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Raptors FC - a climb from 7th tier to the top of Czech Republic

Started on 5 January 2022 by 19kousk
Latest Reply on 18 July 2022 by 19kousk
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19kousk's avatar Group 19kousk
8 monthsEdited
Already 4 years abroad and most specifically in beautiful Prague, the capital of Czechia, in the heart of Europe. A local club is looking for a new coach for their men A team. My only experience, the matches in local divisions of my hometown, in one of the Greek islands in Aegean sea. And of course, hundreds of hours playing football manager...

Surprise! An email response is received back. The owner of the club asks me to meet him in the club's home ground, in Zlicin, an area of Prague, last metro stop of the yellow line.

I enter the team's office, the owner waits me there with a smile. He explained me his story, coming from G.B. , moved in Prague from Barcelona and then he decided to create a local club that will promote diversity, will be against racism and will climb the ladder up to 5th division, which is the first national division of the country. The name of the club is Raptors FC, coming from the love of the owner's son for Jurassic Park. During the club's 1st year in Czech 8th tier, they won the promotion, while during the second year, Covid-19 pandemic stopped their efforts to get the promotion into 6th tier.
Nobody else applied for this job, so they keys of the team are now mine, he told me. It's my first amateur football manager job!

We agreed to place an advertisement in social media, trying to find players from 6th tier to join us in the 7th division or Prague's second local amateur division as it's named correctly.

One of the CVs received was from Marek Jucha, a 20y.o. striker that had 2 appearances last year in 2nd division club, Lisen. We agreed he will be the leader of the team in our 4-4-2 flat, with our wingers being inverted.

Many others joined us, thus, we managed to build a young squad, with players between 19 and 21 y.o., with Jucha being the main leader.

I grab a beer in Zlicin stadion, where the local Zlicin FC is hosting us, and I eat my Czech knedliky and klobasa, being more prepared than ever for this adventure that starts...

Club's website :

Owner's interview:
Season 1 - 2021/2022
The season starts with a promising 7 row winning run and the owner is excited with the young roster we created. However, we don't continue under the same form, with 5 wins, 3 draw and 3 losses. As a result, we finish 2nd, 7 points behind Bohnice.

We change the 4-4-2 into a 4-2-3-1, this brings a 10 matches winning streak. Two matches left and we are one point ahead of Bohnice. We are visiting the 3rd MS Academy, final result, 1-1. Bohnice is now close to promotion. In the last fixture, we lose at home 2-0 and we finish 2nd in our first season.





Marek Jucha

Final Table

Summer season 2022/23

June 2022
Club Owner: Let's talk about next season. I'm happy with your effort, so let's continue together for next year. I want us to get the promotion to First Prague Division. Therefore, take these books and start studying. You are going to UEFA school for the national C license. Moreover, did you have a look in the players that sent us email?
Let's get some young potential players to the club.

Coach: There are some promising CVs received. I replied back to all of them and I am waiting for a response. The first one, is a new striker, 19 y.o., named Simon Planeta. I am not that happy by Jucha's goals last year (29 matches 17 goals). He was playing in Viktoria Plzen. I am going to visit Plzen on Sunday, there is the beer museum there and then we are going for a talk with Simon and two friends of his that were also in Viktoria Plzen academies, named Milan Kruta and Tomas Mikles. Both are strikers, but I think Milan can be our potential right wing back. I promised him though that he will be the main penalty kicker, so he won't miss scoring goals and Tomas will be left inverted winger.

Club Owner: Sounds very good, anyone else you see as potential signing?

Coach: There is Roman Kolar as well, a left wing back playing for Ceske Budejovice academies. I told him he will be used as central midfielder, role of mezzala, since he has amazing physical attributes according to the metrics from his previous team. Then there is Simon Jurica from Pribram, he will be the leader central defender.

Club Owner: Keep going like that! Take the best young prospects from top division clubs.

Coach: Last to mention, there is a former 3rd division player, he is a 31 y.o. goalkeeper, a position that demands experience. His name is David Tetour and he is going to sign tomorrow his contract.

