Sep 29 2010

One to Watch: Frantisek Kubik

Published by at 5:59 pm under Eredivisie and tagged: , ,

ADO Den Haag have got off to their best start to a season for 31 years.  This season’s ‘new-look’ ADO have been a revelation, not only to their own fans but also to the wider Dutch football audience, playing an exciting brand of attacking football.  A key addition to the squad this season has been the little-known 21-year-old Frantisek Kubik, brought in from Slovak 2nd Division side AS Trenčín.

So when I realised that the club I support in Holland had brought in a new Slovak player, I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to drop ADO a line and see if we could meet Frantisek.  I was thrilled with the response.  Our well-phrased Slovak email found it’s way into Frantisek’s hands and we were told that he’d be more than happy to meet us and have a chat in his own language.

So that’s what we did; went down to Zuiderpark in Den Haag, ADO’s training ground and former stadium, and were given plenty of time to get to know ADO’s new-boy from Slovakia:

BB: This is your first season as a pro, how are you enjoying it and how does it compare with last season playing for Trenčín?

FK:  Football here is not at all comparable to the game in Slovakia, everything is on such a different level here, I don’t even know where to start, it’s such a different world.

How did the move to ADO come about, how did they find you?

I moved from Prievidza to Trencin because the club in Prievidza fell apart, so I got an offer to play in Trenčín.  I was there for a year and a half and we went to a tournament in Holland as the owner of AS Trenčín is Dutch.  He said to us “let’s go there and you might get seen, besides it’s an opportunity to compare Slovak and Dutch football.”  We ended up winning the tournament and the Dutch scouts started to be interested in us.  Just when we played the final, John van den Brom [now ADO's head coach] was there.  He expressed his interest in the Trenčín lads, especially myself.  So after that he was observing me for 2-3 months, visiting matches in Trenčín.  At the end of the season he invited me to Holland for a trial.  I was there for a week, then he extended it for another week and told me “go home for a few days, sort everything out, then come back to play for us here”

Did you have any contact with Cszaba Horvath to discuss your move here?

I was in touch with him only over the phone, as were just missed each other here in Den Haag.  He was leaving [to Poland] and I was arriving.  He assured me on the phone that I made a good decision and that it is really great here at ADO.

Do you have any contact with Miroslav Stoch?

Not much, we played together for the Slovak U20 team but since then we have lost touch.

Horvath & Stoch represented Slovakia in the Eredivise last year.  To our knowledge you’re the only Slovak player here this year, can you confirm that?

There was one more, called Andrej Rendla at FC Twente, but I think he went somewhere on loan.

[We researched this, Rendla is apparently on loan at Heracles Almelo this season, thanks Frantisek!]

Trenčín have started the season exceptionally well, especially David Depetris is making a real impression [13 goals in 10 games for the Argentinian striker]

Haha, well I have left Trenčín, so now they are doing well! [laughing]  Depetris was also in Holland, I think in Almere City, FC Omniworld was the name?

[We also researched this, it does seem as though Depetris went on loan to Omniworld - now Almere City - but is now back at Trencin]

Do you miss Trenčín?  Do you still have contact with the players over there?

Well I come from Prievidza and I was in Trenčín for over a year, I did get used to it there, so of course I miss it.  Well, now it’s better because my friends are coming to visit.  Last week one friend came to visit and also saw the match.  Next week another friend is coming, so they are slowly making the effort to come over to see me.

Youth coaching in Slovakia must be quite strong because a lot of young Slovaks are performing very well around European football at the moment, also for the National team.  How was your development as a young player in Slovakia?

I always had a dream to play abroad, I have tried my best to achieve this, with the full support of my parents.  In the youth team I already had some offers to go abroad, but I was just not ready.  So I was working hard on myself and I feel that the results are starting to show, harvesting the fruit of my hard work.

How is the team spirit at ADO?  How do you communicate with the other players?

The atmosphere here is great, especially after the good start to the season.  We are in a kind of ‘euphoria’ right now, and it also helps that we had an almost full stadium in the last match [3-2 against Heracles].  When we do well, people also dare to come, and that means a lot to us as players.

I watched most of the Slovakia World Cup matches in the hotel.  Then for the Holland v Slovakia match Pascal Bosschaart invited me and a few of the other players to watch the match.  That was a lot of fun, there is a good spirit in the team!

What do you think of the ADO fans?  How do they compare to Slovak football fans?

Oh the fans here are really passionate and enthusiastic. Compared to Slovak fans, what can I say?  Slovaks just come to swear at you and here the people really live for football.  Whole families come to the stadium in their ADO shirts to support us, it is really alive here.

How are you enjoying life in Den Haag?

