The squad of Liberec footballers was hit by a real transfer hurricane over the summer, as is customary. Ten players left, nine new ones came.
This week, the arrival of left defender Preisler from Mladá Boleslav and the hosting of three Slavists – goalkeeper Stejskal, defensive all-rounder Talovjerov and forward Van Buren – were finally managed administratively.
The necessary details need to be fine-tuned only regarding the extension of the loan of Matoušek, who already worked in Slovan from the Eden club in the previous two seasons. The large group of players from Slavia also includes the midfielder Červ, who previously headed for a transfer under Ještěd.
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Liberec played their last competitive match on April 30, so they subsequently completed a record-long summer break, which lasted a total of thirteen weeks.
“Recently, I don’t remember such a long preparation, it was abnormally long. So we had plenty of time to work on everything. We played nine friendly matches, there was enough space for all the players in the squad and it showed us a lot. I am glad that new players came to join us for the training camp in Austria and the team was appropriately supplemented. These are important things for both me and the boys and their acclimatization. We wanted to strengthen these positions,” said Liberec coach Luboš Kozel.
In the past season, Liberec struggled for a long time from the very bottom of the table, after the regular season they fought in the middle group and occupied the final 9th place. “The team is new here now, I think it has quality, but sometimes it takes time to settle. The first sharp matches will test us, and the one on Sunday in Sparta will probably show us a lot,” says head coach Kozel. “I believe that we can also play in the first group, and if not, then at least we should move in the middle of the table.”
Until the upcoming season, the Liberec team will be led by Theodor Gebre Selassie as the new captain, who will take over from Mikul. “The impulse came from me, but it was nothing against Honzo Mikul. But the team here is now perhaps 70 percent different than last year or the year before, that’s why we organized the election of a new captain among the players in Austria, and Theo narrowly won,” explained Kozel.
“It is not a completely new situation for me, I was also in this position at Werder Bremen. Even last season in Liberec, I had the feeling that I already had a greater responsibility, because I am the oldest player here. And now that I will be directly the captain, there is some change, but it is more of a detail. I’m happy and I’m looking forward to this role,” said the 35-year-old Liberec defender Gebre Selassie. “I would especially like for us to start the season better than last year.”