Friendly games: From 15 matches, we lost only one (the first one) and won all the rest by scoring 3-5 goals in each match.


Season 2 2022/2023

We are the champions!

Results 2022/2023

League standings
Season 3 : 2023/2024

Main signings
Another player from neighbouring Plzen and more specifically, a 19.y.o. striker named Dan Keltycka, which was our main striker option, with Planeta being moved as right winger for this reason. Keltycka scored 18 goals in 19 appearances before moving to 3rd tier in January period.

Moreover, we signed a CB previously playing in 3rd tier, Marian Burda, and a 25.y.o. right wing bank, Tvaroh, with experience in 2nd and 3rd Czech tier.
(by the way, tvaroh is a popular slavic cheese, which worth to be tried)

Last but not least, we signed Jan Kaufman, a left back trained in Sparta Prague's academies, which left us in January window in order to join 2nd tier team, Vyskov.

As you can see, due to our club's amateur status, people come and leave on free and that's why it's important for us to move quickly in professional divisions. However, we build a reputation as a team that will take young prospects that were playing in big Czech clubs' academies and will improve them, before they return back to professional divisions.

Results and competition review:

We are the champions (Again)!
It's important that we won the promotion again, so the goal of the owner to play in national 5th division, becomes finally true! Again we aim to win promotion next year again.

19kousk's avatar Group 19kousk
8 monthsEdited
Season 2024/2025 : The one that everybody left

We are heading to our 4th season, the one that was the toughest so far.
During the summer, all our top players left the club, while nobody of the same level wanted to join us.

From the summer signings, two worth to be mentioned. From Viktoria Zizkov, we signed Michal Pechacek, a right back that we will use as central midfielder due to absence of qualitative options there.

Moreover, Vladimir Zeman, a classic advanced playmaker, was planned to be used in his position as the season would start.

As mentioned before, the main problem with low divisions, is that the squad cannot be maintained due to amateur contracts that enable the players to move freely between the teams.

Our first eleven during the first matches were the following :

The season starts unexpectedly good, with 6 wins in 7 matches and Planeta scoring 10 goals in 6 appearances. His top scoring abilities attracted higher division teams, one of which from 2nd tier signed him.
We lost our top scorer and it was impossible to find a proper substitution. I chose Zeman, our new advanced playmaker, to sacrifice his position and be our new advanced forward.
In the meanwhile Pechacek does really well in his new role as CM(su), which he fully learns around January.
Before winter break, Raptors F.C. is the top division club by 6 points difference than the second one.

On January, we kept the main players, in order to keep team's cohesion. We had good and bad moments after winter's break, however, we managed to finish first again, an accomplishment that seems amazing, taking into account lack of ability in main areas of the squad.

We are now heading for our 5th season in 4th Czech tier - Divize Group B!
Season 2025/26: The one that we shot our feet

A new season has started and finally the talented players from the Czech Republic have started to show interest again to become members of our club.

Of the summer transfers, the ones that stood out are Philip Stepanek from Bohemians B, central midfielder, Jonas Jiranek with tenure at Dynamo Dresden and Sparta Prague B, and Lucas Nykodim, from Lisen (Division B), which will be our main center forward.


The season starts with the competition of cup, in which we participated for the first time. We easily passed the first two phases in single matches, while in the third round we faced for the first time in our history, a first division team, Hradec Kralove. In our full stadium, we welcomed our great opponents, who overcame our resistance and won fair with 2-0.

As for the championship, we started dynamically with 3 in 3 victories, however it was obvious from the beginning that there will be a lot of competition to claim the promotion and the title.

By the winter break and the end of the first round, two heavy defeats by key title rivals, 5-2 away and 4-0 inside, made me change the system to 4-3-3 and look for a new key center for, as the two who had the roster were not satisfying us with their performance. The end of the first round finds us 3 points behind the champion.

During the winter transfer window, we managed to sign Ondrej Kolarik from Usti nad Labem (second division team) with the promise that we will be able to get the promotion in this season.

