Vaclav Cerny for the Nehodasport08.07.2019
Vaclav Cerny for the Nehodasport: Ajax are part of my life but now I am keen on a fresh new start with Utrecht
Exclusive Interview / Up until now he has played only for two clubs. In the youth years for the home-city club of 1.FK Pribram and then from 2014 he has been with the famous Ajax Amsterdam. Now, after 5 and a half years with the famous Amsterdam outfit, he has moved to FC Utrecht where he put pen to paper to sign a three-year deal with an option. “We are just heading to the team´s training camp. That´s ideal,” says to his agency Nehodasport a 21-year old winger who now faces a new challenge. Except the Dutch Eredivisie he must be also ready for the Europa League qualifying round.
Are you happy with the move to FC Utrecht?
I´m absolutely satisfied. I cannot be happier now.
But anyway, don´t you feel nostalgic about Ajax? It has been quite a long time in Amsterdam…
I wouldn´t say so. I am just keen on a new fresh start. I´m just enthusiastic about the new chapter of my career.
So you are not too concerned about moving to new location?
I have been with Ajax for almost six years and that is a long time for sure. But as I said, I am happy that something new begins. And I am looking forward to it.
How was your farewell to your former team-mates from Ajax?
On Saturday, I managed to say good bye to some people within the club. But I wouldn´t be too concerned or emotional about it. It is part of a footballing life. Of course, many people and things will be missed but on the other hand, there are still many positives. I want to start in my new club and I am eager to start there.
There have been some rumors regarding your move to Utrecht in the recent weeks. But then, there has been an impasse. What happened?
I have known about Utrecht´s interest since the end of the last season. But I was still focused on Ajax and planned to prove myself. But at the same time all other matters had solved my agent David Nehoda. But when the off-season started, I had begun to interest more about the whole matter.
The fact of the matter is that there has been a period when it all come to a deadlock, because of some minor obstacles. However, together with David (Nehoda) we have agreed to wait for the right offer. So Utrecht wasn´t the only option. But luckily, then it has all started anew and this time it has been wrapped up successfully.
In the first preparation game for the new campaign you managed to score a hattrick against KVV Quick 20. At what stage was your move in that time?
It was somewhere in the middle of the whole process. After that game it gained momentum and dealings really started to move fast.
So after that hattrick you hadn´t asked yourself if not trying it at Ajax once again?
No, my mind has already been made up. Frankly, I wanted the move to somehow materialize. Yes, it was a good performance from my side in that game, however I knew that I start the pre-season with Ajax. So I knew that I must work hard. But it wasn´t about other people, it was about proving myself. About starting the season strongly. But I wasn´t focusing on staying at Ajax and fighting for my chance there.
By the way, what was it like to watch Ajax´s ride in the Champions League? Beside of that there was a great home run with winning the double. You were in the squad, but you didn´t present yourself on the pitch…
Yeah, something like that. So near and yet so far. Mixed feelings…In that time it was just half of the year after my serious injury. So I was happy to play at least for Jong (Ajax). But I simply wasn´t at the right pitch. That hurt me the most. I´m still convinced that I was prepared. Of course, we had a great team and everything ran smoothly. So it wasn´t so surprising that chances were scarce. But I will be always convinced that after the injury I came back even in the better shape. I have made my utmost, so it is frustrating to not get your chance. For that reason it is a bit hurtful to me. On the other hand, I have quickly changed my mind and tried to be positive. You know - new season, new club and new challenges.
So you somehow understand the coach Erik ten Haag?
Sure. I cannot say that the team performed badly. Not at all. I am just sad that no chance came for me. I know that the coach hasn´t had many reasons to change the line-up. So now I will fight for my chance somewhere else.
Current Utrecht´s coach John van den Brom has already wanted you during his previous tenure at AZ Alkmaar. Is that true?
Yes, it is. There were some talks. And now this transfer has been somehow wearing on. But I am very keen on this new cooperation with him.
What kind of message is it for you? When an established coach has been wanting you for a longer period of time?
Well, it is also a new situation for me. In the last season he finished fourth with AZ and now he is in Utrecht. He has bought only Adam Maher from AZ and then myself. So I am just happy that despite not moving the first, he has been persistent and still wanted me to his squad. That gives me a confidence boost. It is always great when your coach believes in you. So hopefully it can be a fruitful cooperation.
Has he already told you about his visions and plans? Utrecht will play in the UEFA Europa League…
We have been in touch but mostly because of the move to Utrecht. But right after my signing, the team set off to the training camp. So I think there would be a lot of time to speak about these particular matters in person. But I must say that I am also curious what kind of plans the coach has. You know, Utrecht is a big club, one of the top five here in Holland. So without any doubt they will be flying high.