20 Defender Banik Ostrava Czech Republic
Bright eyed, two footed boy genius from Ostrava that has been successfully moulded from a tidy left winger into an accomplished full back of some repute. A debutant for Banik in a 3-1 home defeat to Viktoria Plzen within hours of his seventeenth birthday, Holzer has made his way through the ranks of international football with the Czech Republic right up to Under 21 level and would not be too far off a full international call if things had aligned as they should have.
2015 has been…
Unravelling. A breakout star in 2013, Holzer became a victim to his club’s struggles as Baníček battled (successfully) against relegation from the Synot Liga. Returning to the first eleven for most of the 2014/15 season, Holzer had retreated back from fulfilling roles on the left wing and to the left of midfield in favour of a more defensive role at full back. The transformation proved successful as Banik returned to form, troubling the top four for a significant period prior to the winter break last year. Reverting to type, the troubled Silesian club fell away badly in the early months of this year, but Holzer’s strong showing in the early part of the season will have tempted many.
Regrettably, Banik have maintained a headlong descent across 2015, have managed only three league wins since the start of the year and are just about nailed on for relegation this time around. Unable to score and with teams only too happy to have a run at one of the youngest defences in European football (at 20, Holzer remains one of the most experienced players at the club), Holzer’s natural attacking game has been nullified to the point of non-existence. The burden of carrying a limping club, financially troubled and with clear issues on the pitch is proving too much and a special talent has been seriously curtailed.
We’ve always championed the cause for young footballers to remain at the club in which they made their mark for as long as possible. They know the set-up, they’ve grown there and while coaches may come and go, the club will always be a part of them. However that’s not taking into account the mess that Banik Ostrava are in right now and Holzer is not the only the only one suffering. Goalkeeper Jiří Pavlenka, an outstanding prospect previously on the fringes of the Czech national team looks a shadow of his former self.
With only two games left ahead of the winter break, and with his club short of cash, we’d be very surprised to see Holzer line up for Banik when their season resumes against Sigma Olomouc in February. A number of sides have shown an interest over the last twelve to eighteen months, and a move to one of Eastern Europe’s leading lights looks a good bet all round.
D As Chris Boothroyd, editor of the wonderful www.czefootball.com succinctly puts it; “Handled badly, lack of confidence apparent, stuck at Banik and locked in a poisonous atmosphere. Must run away”
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