Slovakia

oftenscore6

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I'm on a week's holiday, Covid rate permitting followed by a weekend's hopping. According to Estonia's excellently updated Covid rates, Slovakia has seen an increase but is still a long way below the UK or the neighbours in Hungary, Austria and Czech. Only Poland of their neighbours is currently looking good. For now, I am around 20 miles from the Polish border, in the Tatras area, which has pretty low rates even within Slovakia.

12/9/20 1800 2.Liga
FK Poprad 1-4 MFK Dukla Banstra Bystrica
Admission: €5
Attendance: c 300 (max 1000 allowed, I believe)

Poprad is the gateway to the High Tatras. It's a modern town, but the main street is quite attractive and on the beer front boasts 2 brew pubs and (slightly off the main street), a craft beer bar. The craft beer bar, Dobre Casy, are one of FK Poprad's sponsors and it's well worth a visit - 4 beers from the (5 miles out of town) God Times brewery were available plus another 10-12 (mostly Czech) on draught and a decent bottle fridge. Of the others, Egidius is more traditional and cheap and cheerful (€1.60/pt) whilst Tatras microbrewery is more upmarket, with greater variety but relatively expensive.

FK Poprad are an easy 15 minute walk from the station next to Aqua City. It's a modern ground with 3 sides in one continuous (8-row) stand reminiscent of Chesterfield with the meccano style roof. The Main Stand is larger and a different design - all but the 6 Poprad ultras were there today. Credit to them, they and the loud woman along my row were fully supportive of the team, even when the going was not good. It's a nice venue to be fair, even if it new. Perhaps the best part are the curved blue floodlights, which are grounded outside the ground and lean in overhead in a way I've rarely seen. All seater but no reserved seats today.

The homesters started really well though and had 2 good chances before the visiting keeper came way too far of goal (40 yards) for a ball he was never going to be first to. The home forward slotted home for a deserved lead. But despite this being 12 minutes in, they largely tried to sit on that, only creating one more chance of note first half and inviting pressure on. As they are 2nd bottom and the visitors top, with the worst defence battling the best attack, this was inviting trouble, and that's what they got. There were elements of fortune in the 2nd (weak punch from the keeper lobbed back over him) and a questionable penalty but really the visitors should have scored more 2nd half. I don't get why the homesters kept trying to play the ball slowly out of defence when their passing and control on the ball would not survive pressure - poor tactics in my book and a strong contribution to 3 of the goals.

Didn't see any programmes or any sign of a club shop. A kiosk dispensed hot dogs, beer (national pils style), and sweets etc. Masks requested at the entrance, older patrons tended to ignore this. The club also marked off every 2nd row as out of bounds and provided sanitiser, they certainly had good intentions. With one exception, social distancing was actually pretty well observed in the seats.

I don't expect another game before Wednesday, though there are plenty tomorrow and some on Tuesday this week - tourism with ms os6 gets the nod.
 

Football Shorts

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I am off to Slovakia in March, any recommendations will be thoroughly appreciated sir
 

Football Shorts

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Where are you headed? Bratislava?
Flight is in to Bratislava on the Thursday and heading home on the Tuesday, so free to go pretty much anywhere. as long as we are back in the capital for the Monday evening.
 

WorksopBlade

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I lived & studied in Slovakia so can offer some basic pointers. Firstly the football (to keep it on topic).

The main Bratislava side is ŠK Slovan Bratislava who play at the very smart new national stadium. There is also FC Petržalka in the South as well as FK Inter Bratislava in the Ružinov district.

The old school open air Stadion Pasienky is definitely worth a visit if there's a game on! If not you can still get good pictures through the fences if you go up the steps.

Theres also an ice hockey arena close by if you fancy something different.

If you're going for non-league stuff make sure to research as most teams don't have a social media presence but the league websites tend to be good. Be prepared for some odd kick-off times, some sides can kick of at 9am in the morning so doubles are possible.

In terms of things to do, the Devínsky hrad Castle is a lovely walk. Definitely take a stroll in the old town. If you want a tough hill walk, the Slavín war memorial is impressive and offers great views over the city.

For food, there is a strong café culture with it's close proximity to Vienna so I definitely recommend that. Pán Cakes is great for breakfast if you're staying close to the centre. Definitely eat at Flag Ship in the city, it's all authentic Slovakian and they brew their own beer in site! I reccomend Halušky if you're going local. There's loads of worldwide stuff restaurants if that's more your thing. Tipping etiquette is 10% minimum.

You won't be short of drink either! Tons of good pubs. I always like to go local when travelling so I'd reccomend Dunajský Pivovar which is a micro brewery on a boat on the banks of the Danube.

Hope that's helped and don't hesitate to ask if you want any other info 🙂
 

Football Shorts

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That is brilliant! Thank you sir
 

oftenscore6

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Unfortunately at the moment, Vienna would mean a quarantine on return, but it's a lovely city, only just over an hour by train and normally I would go. But also nice to see more of Bratislava.

I will fill in more in due course, but Dunajsky Pivovar sounded much better than it was - they only had one beer at all on tonight, and it wasn't very good. Maybe I've been very unlucky in that respect, but I'd fully agree there's a good beer scene in Bratislava - I have a good few days left so will report back when that's concluded.

Slovakia is on restrictions currently to try to prevent the Covid spread that has hit all the neighbours except Poland but largely escaped Slovakia to date. This means all bars have to be closed by 11, and certainly means opening times are fluid.
 

oftenscore6

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Wed 16/9
MSK Senec 2-0 Lokomotiva DNV
Admission: €2

3 Liga Bratislava game at the National Training Centre in Senec. That features also another pitch with stand and floodlights, which would be be capable of hosting current crowds if need be, but at less social distancing. Sensibly tonight's game was on the main pitch, in an all seater 3500 ground. 3-sided as the lake end is an inaccessible grass slope. Open seats on the opposite end and side, with a large covered stand on the near side. Pils from a local brewery (Perstejn) was supplemented with sausages and chicken/pork fillets, which were decent.

Slovak crowds are currently limited to 1000, never a problem here -250 perhaps?

Not sure how this finished 2-0, the visitors were abject and double figures would not have been unfair. The 2 goals were both scored inside the first 10 minutes but I doubt anyone expected that would be the last at the time. Some awful finishing showed why the homesters are lower mid table.

Travel back into Bratislava after an evening game is not that straightforward. Local services inwards stop early, so this means heading outwards to await a (quite possibly delayed) long distance train. Multiple buses would in hindsight have been a better option.

Ms os6 attended this, her the 13th country point, after open water swimming in the Senec lakes that are right between the ground and the station.

A good link for Slovak football by the way is:

I don't think I am going to get in at Spartak Trnava tonight, seems to be season ticket holders only. Trying for a business ticket. I expect no away end.
 
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oftenscore6

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Better day than expected mostly

3. Liga Bratislava
16:00 SK Bahon 1-2 FC Malacky
Admission: €2

Managed to pop into 3 of Bratislava's craft/brew pubs before catching the train up to Bahon - Staroslaviensky had great weizen and decent IPA. Bahon's ground is visible from the train as you approach the station from Bratislava. Perhaps there is a way through the undergrowth direct to the ground, but if so, it's not evident from the station end. The Google route takes you a little north of the station before you cut back under the railway line. Googlemaps does not show you the small stand on the far side, quite probably recently installed and offering cover for the media crew and some spectators - good views. Otherwise, it's grass banks on 3 sides, but on the stand side, three levels are set out with frequent benches. The far end is fenced but a few people ignored it and watched from there, whilst the near end has the clubhouse with changing rooms, cover and a bar - closed today. The east side is off limits. If anyone wanted food, the only option was the seed sellers as you approached the ground.

Game was a bit ho-hum. Visitors looked a tad better throughout, and snaffled a poachers goal in the first minute of the 2nd half, only to be pegged back by a long ball. But a lateish shot crept into the corner to give the higher placed visitors the win. Bahon seem to be an enigma - they drew the first 3, beat the top side, Inter Bratislava (who now play in Stupavar) away from home, and have lost the last 3 at home.

I'd been sweating on whether I would get into my 2nd game, Spartak Trnava v Zlate Moravce in the tip division. Bahon was only 12 minutes away on the train, but crowds have been limited to 1000 here in recent weeks. As it turned out, an email to the club secured a ticket though, but I only got the confirmation as I was getting on the train an hour or so before kick off.

So 2nd game (which was 1000th ground for me) was:
19:00 FC Spartak Trnava 1-0 Zlate Moravce

This is a rebuild, which has incorporated retail and office outlets on the outside and made steeper inclines and tiers on 3 sides. It's a nice venue, today only having some of the west and east stands open (all seater). A few singers in the corner and some on the side stand opposite where I was (east side). No food or drink at all here either - there are a couple of cafes on the north side exterior to the ground, which is where the club shop is - ignore the Sports Direct store.

It was not a great game, settled by a penalty from an unnecessary clumsy challenge. The visitors had chanced to equalise but either put the wide or found the keeper in the right position to block.

Whilst I had a 10-zone transport ticket including Trnava (€6.21 for 24 hours), this was not valid on the Regional train back to Bratislava. I was happy to pay €4.05 to use that, rather than arrive 90 minutes later into Bratislava. Anyone coming here should beware that trains tend to stop coming into capital quite early, both midweek and weekends. Do not expect to get back to Bratislava after most evening games (which most top flight games are) - Trnava is an exception.

Planned on visiting Pivoteka Staromestianska, but there was a private party and they don't reopen before my flight home.

Hangout is always worth a visit - it's an Untappd venue, so the current beers are visible there. I have been a few times over the last few days and reached the position where I had already all their local beers (except the pils). So I ended up having a Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropica, which was very nice. It seems bars are allowed to open until 12 (perhaps only on weekends) so last rites were at Vycap u Ernoho, the Shenk brewery tap, which had a surprisingly good weizen and gose.

Tomorrow will be Petrzalka and 1 more - not sure yet which.
 

Doodle

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Glad you're having a good time mate. Long time no see! I might have to do a Slovakia trip sometime - when it's safe. I usually stick to Poland for my euro football trips!...... oh and Buxton v FCUM!!
 

oftenscore6

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Glad you're having a good time mate. Long time no see! I might have to do a Slovakia trip sometime - when it's safe. I usually stick to Poland for my euro football trips!...... oh and Buxton v FCUM!!
Yes, been a while mate. Our schedule this year is a bit strange - we are due to play all 4 North east teams away by the end of October. Buxton is November so still we may not get many tickets for that.

Slovakia's Covid rate is well below the UK's, I certainly don't feel unsafe here. Poland's is even lower, so no quarantine from either currently. But we may see increased regulations for visitors from the UK if our rate continues to rise. Slovakia has added a requirement last Friday for a negative test in the last 72 hours or that visitors self-isolate until taking one here.
 

Tigerman48

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Better day than expected mostly

3. Liga Bratislava
16:00 SK Bahon 1-2 FC Malacky
Admission: €2

Managed to pop into 3 of Bratislava's craft/brew pubs before catching the train up to Bahon - Staroslaviensky had great weizen and decent IPA. Bahon's ground is visible from the train as you approach the station from Bratislava. Perhaps there is a way through the undergrowth direct to the ground, but if so, it's not evident from the station end. The Google route takes you a little north of the station before you cut back under the railway line. Googlemaps does not show you the small stand on the far side, quite probably recently installed and offering cover for the media crew and some spectators - good views. Otherwise, it's grass banks on 3 sides, but on the stand side, three levels are set out with frequent benches. The far end is fenced but a few people ignored it and watched from there, whilst the near end has the clubhouse with changing rooms, cover and a bar - closed today. The east side is off limits. If anyone wanted food, the only option was the seed sellers as you approached the ground.

Game was a bit ho-hum. Visitors looked a tad better throughout, and snaffled a poachers goal in the first minute of the 2nd half, only to be pegged back by a long ball. But a lateish shot crept into the corner to give the higher placed visitors the win. Bahon seem to be an enigma - they drew the first 3, beat the top side, Inter Bratislava (who now play in Stupavar) away from home, and have lost the last 3 at home.

I'd been sweating on whether I would get into my 2nd game, Spartak Trnava v Zlate Moravce in the tip division. Bahon was only 12 minutes away on the train, but crowds have been limited to 1000 here in recent weeks. As it turned out, an email to the club secured a ticket though, but I only got the confirmation as I was getting on the train an hour or so before kick off.

So 2nd game (which was 1000th ground for me) was:
19:00 FC Spartak Trnava 1-0 Zlate Moravce

This is a rebuild, which has incorporated retail and office outlets on the outside and made steeper inclines and tiers on 3 sides. It's a nice venue, today only having some of the west and east stands open (all seater). A few singers in the corner and some on the side stand opposite where I was (east side). No food or drink at all here either - there are a couple of cafes on the north side exterior to the ground, which is where the club shop is - ignore the Sports Direct store.

It was not a great game, settled by a penalty from an unnecessary clumsy challenge. The visitors had chanced to equalise but either put the wide or found the keeper in the right position to block.

Whilst I had a 10-zone transport ticket including Trnava (€6.21 for 24 hours), this was not valid on the Regional train back to Bratislava. I was happy to pay €4.05 to use that, rather than arrive 90 minutes later into Bratislava. Anyone coming here should beware that trains tend to stop coming into capital quite early, both midweek and weekends. Do not expect to get back to Bratislava after most evening games (which most top flight games are) - Trnava is an exception.

Planned on visiting Pivoteka Staromestianska, but there was a private party and they don't reopen before my flight home.

Hangout is always worth a visit - it's an Untappd venue, so the current beers are visible there. I have been a few times over the last few days and reached the position where I had already all their local beers (except the pils). So I ended up having a Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropica, which was very nice. It seems bars are allowed to open until 12 (perhaps only on weekends) so last rites were at Vycap u Ernoho, the Shenk brewery tap, which had a surprisingly good weizen and gose.

Tomorrow will be Petrzalka and 1 more - not sure yet which.
I was at bahon too noticed someone with a camera taking a few pics suspect it may have been you. I was on hols with the wife but got time off for good behaviour or I may have looked at more games.
 

BelfastBlue

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Anyone know anything about Liga 4? Can't find fixtures anywhere and want to add a Bratislava game to the one we already have.
 

oftenscore6

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It's on the link above.
Anyone know anything about Liga 4? Can't find fixtures anywhere and want to add a Bratislava game to the one we already have.
 

oftenscore6

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Bratislava brewpub / craft beer pub guide:
Old Town:
Albetzka - centre outlet for Komin brewery plus 1 guest. The staff all take lunch together, so expect slow service then!
Staroslaviensky pivovar (brewpub) - wooden pub with beer garden, pretty good quality beer
Klastorny (brewpub) - brews 3 of it's own, nothing special
Vycap u Ernoho (brewpub) - home of the Shenk brewery, 4 taps good quality beers - the best sour I had in Slovakia
(Bratislavsky) Mestiansky pivovar (2 brewpub outlets) - brews 3 of it's own, nothing special
Hangout (pub) - 6 craft taps, well worth a visit
Sladovna House of Beer (brewpub) - food was excellent, up to 8 taps of their own plus international
Stupavar - Bratislava outlet for the Stupavar brewery - not sure their brewery now has a real tap. Opens at 3
Brixton House (pub) - 6-7 taps, good choice. Near the Old Town Hall.
Zil Verne (pub) - 10 taps. Good variety, don't miss.
Be Unorthodox (pub) - c.10 taps - 3 of their own plus 7 Mikkeller
Steinplatz - 6 taps, average choice. Doesn't open until 4/5
Beer Palace - closed on my visit, when due to be open according to Googlemaps.
100 Piv (pub) - 8 taps and a large variety of bottles, both local and international. Small place, so good to be early

Hrad (castle):
Le Senk (pub) - c8 taps, good choice. Busier teatime than evening.
Zamocka (brewpub) - Closed for refurb
Staromestianka pivoteka (pub) - looked like 6 taps but was closed for a private party. Limited opening days and hours

Main station (north of city centre):
Fabrika (brewpub) - nice taster set (5), not the greatest beers
Na Sanci (pub) - 6-7 taps, good Slovak beers

South side of the Dunaj river:
Dunajsky pivovar - brewpub on a boat on the river, nice setting, just 1 average beer on my visit though
Nobell (pub) - contract brews some of it own and has a great list on it's 7 taps. In the middle of a housing estate. Highly recommended
Hops pivovar (brewpub) - has English football on the TV but their beers are not very good. Opens at 3

North-East of town:
Richtar Jakub (brewpub) - 2 of their own plus another 10. Don't miss. You can walk from this back to the Old Town. Opens 4, closed Sunday
Komin brewery Rozinov (brewpub) - didn't make this one as I went to Albetzka, and I got waylaid close by at...
Damian Beer & Ale (pub). This is the daddy - 22 taps, 4 contract brews of their own. The best choice, don't miss this place. 4pm opening. This and Komin require a bus - the airport one goes pretty close.
 
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oftenscore6

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Last day of football:
10:30 2Liga Petrzalka 1-1 FC Kosice
Admission: €5

Early journey across to the south side where what was their academy stadium is now their main one. A covered stand on one side with uncovered opposite. You could only sit on every 2nd seat and the 2 rows behind were fully taped off, though people could stand behind. Tbh the person 2 seats apart was far closer than someone would have been on the row behind, let alone the one behind that. But it was well observed in the seats, with a steward stepping in when someone sat out of place. But people could stand as close as they liked. Everyone wore masks throughout (same as Trnava the previous night).

No food or drink available - I think this must be a new directive as this happened with all games this weekend, with only seed sellers outside the ground. You can watch here from outside, and quite a few people did. We can't have been far off Covid capacity.

Kosice scored early and looked to have the better quality. The homesters toiled somewhat in response. But the key man always looked to be the man in the middle, with the whistle going time and again for what looked soft challenges and some when advantage looked available. And so it came to pass with 2 minutes play with the key man awarding a controversial penalty dispatched for the equaliser.

Post game popped back into the Old Town, and had a superb lunch at Sladovna before getting a bus back to Petrzalka (west side this time) for Nobell Craft beer pub, which is recommended, then a short walk to Hops pivovar to taste their uninspiring wares before a bus down to Rusovce for:

16:00 3Liga Bratislava MFK Rusovce 1-3 OFK Dunajska Luzna
Admission: €2

First victory of the season for the visitors, and they deserved it. Ground is next to a busy road and would be easy to watch from there but everyone was inside the ground here. It's only one end and one side, with a modern, fairly attractive stand on one side. No food or drink, but you were welcome to bring your own in. No floodlights on this pitch - a training pitch had them but not sure of the size of that.

Post match 2 bus connection up to Damian Beer & Ale, which was an excellent decision - see above.

One thing I forgot to note on Senec - that game being at the National Training Centre with good camera coverage, they seemingly used VAR, with the hosts having a goal chalked from video analysis. I didn't expect it in 3 Liga Bratislava!
 
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Mek

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Slovakia is now on the quarantine list from 4am Saturday along with Iceland, Denmark and Curacao.
 

Football Shorts

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Slovakia is now on the quarantine list from 4am Saturday along with Iceland, Denmark and Curacao.
My trip isn't until March. If it is still on the list then....sod it, I am still going. Just work from home when I get back.
 

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