The club we are introducing in this post is a newcomer to this competition- ŠKF iClinic Sereď, the club from the 15,000 strong town of Sereď. The club was founded more than a 100 years ago, in 1914, but it had to wait a very long time for its greatest success, which came last season, when it finally won promotion to the Slovakian Top League after spending 4 years in the Second League and many more in the wilderness of the lower leagues. This is the very first time that the club is playing in the Slovakian Top Tier and for the club which found itself down in the Fifth League, just as recent in 2007, it represents the successful conclusion of a long and arduous voyage. Master Tefal, our exclusive database maker, will now provide us with the Team Analysis. But, before that we would like to say a big thank you to Mr. Arun Abraham Varghese, who helped us with the copy editing of the English text.
ŠKF iClinic Sereď currently plays at a 2,700 capacity temporary venue at Myjava, as its home ground at Sereď doesn’t meet the stipulations of the Fortuna League. The arrangement is but only for the time being, till the reconstruction of the Nitra Stadium is completed, where they should play the rest of the season. The primary colors of the club are red and white, which feature predominantly on the club badge and the team jerseys- colors which are incidentally the primary colors of the coat of arms of Sereď too!
No true rivalry as such exists between ŠKF iClinic Sereď and any of the other clubs in the league, for the club had spent much of its existence in the lower reaches of the football pyramid. The closest neighbor to ŠKF iClinic Sereď is Trnava and in that sense the matches between the clubs can be considered as regional derbies of sorts.
Karel Stromšík, the 60-year-old legend of Dukla Prague, a former goalkeeper, who was also a Czechoslovakian international, is not unknown to Slovakian fans. At the turn of the millennium, he served as an assistant coach at Artmédia Petržalka, for a period 5 years, before journeying into the exotic climes of India, Malaysia and Russia. In 2007 he returned briefly to Slovakia, alongside Ladislav Jurkemík, the coach of Inter Bratislava, before leaving for abroad once again. He is now back in the Fortuna Liga as the manager of ŠKF iClinic Sereď. His experience will certainly be beneficial to ŠKF iClinic Sereď and should serve them well in the long run if they manage keep him enticed, away from the lure of distant climes.
Sereď enters the league with the squad which has won the promotion, but one which has also been bolstered by a string of shrewd signings in the form of players of the highest experience, such as Hucko from Žilina, Menich from Ružomberok, Aldo Baez from Podbrezová, Militosjan from Nitra and Gatarić from Prešov.
An experienced 35-year-old defender, who not only excels in the air on account his height (193 cm), but also has a wealth experience. Michalík plied his trade in the English leagues, between 2007 and 2011, with Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers respectively. He’s also a fully fledged Slovak international, with 8 caps to his name.
The 23-year-old central midfielder is Senica’s homegrown player, where he spent 4 seasons and played 33 games, with 1 goal to his name. He has represented Slovakia at the U17 and U19 levels.
The 25-year-old offensive winger, or rather striker, is a product of the Trenčín Football Academy, with experience of the highest leagues gained from his time at Senica. He helped Sereď to the promotion last season, bagging 16 goals in the process.
An experienced 29-year-old Argentinian, who has been playing for more than 10 seasons on the Slovak football fields, Aldo Baez is a “midfield powerhouse”. In Sereď they believe that Baez will follow up on his performances with Trenčín, Trnava and Slávia Prague.
Interesting signings of the summer transfer window:
The 26-year-old Serbian offensive winger, who played 31 league games at Vojvodina last season, Nemanja Subotić is the great technician, who could shape Sereďs season and pull them up from obscurity of bottom reaches of the table.
Martin Sus is the 28 year old wingback from Morava, who is expected to improve the quality of the defensive line. He helped Baník Ostrava gain promotion to the Czech Top Tier, two years ago, before eventually losing his place in the starting eleven. He surely wants to make a point and prove that he’s still capable of playing at the highest level- if not in Czech Republic then at least in Slovakia.
An interesting player who arrived on loan from Croatia’s HNK Rijeka, the 22 year old Nigerian youth international could make the first choice goalkeeper jersey his own, the coming season.
The biggest question in fact hangs over the goalkeeping position. Last year’s number one Ružinsky has left for Slovan Bratislava and it is his shoes that Nwolokor is hoping to fill. In front of him will line the strong defensive pairing of Michalík and Djiby Ba, with support in the flanks arriving in the form of Mečiar and the new signing Martin Sus. The central midfield axis should be formed by the Richnák – Ventúra pairing of last season, while Aldo Baez will provide the defensive steel. The technically gifted Nemanja Subotić should play on the left flank of the unexpectedly strong attack, while Adam Morong will play on the right, hoping to make the same impact as in the last season. Up front the Croatian Nikola Gatarić, the former Prešov striker, will spearhead the line, with quality backups in Ľubo Ulrich and Vahagn Militosjan biding their chance on the sidelines.
Time will tell whether ŠKF iClinic Sereď will manage to chart its way through the choppy waters of the Top Tier, or whether the club will lose its way and sink, dashing head on against the rocks.