Dec 21 2010

Introducing Dundee United’s Slovak Goalkeepers

Published by at 5:29 pm under Guest and tagged: , , ,

There are quite a few decent Slovak keepers around at the moment and Dundee United have got two of them.  Andy Hudson went on a wintery northbound mission and was hoping to see three Slovaks in action in the same match as Dušan Perniš would inevitably be replaced by Filip Mentel in the Dundee United goal after bringing down Vladimir Weiss of Rangers.  In spite of the postponement and being the top bloke that he is, Andy spoke to a few fans and even managed to nab a quick interview with the Tangerine’s two Slovak goalkeepers:

There’s a new hero on Tannadice Street and he’s a long way from his home town of Nitra. In a little less than 12 months Dusan Pernis has established himself as Dundee United’s most consistent performer, one of the highest rated players outside of the Old Firm and the new darling of the Arab fans. Dusan started his career off at ZTS Dubnica before moving to MSK. Winning his first international cap in August 2009 against Iceland, he has since moved to Scotland, won the Scottish FA Cup and been a squad member of the Slovak World Cup squad.

But Dusan has new competition for the number 1 shirt. And the gloves at Dundee United are most definitely white, blue and red with the addition of Bratislava born Filip Mental to the playing squad during pre-season 2010. In a short career that has taken him from Inter Bratislava’s youth team to Dundee United via Manchester City, Filip is yet to make a first team start but comes from good stock: his father, Miroslav Mental, is the current Slovak goalkeeping coach and he has represented the national side at every age level from Under-15 to Under-21s. Before signing for the Arabs he had the pick of a number of clubs, turning down the likes of Legia Warsaw to continue his career in the UK.

I was due to watch Dusan in action for United against Rangers. Unfortunately the snow had other ideas and the match was postponed. Instead of watching him keep the Scottish champions at bay I had to sit in a bar listening to fans wax lyrical about him. “We’ll struggle to keep hold of him beyond this season” said one while another believes that “we definitely won’t be able to keep him…he’s the best ‘keeper in the SPL.”

Perniš holds the Scottish Cup aloft

Amidst the snow and postponed football matches I caught up with United’s Slovak goalkeeping stars for a quick chat about Slovak football.

Dušan Perniš

What team did you support growing up in Slovakia?

Probably Dubnica.

Zilina supporters remember the great game against Aston Villa in the UEFA Cup back in Dec 2008. What memories do you have of it and was it your best moment as a MSK player?

Of course I have only the best memories; we won away from home when nobody expected it.

Dušan Perniš makes a crucial late save at Villa Park

How would you rate the Slovak and Scottish leagues? Not just on the pitch but off it too, the fans, facilities, stadiums etc?

People in Scotland are more interested in football. Whole families want to go and watch the matches and that’s the biggest difference.

There’s an idea being talked about at the moment about merging the Slovak and Czech leagues. What do you think about that?

A joint league would definitely improve the quality of football and would be of benefit to both countries but personally I don’t think it’s realistic.

What has been the greatest moment of your football career so far?

Everything in football has had some value for me. I don’t rate them in order.

What Slovak cake would you recommend for our English speaking readers to try?

It would have to be babovka.

Babovka - especially for Andrew Gibney at @gibfootballshow

Filip Mentel

What team did you support growing up in Slovakia?

Inter Bratislava.

How would you rate the Slovak and Scottish leagues? Not just on the pitch but off it too, the fans, facilities, stadiums etc?

The Scottish league has a more solid footing. People here live for football. The quality of the league is also better here in my opinion. [oh dear - Ed]

@HuddoHudson sharpens his photography skills

Before signing for Manchester City you were at Inter Bratislava. How did the transfer to Man City come about?

I was scouted by Man City while playing for Slovakia’s youth team.

What did you think when Inter merged with FK Senica?

It’s sad that a team like Inter has disappeared from football pitches. But on the other hand I do respect Senica who have 100% replaced Inter’s good quality team.

What do you think about Slovan playing at Inter’s ground, Štadión Pasienky?

In my opinion it is not good when the club that has historically been the best plays on the ground of their city rivals. They definitely deserve their own stadium.

There’s an idea being talked about at the moment about merging the Slovak and Czech leagues. What do you think about that?

This would be a step forward. Matches like Slovan – Sparta or Banik – Trnava or similar would be fantastic.

Apart from you, what other Slovak youngsters should we watch out for over the next few years?

We have a lot of good quality young footballers but because I haven’t been in Slovakia for a long time I don’t know them.

What has been the greatest moment of your football career so far?

Transferring to Dundee United after being out of football for 2 years due to injury.

How much of an influence is Dusan on your football now you are both playing for Dundee United?

Of course we are in competition but we also have a good friendship and that says it all.

Great work Andy, hopefully you’ll get to the rematch!  In the meantime, Andy is all over European football, with a particular interest in fan ownership.  Andy has written some superb articles recently for the award winning European Football Weekends, the unmissable In Bed With Maradona and runs his own excellent blog, Gannin’ Away.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Introducing Dundee United’s Slovak Goalkeepers”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Gibney, Andrew Gibney, Andy Hudson, Daniel Richardson and others. Daniel Richardson said: @dundeeunitedfc The Slovak Football Blog had a quick chat with your goalkeepers: [please RT] [...]

  2.   James Baxteron 21 Dec 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Obviously a far more successful interview than that painful affair that became a hit on youtube not long after Dusan moved to Dundee Utd!

    And he was magnificent in that Villa game. My chief memory of that (apart from Zilina silencing the Holte End with a brilliant goal to go 2-0 up after 19 minutes) is Milner coming on with 25 minutes or so left and sending over countless inswinging crosses from the left wing. Pernis judged them all to perfection. Modest of him not to refer to that in the interview.

    Interesting that Filip rates the Scottish League higher than its Slovak equivalent. Off the field, sure. But on it? I wonder….

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