An Interview With Botond Birtalan

Since I’ve been watching Vasas I’ve been astonished by the club’s openness and support. I got to go on a stadium tour, have been welcomed by the supporters clubs and last week I was able to interview Vasas’s free-scoring attacking midfielder Botond Birtalan at the club’s home in District XIII.

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…with a whimper (Vasas FC vs. Zalaegerszegi)

It’s a beautiful day in Ujpest for the final game of the 2018/19 campaign, and it’s also time to say a not-so-fond farewell to the Szusza Ferenc – the ground that Vasas have been borrowing this year – as the team prepares to move back to Angyalföld and the newly-rebuilt Illovszky Rudolf Stadium.

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Boro and Vasas: Two very different failures

We’re a day removed from the promotion chances of the both my home and adopted teams going up in smoke. Middlesbrough seemed to be heading for the playoffs before a late Derby charge put paid to their hopes, while Vasas didn’t do themselves any favours by dropping 5 vital points this week. Although Vasas still have two games remaining, a 6 point deficit means there’s next to no way they’re getting out of NBii this year.

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Comeback Kings (Vasas FC vs. Balmazujvaros Sport)

I got to see the inside of a Hungarian public hospital last week; a hernia surgery meaning I missed the last few Vasas matches. Whilst the aesthetic was a wee bit Cold War and the welcome not as warm as the dear old NHS, I am now the proud owner of three small scars and a fixed stomach – thanks to the staff at Péterfy Kórház for that. And so I managed to get myself up and about in time to see Vasas play Balmazujvaras, a team determined to take top spot from Nyiregyhaza in the “teams whose names I can’t pronounce” stakes.

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Fish in a Barrel (Vasas FC vs. ETO FC Győr)

Photo from http://www.vasasfc.hu

It’s hard to motivate yourself to write after watching such a complete capitulation. Let’s get the score out of the way early. Vasas lost 4-0 today and – without exaggeration – it should have been at least seven. Győr were incisive, playing dangerous balls through the Vasas backline with alarming and repeated ease. I was surprised by how well the away team played given their league position; their direct, first-touch, purposeful work too much for a Vasas team that seem to have frittered away their pre-Christmas confidence. Tóth and Kelemen in the Vasas defence were bypassed by slide-rule passes to Győri strikers at will, and the pacy forwards gave them a torrid time all game.

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Vaskó da Gonners (Vasas FC vs. Gyirmot FC Gyor)

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Full of innocent hope…

One of the unfair things about dipping into a team’s story is that you don’t get the whole sense of things. Take Tamás Vaskó for example. I’d never really given him a second thought before this season. I now know he was a Vasas youth product and played for Bristol City for a bit. I know also that he’s the definition of a journeyman (12 clubs in his career, barely time to paint the bathroom). I know that he has one of those slicked-back mohican hairdos that immediately unravel into a wet duck’s arse on the football pitch. I know that he’s a committed tackler and seems to be one of the few players who’s consistently given his all this season for the team…

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Birthday Bumps (Vasas FC vs. Dorogi FC)

The stop-start nature of Vasas’ season continues since my last blog entry.  A couple of wins, a couple of draws and a continuing tendency to throw games away means Vasas remain stuck in sixth place in the NBii. They’re also more than a clear win behind Zalaegerszeg and Gyor in the two promotion places.

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In which I compare the US Open Final to a second division Hungarian football match (Vasas FC vs. Kaposvári Rákóczi)

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It’s been a month since I’ve been to a Vasas game due to a combination of holidays and away games (I love you Nyíregyháza Spartacus, but I’m not travelling 142 miles to see you play), and things have been slowly grinding to a halt on the Vasas promotion train. A run of 4 straight draws has somehow not precipitated a massive slide down the table due to the unpredictable nature of NBII results, but the 8 goals shipped in those games is a worry.

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Repost from Beyond The Last Man: The Lost Art of Vasas Budapest

As there’s no home game this week (and I’m in the UK), I was looking for something else to post, and came across this gem of a short read from Beyond The Last Man, an engrossing blog on all things 20th century football. Everything below the line is directly from this wonderful blog post by Craig McCracken.

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Bese-me Mucho – A.K.A. Budafoki-n hell are you? (Budafoki MTE vs. Vasas FC)

Although I was only planning to go to Vasas’ home games this year, there are a few local away games coming up and I couldn’t resist the chance to jump on the tram – metro – bus combo that leads to Budafok in the south-west of Budapest.

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