Rovers won both of their first round legs against Iclelandic side Stjarnan 1-0.

So who are Mlada Boleslav, Shamrock Rovers' Europa League opponents?
Published: July 12, 2017

Thursday at Tallaght Stadium sees Shamrock Rovers welcome FK Mlada Boleslav for the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie.

 

We hit the internet to check out the Czech side and answer...

 

So who are Mlada Bolelsav?

The city of Mlada Boleslav is on the Jizera river, approximately 65km from the Czech Republic capital city of Prague.

 

The city's football club was founded back in 1902 by students of Mlada Boleslav Grammar School but their first season in the top flight of Czech football didn’t come until 2004.

 

Their best finish in the league came the following season when they finished runners up and they won the Czech Cup back in 2011.

 

The club’s main sponsor are the Skoda Auto, with the car manufacturer headquartered in the city.

 

What is their European pedigree?

This is their eighth season in European action – their fourth in a row. Mlada Boleslav twice took part in the UEFA Cup group stages, playing in early incarnations of the Europa League group stages.

 

They beat Marseille in the 2006/07 play off round to make the group stages with competing teams having four group games that season - they had three draws and one defeat. The following year, they got by Palermo on penalties in the playoff round and in the group stages beat Elfsborg away but lost the remaining three matches.

 

Back in 2011/12, they were eliminated from the Europa League third qualifying round by AEK Larnaca (5-2 on aggregate), the club Cork City face this week.

 

In the last five years, they have played six ties in Europe. Their two wins came against Thor from Iceland in 2012 (4-0 on aggregate) and Bosnian side Siroki Brijeg in 2014 (6-1 on aggregate).

 

They have been eliminated from Europe at the first hurdle in the last two seasons – going out on away goals to Norwegian club Stromsgodset and last year they were eliminated by Shkendija from Macedonia (winning 1-0 at home but 2-0 away).

 

Who is in charge of the Czech side?

The club is managed by Dusan Uhrin Junior who is a former Bohemians Prague player and manager. This is his third spell as manager of the Czech side having been in charge in 2009/10. He won the double in Georgia when managing Dinamo Tblisi in 2012/13.

 

Is there anyone in their current playing squad that we might know?

They do have a handful of Czech international players as well as a Slovakian international in their squad.

 

Best known is Marek Mat?jovský who made over 50 league appearances for Reading in the Premier League in 2008 and Championship in the following two seasons.

 

What are the prospects for Rovers?

The Hoops will be helped that the Czech League doesn’t start until the end of this month and they will look to catch their opponents cold. Mlada Boleslav have just returned from a training camp in Austria. In their last training game they beat Sturm Graz 2-1.

 

While the Czech clubs are ranked 12th in Europe (compared with 36th spot for the League of Ireland), Mlada Boleslav only qualified for Europe by finishing fourth and that was only thanks to Teplice conceding a 94th minute goal to Dukla Prague in the final game of last season.

 

Their recent European record is not good which will give the Hoops hope. They have a similar squad to last year and are a team that are a very dangerous side on the break.

 

Rovers' home record is excellent, having not lost a game in Tallaght since St. Patrick’s Day. They will look to at least shut Mlada Boleslav out and keep the tie very much alive for the second leg in the Czech Republic next week.

 

Record of clashes between Czech clubs and League of Ireland sides

There have been six matches between sides from each country and Czech clubs have won all six including two against Shamrock Rovers (Slovan Liberec won 2-0 home and away in 2003).

 

Down the years League of Ireland clubs have played six clubs from Czechoslovakia – with five defeats and just one draw.

 

Shamrock Rovers' Europa League second qualifying round first leg against Mlada Boleslav is scheduled for a 8pm kick off in Tallaght Stadium on Thursday and extratime.ie will be there to take you through the action. The second leg will take place a week later with a 6pm local kick off time.


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Macdara Ferris

Macdara Ferris is a contributor since 2007 to Hoops Scene (Shamrock Rovers' match day programme) and the co-author of Tallaght Time: Shamrock Rovers 2009 to 2012. He still believes that one day he will see Rovers win the FAI Cup. The first international game he attended was Luxembourg being dispatched 2-1 at Lansdowne Road by Jack Charlton's Ireland team.

He has been a writer with extratime.ie since 2012 covering the League of Ireland, the Irish National team and a few Champions League finals. He has also been known to pop up in far flung places like Ballybofey, Belfast, Berlin and Brazil to report for extratime.

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