Saturday 8 April 2017, Partizan Belgrade U19 1 FK Brodarac 4 - Omladinska Liga, SC Partizan-Teleoptik
Now together as a group of 45 intrepid groundhoppers we set off by coach for the Partizan training ground. A Government Minister and made sure that Partizan had a set up as good as many in the west. The ground, locally known as 'Zemunelo' is also home to FK Teleoptik a team at the top of the Srpska Liga Beograd Zona (Regional third division).
A crowd of almost 400 were at the game which was a local derby and it was the visitors who dominated and were by far the better team, I found out one of the possible reasons from our guide who is also a sports journalist. The Partizan team were actually Under 18 whilst their opponents Under 19. It seems at 18 the Partizan players find themselves on 'loan' at Teleoptik. So the club who share the ground seem to be a Partizan nursery club. Not sure if taht will be able to continue if Teleoptik get promotion (they were top at the time of our visit).
The quality of the football was excellent and easy on par with the academy football in England. there is also much more public support for the U19 teams than in the UK.
Only issue was that we were quite cold as the rain always threatened - disappointing as we heard the UK was in the middle of a mini heatwave!
For a better report of this game, check the blog from Peter Miles