UEFA members. Slovakia may be fairly unknown as a footballing nation in Gibraltar, outside the talents of Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel and Napoli’s Marek Hamsik, but they have a significant pool of talent at their disposal. This can be seen in the fact they have picked a squad entirely consisting of professional footballers, whilst also resting stars such as Hamsik and Skrtel.
Slovakia’s Last 5 games:
14/8/13 D 1-1 @ Romania
6/9/13 W 1-0 @ Bosnia and Herzegovina
10/9/13 L 2-1 vs Bosnia and Herzegovina
11/10/13 L 1-0 @ Greece
15/10/13 D 2-2 @ Latvia
Tomas Kosicky: 27 year old, currently at Novara Calcio in the Italian Serie B. Has never represented Slovakia, but has played for Catania in the Serie A.
Pavol Bajza: 22 year old, also based in Italy, playing for Serie A side Parma. Has represented Slovakia U21 on 11 occasions, but yet to play for the senior team.
Kornel Salata: 28 year old centre back, playing for Russian side Tom Tomsk on loan from FC Rostov. Has 24 caps for Slovakia, including an appearance in the 2010 World Cup vs Paraguay. Is part of the noticeable Hungarian population in Slovakia.
Martin Dobrotka: 28 year old who plays at centre back for Czech team Slavia Prague. Best known domestically in Slovakia for scoring a ‘Hand of God’ goal for Slovan Bratislava in 2009, as his team won 1-0 vs FC Nitra via his 89th minute goal. Played once for Slovakia in 2009, vs Cyprus.
Pavol Farkas: Also a 28 year old centre back, plays for Italian Serie B side Ternana, on loan from Chievo. Played once for Slovakia in 2006.
Lukas Stetina: 22 year old centre back, plays for Czech team Dukla Praha (a club perhaps known to Gibraltarian’s and Britons for this song by Half Man Half Biscuit). Played for Slovakia at Under 21 level, and was also formerly of Ukranian team Metalist Kharkiv.
Martin Juhar: 25 year old who can operate at full back or the midfield positions. Dobrotka’s team mate at Slavia Prague. Came through the ranks at MFK Kosice when Gibraltar manager Allen Bula was their Head of Football Development, Played for Slovakia at Under 21 level.
Viktor Pecovsky: 30 year old defensive midfielder who plays for MSK Zilina. Scored the winner in the away game at Bosnia and Herzegovina. Has ten caps for Slovakia.
Tomas Kona: 29 year old defensive midfielder who plays for Slovak team FK Senica. Has three caps for Slovakia, and also has experience in the Europa League.
Stanislav Sestak: 30 year old who can play as either a winger or striker. Plays for Turkish team Bursaspor. Sestak is formerly of VFL Bochum, scoring 28 goals over three seasons in the Bundesliga. Has 48 caps for Slovakia, scoring 12 goals in the process.
Karim Guede: 28 year old who can play central midfield or in the striker positions. Is a naturalised Slovakian international, having been born in Germany to a Togolese mother and French father. Five seasons in the Slovakian leagues allowed him to be picked for the national team, and the now SC Freiburg player has played nine times for Slovakia.
Tomas Dubek: 26 year old left midfielder, who won the Corgon Liga player of the season award last season for MFK Ruzomberok. Made his debut for Slovakia earlier this year against Liechtenstein.
Frantisek Kubik: 24 year old winger/striker, who plays for Arsenal Kyiv in Ukraine. Has experience playing in Holland and Russia as well, for ADO Den Haag and Kuban Krasnodar respectively. Played once for Slovakia, against Luxembourg in 2011.
Erik Jendrisek: 27 year old striker/winger who plays for German second tier side Energie Cottbus. Formerly of Schalke, Hannover and Kaiserslauten, he has played 34 times for Slovakia. Signed for SC Freiburg in 2011, just two days before they sold Papiss Cisse to Newcastle.
David Depetris: 24 year old, Argentinian born striker, who recently pledged his international future to Slovakia after five seasons at AS Trencin. Now at Turkish Super Lig side Caykur Rizespor, Depetris made his debut in the 1-1 draw against Romania. Scored 35 goals in 33 games for AS Trencin in the 2010-11 Slovak second division.
Jakub Sylvestr: 24 year old striker who plays for German second division team Erzgebirge Aue. Formerly of Dinamo Zagreb and Slovan Bratislava, Sylvestr has also played twice for Slovakia.
Filip Holosko: Possibly the most experienced player in this team, 29 year old Holosko is a striker who plays for Besiktas in the Turkish Super Lig. Alongside 62 caps for Slovakia, Holosko has played for Besiktas in both the Europa League and Champions League.
Jan Kozak: 59 year old manager who enjoyed a solid career in what was then Czechoslovakia. Took over Slovakia in July 2013. Notably was the manager of MFK Kosice when Allen Bula was Head of Football Development. Played 55 times for Czechoslovakia, including the 1982 World Cup in Spain, and Euro 1980 in Italy, where he scored in the 3rd place playoff penalty shootout victory against the hosts. One of Kozak’s team mates for Czechoslovakia was Antonin Panenka, to whom the chipped penalty was given his name, after using it to win the 1976 European Championships.