Jan 25 2012

Slovak Transfer News Part 2

The winter seems to be dragging on and the restart of the Corgoň Liga season feels as far away as ever but there at least one or two more pieces of transfer news to round up.

MŠK Žilina are understandably pleased with the capture of Togolese centre-back Serge Ognadon Akakpo from Slovenian club NK CM Celje. Akakpo has also played for French side Auxerre (where he made 33 Ligue 1 appearances) and FC Vaslui of Romania and Žilina will surely be hoping that he will help solidify a defence that looked shaky at times last autumn. Akakpo is the current captain of the Togo national team and his career has already been touched by tragedy – he was on the team-bus which was ambushed  prior to the start of the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola.

Slovan Bratislava finally said their goodbyes to Freiburg-bound Karim Guédé last week. According to the player, they did so in a friendly fashion, despite the club’s anger when he didn’t turn up for their first winter training session. Guédé and his new team-mates, who include Slovakia international Erik Jendrišek, have a big task on their hands this spring if they are to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga, but a 1-0 win over Augsburg last weekend – Guédé wasn’t included in the squad for that game – was a step in the right direction.

Slovan quickly found a near like-for-like replacement for Guédé, in the shape of international midfielder Kamil Kopúnek. Kopúnek is best remembered for the delicate chip, just seconds after coming on as a substitute, which gave Slovakia a 3-1 lead over Italy in the last World Cup, but his career has taken a couple of unfortunate turns since then. Immediately the tournament was over, he left Spartak Trnava for Saturn Moscow, who soon lost their place in the Russian league due to bankruptcy. Then came an 18-month spell at Italian club Bari, but they too now face financial collapse, with Kopúnek among the players to have his contract ‘terminated by mutual consent’. Still, provided economic ruin really isn’t stalking the clubs he signs for, Kopúnek ought to be one of those who, like Miroslav Karhan, proves far too good for most Corgoň Liga opponents.

Another Slovan signing is Czech striker Ondřej Smetana. He has arrived on loan from Belgian club Sint Truiden, for whom he played just seven games last autumn following his move from Senica. Slovan will hope Smetana rediscovers the prolific form he showed during Senica’s fantastic run last spring. Tall, strong and awkward, he certainly makes the long-ball game a viable option.

Other noteworthy moves include Ivan Hodúr’s from Nitra to Polish club Zaglebie Lubin and Marek Janečka’s from Vion Zlaté Moravce to German second tier side Hansa Rostok. Hodúr, a former Slovak international and a very tidy midfielder, will be missed in the Corgoň Liga but his transfer is certainly no surprise, especially considering that he’d fallen out with the management at Nitra and that Pavel Hapal, a former Nitra (and Žilina) coach, is in charge at Lubin. Like Guédé, Hodúr is joining a relegation battle as Lubin are rooted to the foot of the Ekstraklasa

Janečka, meanwhile, is teaming up with compatriot Marek Mintál in northern Germany. His new employers will hope he’s brought his defensive assurance with him from Slovakia. A goal or two like the one he put away in Žilina back in September – a clinical finish following an improbably mazy run from the halfway line – would help as well because, having scored just 13 goals in their 19 matches so far this season, Rostok find themselves second from bottom of their league.

Obviously we don’t know yet whether Akakpo, Kopúnek or Smetana will have club success to celebrate come May, or whether Guédé, Hodúr or Janečka will help their new sides avoid relegation. But good luck to all of them in their new challenges.

James Baxter

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Slovak Transfer News Part 2”

  1.   George Mon 26 Jan 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you , James `Interesting` Baker .

  2.   George Mon 27 Jan 2012 at 8:34 am

    Good Morning James, may I congratulate you on a fine and articulate article, that I just re read again, whilst having my morning coffee and toast, rather than my bedtime scotch last evening . It would seem obvious that we have both ends of the evolutionary scale blogging on this website… If I had his home address , I would post Dan a banana for his own morning breakfast .

  3.   George Mon 28 Jan 2012 at 10:06 am

    So Sorry James, noone else but me has commented on your fine work of art …..I thought Dan claimed thousands read HIS blog ?

    Perhaps when Briski kid gets over his writers block, he will way in with a post in support ?

  4.   StaryJazvecon 28 Jan 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Rák do Michaloviec


  5.   StaryJazvecon 28 Jan 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Only top side who are definitely stronger this far in the transfer window are Trnava.

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