When I was on trial here, I stayed in a hotel by the beach [in Scheveningen].  That was really great!  Now I have an apartment by a shopping centre, so I am close the stadium and training ground.  I am slowly starting to feel at home here.

When I first arrived I didn’t know anybody here.  Since then, I have met a few Slovaks, people have contacted me via facebook, people who study here, or via the club – translators etc..

Do you think ADO can maintain their current position [6th in Eredivisie] ?

Why not?  If we are there now, anything is possible [smiling].

What are your personal targets?  Would you like to stay at ADO or can you imagine returning to play football in Slovakia?

At the moment I am here on loan for 1 year. I still have a year on my contract at Trenčín, so normally I have to go back.  But for sure I would love to stay in Den Haag and they said they would like to keep me here as long as possible .. apparently other clubs are already interested ..

Have you been involved with the Repre [National team] in Slovakia?

I played for the U19 and U20 team.  To be involved in the European Championships?  That is my dream …

Do you know any young players we should look out for coming out of Slovakia?

The coach went to see some matches in Trenčín and he does like 2 or 3 other players, so there is a potential there.

Do you like Bitterballen?

Haha bitterballen is like our fried pate [not really on the menu for a professional footballer].  The food here took some getting used to, it is nice, but perhaps not every day.  I like Italian and Greek cuisine, and I noticed they don’t eat many soups here like we do at home.

What is the daily routine for an ADO player?

Training morning and afternoon, resting as much as possible in my free-time.  The club probably think I mostly sit at home, but I do manage to socialise a lot as well ..

Britski Belasi, also a Trencin fan!

Frantisek has had a great start to the season, scoring 4 goals from the left-side of ADO’s attack.

We here at Britski Belasi sincerely hope both he and the team continue their fine form and would like to thank Frantisek and also Nathalie Nuiten at ADO Den Haag for making this interview happen.

I would also like to thank my wonderful girlfriend Andrea Zatoriova for her invaluable translation skills.  You can find out more about Andrea’s VA business here.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “One to Watch: Frantisek Kubik”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by 11tegen11, Daniel Richardson. Daniel Richardson said: One to watch: Frantisek Kubik, complete with interview: #ADO Den Haag [...]

  2.   Sam Hon 30 Sep 2010 at 3:43 am

    Fantastic job with this mate, really great post


  3.   James Baxteron 30 Sep 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Has Weiss been reading? Kubik is on the reserve list for the national squad now. Great to see someone who was playing 2nd tier football in Slovakia only recently get himself noticed.
    Loved the interview. That line about Slovak fans only coming to swear is a cracker.

  4.   britskibelasion 30 Sep 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I guess he doesn’t understand enough Dutch yet!
    Great to see Kubik getting noticed by Weiss, who knows maybe his opportunity will come soon, whatever happens, it’s great to see more young Slovak players coming through and providing plenty of competition for places in the National squad. Also Kubik sets a great example to all those other lads at Trencin who are dreaming of a move to a bigger league.
    As long as he stays at ADO I’m in a great position to follow his progress. I’ll watch him live for the first time this weekend, away at Heerenveen in a big game for ADO.

  5.   Richard Richardsonon 01 Oct 2010 at 11:41 am

    Good to see the youth development in Slovakia working out so well – who knows how well they will do in future championships if this continues based on the recent world cup.
    Maybe a lesson certain British clubs could take from these Slovakian clubs??
    Another great article, always a pleasure to read!

  6.   Jameson 05 Dec 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Enjoyed rereading this after seeing Frantisek playing for Trencin in Za a few weeks back and hearing about his performances over the autumn as a whole.

    Recall seeing him on TV a couple of times for ADO in 2010/2011 (made a special point of tuning in knowing that he was there and that Dan was a fan). He was a danger with his pace but lacked a bit of tactical nous. It didn’t seem to work out for him in Russia (5 apps for Kuban) or Ukraine (11 games for Tavriya) so now he’s back in familiar surroundings.

    I can’t say he looks a class above the Corgon Liga in the way (say) Karhan or Jakubko did last season, but he’s mighty quick and, since he plays (very) wide left in a 4-3-3, he makes the opposing full-back think twice before charging forward. Trencin were down to 10 men after 20 mins in the game at Zilina but held on very comfortably for a 0-0. Kubik’s ability to carry the ball forward at pace, deep into the opponents’ half, played a big role in that. And he’s at a club that shd be able to coach into him some of the things his game lacks. All the best to him.

    Interesting too that Depetris’ goalscoring feats were discussed in the interview. Well, this autumn, Depetris has scored 16 league goals, more than any player’s ever scored by this stage of a Corgon Liga season. Of course, Slovan are sniffing around after him now….

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