I have been looking for inspiration among the current squad to write about. Looking back, we have had a robust review of every member of the first team squad, reserves and youth team since the blog’s grand opening and I have no doubt there will be plenty of discussion about our current crop before the season ends.
I am going to get a few articles in over the coming months about ex-toon players. Some good, some bad and some hideously ugly.
I thought there would be no better place to start than a former number 1, the one and only Czech superstar who was brought into the club by King Keegan – Pavel Srnicek
Pav hails from eastern Europe, which is an area of the world which we have taken on 5 players in recent history, Srnicek, Maric, Kadar, Ketsbaia and Vuckic. I will let you decide who was good, bad and ugly. Although my vote would be on Maric being both bad and ugly, Pav being good and Ketsbaia being….mental.
Newcastle have been blessed with good options in between the sticks and Pavel Srnicek was one of the best I remember. In his first spell with the club, Srnicek amassed 149 appearances spanning over 8 years and was kept at the top of his game by the talented Shaka Hislop pushing for the top spot.
He was a real character on the pitch and I would definately say that he was unbeatable on his day. I remember my first trips to St. James’ Park and being in awe of Pav’s colourful goalkeeping jerseys and finding the hilarity in his mullet style cuts which most eastern European boys are still rocking to this day. He was a right trend setter was Wor Pav.
After almost a decade at the club, Shay Given was signed and Pav’s tenure was up. He went back to the club we signed him from (Ostrava) before signing for Sheff Wed in the same year.
Pav was soon back at St. James’ Park in a game AGAINST Newcastle, in which we drew 1-1. Paul Dalglish opened the scoring that day (a trivia question if there ever was one!) and then necked 7 bottles of whisky to celebrate.
I was beside myself with joy when we re-signed Pav in 2006 in a deal to cover for the injured Shay Given. I didn’t actually expect Pav to get a game so when he came on against Spurs in the last few minutes of a great win, it was like a flashback to the good old days, when David Batty and Alan Shearer were terrorising defences throughout the land.
This also marked his 150th appearance for the club. It really was the stuff of fairytales.
Unfortunately, I was a bit too young to be able to recall clear memories on certain Pav moments between the sticks, so would hope some of our more ‘mature’ bloggers can let me know their memories of Srnicek between the posts?
I don’t think anyone can deny that we have been blessed with keepers like Pav, Shaka, Shay and Harps guarding the goals. Is Pav your favourite?