The owner and founder of the team, after fulfilling his goal of participating in the fourth division, decided to look for new owners, who will have the financial ability to raise the team even higher. In a poll on the team site between the two investor candidates, 61% received the candidate who promised to retain the head coach, while 39% received the candidate who promised to substitute me.

In the championship, the team consistently won almost all its matches, while in the promotion clash against the champion Dobris, we got revenge with 4-0. We are three games before the end, at +5 from Dobris, and we face Victoria Zizkov B of head coach Arjen Robben. We win 1-0 and now we have 2 matches that we need a victory to secure promotion. Both games were against top six teams and therefore were quite difficult, however, we only needed one win to advance to the third division.

In the first game, we concede a goal at 92+, but in the very next phase, Kolarik equalizes with a penalty at 93+.

In the last game of the season, we need just one point against the 4th team in the standings ... We concede a goal in the first half and despite all my efforts, the team seems unable to score ... The promotion is lost due to the two bad results at the end of the season. The players who signed in January with a promotion promise, ask to leave the club. A new challenge begins for the new season, where the promotion is now the only option.

Season 26/27: The one that we built a new museum in order to be able to place there our trophies

In the 2026/27 season we decided to keep the key players who came close to promotion last season. Therefore, the first eleven remained the same.

In the competition of cup, after the 8-1 of the first round against a team of lower categories, we were drawn against Slavia Prague, in a match that the whole club faced as the most in the history so far.

We made the joint decision with the club to welcome Slavia in our 200-seat stadium, while for whole days, Slavia reporters devoted reports on the history of our club. The calendar shows 2/9/26, the TV crews are at our stadium, where for the first time they will broadcast the Raptors' fight all over the country.

Tickets were given exclusively to our fans, who filled our small stands early to see our famous opponents.

Regarding the match, the difference in capacity was large and the final score 5-1 proves the above.

The most important goal, however, was to get promoted to the third category. With 3 unfortunate results in the first 4 games, the season did not start optimistically. But then, our team proceeded to an impressive series that brought us to +9 from the title contenders at the end of the first round.

During the January transfer window, I decided to release all our forwards and sign three famous Czech forwards. First, Jan Sedlak, with a career in Brno, 26 years old, second, Daniel Fila, 24 years old, who at the age of 19 was transferred from Brno to Mlada Boleslav for 600 thousand euros and finally Philip Horsky from Slavia Prague B.

The team continued its impressive streak in the second round, as a result of which we sealed the rise to the third category 6 games before the end.

Here it is worth mentioning the contribution of Yakub Chrudka, a player who has been in the team for 3 seasons and as an inverted right winger scored 21 goals in 28 games.

Season 2027/28: David vs Goliath

Our first season in the third division as a semi-professional club begins.
The third division of Czech football consists of three groups, two representing the teams of central and northern Czech Republic and one representing Moravia. The first team of Moravia is promoted directly to the next division, while the first teams of the two groups of the Czech Republic and the second of Moravia, play in a playoff that decides the second team to be promoted.

We are playing in the second group, which consists of 18 teams. The great power of the group is Slavia Prague B, which is the champion all the last years, but does not manage to get promoted due to the playoffs.

We maintained the same roster as last year, in order to reach as high as possible, with a stable roster, improvement of our players and recognition of the characteristics of the category, so that in time we can make the appropriate moves for promotion.

The budget of the team is around 130 thousand euros per season, while the equivalent of Slavia exceeds one million.

The season starts with the cup, where for the 2nd consecutive season we will face for the third round, a team from the first category. This time it will not be Slavia Prague, but Slovan Liberec. The game was led to extra time, where Slovan was ahead in 116 ', while we equalized in 121' and led the game to penalties. Although we came close to the historic qualification, the guests proved to be luckier and got the victory.

In terms of the championship, Slavia proved to be a very tough opponent, almost never losing points. However, the performance of our players exceeded all expectations, in a hand-to-hand battle. On 13/10/2027, we visited Slavia at its headquarters for the first battle between us.
Daniel Fila opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, with the hosts overturning the score in the 32nd and 63rd minutes. We changed our system to 4-2-4 in order to look for the equalizer, which we found in 84 'again with Fila. Due to a draw and defeat before the winter break, we are at -7 from Slavia.
Having started the summer season with 2 in 2 victories, we welcome Slavia Prague B which is now at +5 from us in our headquarters, with 200 of our fans having filled the stands. The first half runs without a goal, while in the 50th minute, the leader in participations in the history of our club, Simon Juritsa, opens the score with a header. 9 minutes later, Slavia equalizes and I decide to take the risk of "all or nothing". I put a second striker and change the system to 4-2-4 from 4-3-3. Our opponents find spaces with the result that they score three more times between 76 'and 81'. We only manage to reduce the score to 3-4 at the end of the match with two goals towards the end. Now Slavia is 8 points ahead of us, while it does not lose points in any case. Our only hope is to get the rise so that time does not fight against us ...
The season ends with Slavia collecting 92 points, +4 from us. Our wish came true, as after 7 years of effort, Slavia Prague B prevailed in the playoff final against Jablonec B and got the promotion for the second category.

Important players for us this season were Fila, who scored 27 goals in 27 games, and Michal Sevcic, with 4 goals and 8 assists. Both come from the Brno academies and were once one of the most promising talents in Czech football.

Finally, Simon Jurica renewed his contract at the end of the season, remaining in the team for another season. Jurica is a player of the team from the 2nd division Prague has a record of participations in the history of the club.

19kousk's avatar Group 19kousk
2 monthsEdited
Daniel (Fila), 8 whole years to reach the goal. How do you feel after this success?

It's been 8 years already, huh? I felt at one point that we lost the philosophy of the club, every year after losing the promotion play-offs, we got worse and worse, we changed a lot of systems and tactics, and a lot of players. There was always a solid backbone, me, Jurica, Richter, Sevcik and Krajinsky, I dedicate the promotion to all those who helped me score over 100 goals in the Third Division.

David (Krajinsky) this is your last year with the club. The best way to say goodbye?

12 wonderful years in Zlicin UCT, we started with 30 people in the stands from the amateur leagues and after many years of hard work I think the management and the coach and the whole club get what they deserve. No one expected us to get promoted this season and this (the fact that it was a big surprise) makes the promotion even better.

Coach, you must feel vindicated about the promotion?

This rise is due to all the players who worked hard. I never stopped believing in the team, despite the big disappointments. I thought we would get promotion in less than 8 seasons, however, it turned out that Division 3 was particularly difficult. For those who say that ''you can't win anything with kids'' I have to say that the example of the Raptors shows that kids are the future and that it is worth counting on them.

As you can see, after 8 seasons in the third division, the Raptors achieved a big goal: promotion to the professional second division of the Czech Republic. In the 2nd season in Division C, the team participated in the promotion playoffs, where they were defeated in the semi-finals. From the following season onwards, we finished between 4th and 9th place. On my own account, after the winter break, the team collapsed every season. I decided to leave the possession tactics and rely on pressing and passing in the area, but also rely on young guys. The old staff of the team left except Krajinski and Fila, who watched the matches mainly from the bench. With a great winning streak in November, we found ourselves within -3 of Vlasim before the winter break. 7 games before the end, Vlasim beats us 1-0 and increases the difference between us to 6 points. However, in the remaining 6 matches, we had 4 at home and they had 4 away. Last weekend we celebrated our participation in the playoffs for the 2nd time after 7 years. At the magnificent Lorec Stadium in Kutna Hora, 162 fans witnessed our comfortable 2-0 victory over Jablonec B. With only 2 days to rest, a historic match at Sparta Prague's Letna Stadium awaited us. Usti nad Lambem had 2.2 thousand fans on their side, while 500 fans of our team (a record) shouted chants in our favor. Our main forward Cizek's goal was enough to secure promotion. We are now in the second category!

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