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Bohemians Praha 1905: Prague’s Hidden Football Gem

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Bohemians Prague
@el_loko74 / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Founded in 1905, Bohemians Praha 1905 also known as FC Bohemians Praha, is a top-flight football club in the Czech Republic nicknamed Klokani (Kangaroos).

Bohemians Praha

The year 1905 in their name simply indicates the origins of the initial club, which was at that time known as AFK Vrsovice. This was in the same neighborhood that Slavia Prague would move to. This is despite Kotra Vrsovice being formed ten years before. 

Bohemians 1905 may be one of the smaller clubs in the Czech Republic’s capital but it boasts over 100 years of history.

The Prague-based side’s most significant achievement in history occurred at the beginning of the 1980s. They went all the way and won the Czechoslovakian championship. In addition, they reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup in 1983. This was their finest achievement in Europe.

Home Ground

Bohemians host their home games in Vrsovice in a stadium known as Delicek (dimples). The team used to play their games at the Vrsovice Tesla Factory grounds but moved to their current location in 1932 when the Danneruv stadium – named after union president (Zdenek Danner) – was opened. The ground was later renamed to Dolicek and has remained that way since then.

Die Hard Supporters

Bohemians 1905 has an active following composed of predominantly left-wing supporters. The club’s ultras always bring out great displays and choreographies that can’t go unnoticed. 

The fans’ green and white displays make the stadium one of the most aesthetic places a person can dream of being while watching football in Prague. Moreover, Bohemians Praha had always had a connection with Bohemians FC from Dublin, Ireland. The fans keep in touch. 

The Prague side has a fierce traditional rivalry with archrivals Slavia Prague. The two clubs square off at the Vrsovice Derby. This happens to be among the biggest and exciting games in the Czech football calendar.

Their stadiums are only separated by one kilometer, which makes it one of the fiercest derbies in the capital and the entire country. Apart from Sparta Prague, Bohemians are also rivals with Victoria Zizkov. 

Name Changes

In 1927, the club decided to do an extreme makeover. They changed their name to Bohemians from AFK Vrsovice. Additionally, they were involved in a history changing journey to Australia. After the trip, they were gifted two Kangaroos. This is where the green and whites plus the the kangaroo nickname and badge originated from. The two animals were later on donated to the zoo in Prague. 

Down the years the name change culture didn’t stop. Pre and post-World War II saw the club change its name several times, even playing as Spartak Praha Stalingrad at one point in time. One thing that remained constant is that they still continued to be based at the Dolicek

The name migration did not stop there. In their entire history, the club had more than 16 name changes before they finally settled on Bohemians Praha 1905 as recently as 2013. In 2005, they switched to Bohemians 1905 after being known as FC Bohemians Praha from 2003.

Football and Club Legend Antonín Panenka

In 1957, the Bohemian Prague side took a 9-year old kid known as Antonín Panenka. They molded him into an amazing midfielder and a future legend. He slowly and steadily rose through the ranks and made more than 200 total appearances for Bohemian Prague.

Penalties are never easy to take but in the final against West Germany in the UEFA Euro 1976 history was written by the Czechoslovakian attacking midfielder. Antonín Panenka scored the winning spot kick with a uniquely soft-chipped ball against Beckenbauer’s Germany side. This style of penalty became a trademark and is is now known as a Panenka penalty. 

The famous penalty went ahead and won the Bohemians Praha’s legend a seat in football’s history. 

He left for Rapid Vienna in 1981 before his childhood club won their only league title in 1983. However, after finishing his career with Kleinwiesendorf, he came back to his city. He is now the club chairman of Bohemians 1905. 

Midfielder @ Hooligan F.C.

Donald Maloba is a Kenyan football writer and former football player. He eats, sleeps, and breathes football.

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