Hyde United to Czech No 1: Jindrich Stanek’s unlikely journey to the Euros

Goalkeeper gained non-league experience while at Everton before returning home to build an international career

When Everton felt their teenage goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek needed a taste of men’s football to test himself, they searched around the north-west for a club willing to give him an opportunity. Seventh-tier Hyde United offered him the chance to gain experience and he soon learned the harsh realities of that level, making two mistakes to give away goals in the opening 45 minutes of his debut at Blyth Spartans and witnessing a teammate being sent off. Things could only get better.

Stanek made four further appearances for Hyde in 2015-16, winning the final three as he brought a touch of quality to Tameside in a depressing season for a club who went on to be relegated. His brief spell as a 19-year-old at Ewen Fields is a long way from being the Czech Republic’s No 1 at the Euros, where Stanek is poised to start against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal on Tuesday night, but it was a significant one.

Continue reading…

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *