FK Mladá Boleslav
FK Mladá Boleslav


First club management experience in the dress of a goalkeeper

03. 07. 2006 |  

Josef Dufek, the president of FK Mladá Boleslav says he has a soft spot for Mladá Boleslav town but his home is a twenty-minute drive away from the town border. He likes to return there to his wife, two daughters and dog, albeit often later than he promises and he likes to. Since 2001, he has been engaged in the construction business in addition to management of the town's football club and he has to forget many of his personal wishes and hobbies. He even does not keep up with recreational football where he plays as a goalkeeper.

Have you always been a goalkeeper?

Yes, I have. I tried offensive several times as well but I liked goalkeeping much more. When I was seven or eight, I felt admiration for goalkeepers, ice-hockey's Jiří Holeček and football's Ivo Viktor and then the generation of Stromšík and Netolička.

Don't you mind derisive remarks that goalkeepers and left wings are twits?

No way. Goalkeepers have different thinking, but I mean that positively. They occupy different positions than the players on the field; he can see all their mistakes and must guide the team in front of him. In this way he creates respect from the team-mates. The fact that goalkeepers have excellent character and abilities is witnessed by the examples of their positions in the football movement. At random, Jirka Kubíček at Olomouc, Míra Pelta at Jablonec and later Sparta, Franta Chvalovský occurred to me now, who managed a club and even The Football Association of the Czech Republic. I think these are cogent arguments to the mockers.

Have you applied the character and experience from the field in your private and professional life?

It was not luck I was the team captain when I was in junior categories. When you are a captain, you manage the team. Football taught me to work in teams which I greatly utilized in the early nineties when I started managing a business. And what I taught in the business management I mostly found in managing a company such as a football club, which reported unsatisfactory conditions when we took it over in the past.

Would you do something differently with today's experience?

I would do absolutely nothing differently in the development of the Gema and Sparing companies I established together with Franta Petrtýl. I must confess when I recall what happened in 2001 in relation with the football club, a shiver runs down my spine. I am not sure I would do it again after the last four-year experience. But because I have a really close relationship with Mladá Boleslav, I think I would come around again. Nobody can imagine how much time I spent and how many personal hobbies I had to drop.

What took you by surprise?

The cardinal thing, which horribly distracts us still, is the neglect of the town's stadium background. The cloakrooms, facilities, offices, restaurant - simply all these matters that operate elsewhere were out of order in this stadium. Virtually, we established a brand new club. We spend a lot of time and energy in continuous lobbying in the Parliament, regional and local authorities to get money for the construction of a town stadium. I think I would enjoy football much more if I came to Mladá Boleslav football as the existing ice hockey management to two completely finished covered ice rinks and manage operational matters only and the sports results of the club.

What position does sport have in society?

Sooner or later, everybody finds that working and making money is not enough in life, that entertainment is necessary. Sport is a great opportunity for this - either it is your own activity or you watch top professionals.

Is it okay that football has become a part of hard business?

It is okay. My experience says only a man under pressure can achieve the best results. In construction engineering, I learnt to work under the huge stress of deadlines and responsibilities. Those who work for amusement only do not work right. I work under pressure, my direct report management must work under pressure and the field players should play under pressure as well otherwise their performance will never be excellent. And I usually want more than 100% from their performance.

Do you feel it was a handicap that you grew up in a different social establishment than in which you realize yourself today?

I feel nothing like this because shortly before the revolution I worked in a production co-op, which was a certain form of business in the socialist establishment. We fought for every job and monitored our profitability. Hence, I was well trained in the market environment. As a 21-year old man, I managed twenty employees and had to get along with experienced workmen, many of which were twice my age. It was an important school of life. Despite their age, I always wanted extraordinary performance but I managed to enforce above-standard remunerations and other benefits.

As manager of a building company, you are famous in the Mladá Boleslav region only; as manager of the premier-league football club, you are now a celebrity at the national level. Does it influence your life negatively?

It does not disturb me now, I deal correctly with everybody and believe it will return earlier or later to me. I like to be involved in the football environment.

How, being a keen football fan, do you perceive its poor social reputation?

It bothers me very much. It is not normal that brutal economic mishaps take up a few lines in newspapers and football is on a whipping post daily and repeatedly on the first newspaper pages. I consider it the incompetence of the top management of the football association and on the other hand as misuse of football by political leaders to subdue state problems of tunnelling of banks and companies as well as disorder in the Police organization.

The expenses for modernization of the town stadium are now at 200 million CZK; wouldn't it be better to build a brand new football arena?

The existing investments in the town stadium have sense and perspective. We are going straight with successive steps and today, we have a friendly stadium which now only lacks northern stands and it will be finished after successful agreement with inhabitants of the adjacent residential houses. We have successively developed stands for seating fans, the club background, artificial lighting, heating of the playing field and the main vision is building a sports academy at a level for studying, training, boarding or living of children.

Why do you think Mladá Boleslav has the perspective to be a football town?

There is a long-term hunger for quality sport. People travelled to premier league matches in Prague or Liberec and Jablonec and it was something I highly disliked, while the solution was so easy - to couple the bodies required and establish the right system. The top sport in Mladá Boleslav can't work without the support of the town in the field of maintenance and operation of the sports facilities and without the support of Škoda Auto as general partner. We are lucky that Čedok supported us as the third significant partner.

How have you been satisfied with the first year among the football elite?

I was satisfied with the goal of remaining in the 1st Gambrinus league. In relation with the promotion of our partners, we had five successful TV broadcasts without loss when we beat Sparta twice, tied with Slavia twice as well and beat Jablonec. We are the only league team to beat the master team of Sparta Praha twice. I consider it an excellent presentation of the club, town as well as our important partners of Škoda Auto and Čedok.

Is there something that could cause football in Mladá Boleslav to pall after some time?

No matter how good an offer I would get, I don't think I would say goodbye to what I consider my child.

Can people envy you of something?

My wife because she's a saintly woman. Working for fifteen to twenty hours a day is nothing to envy.

Do you pamper your wife and daughters or do they pamper you?

They have a hard life with me as well as having to endure my hectic pre-match state. So I have to curry their favour. But they know me and are aware what must be tolerated in relation to football.


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