PAUL MUNSTER PLAYS FOR SLAVIA PRAGUE
Paul Munster of London City in 3-0 away win for Slavia Prague
TORONTO�Sunday, November 21--Paul Munster, the London City striker, leading goalscorer and Rookie of the Year in the Canadian Professional Soccer League, played his first game for Slavia Prague in a 3-0 away win over FK Chmel Blsany at the Zizkov Stadium in the Czech Republic Saturday.
Munster was put into the game as a substitute for Slavia forward E. Adauto Da Silva at the 74th minute mark in heavy ground conditions following rain and light snow during the 24 hours before kickoff.
Munster, 22, from Northern Ireland who now lives in Kitchener, Ontario, was in the play several times for the remainder of the game and just failed to add to the 3-0 lead near the end of the game.
But the Czech media made more of history being made of the first ever Irishman to play for the Prague side.
The 3-0 away win was an important one for Slavia Prague, now third in the 16-team top division in the Czech Republic.
The official club Web site quoted the following comments from the coaching staff after the game:
�Paul, I liked the way you played, straightforward, passing the ball away to the others Just forget the chance, you will score a more important goal. I am proud we have a player from Northern Ireland Good luck, keep working!�
Another interview, in part:
Are you glad you played for the first time today?
MUNSTER: Yes I am. I had not a game for five or six weeks, that is why I am glad to get fifteen minutes on the pitch.
You got into a very good chance at the end of the match...
MUNSTER: Yes, it was a very good chance there, the guys were saying I was offside, but I still should have scored. The surface was hard, (difficult, cutting up and slippery-Ed.) I was trying to keep my balance.
The other players came to you, what did they say?
MUNSTER: They all told me �You were offside, do not worry about it, you will score in the next game.�
Munster suffered serious ligament damage in his right knee three years ago and was not expected to play serious soccer again until London City�s Harry Gauss took him into the reserve squad, then a quick move to the pro team where he was an instant hit.
He was the most prolific goalscorer in the CPSL in 2004 with 25 goals, 10 more than the next scorer.
Fans considered Munster outstanding and Harry Gauss said he was �the Real Deal.�
Slavia Prague coach Josef Csaplara was said to be pleased with Munster�s trials and had no hesitation in moving the Canadian striker straight into the first team on Saturday.
Gauss was instrumental in gaining official clearance from the Canadian Soccer Association for Munster to play on Saturday following some last minute hitches that held up the approvals reaching Prague late Friday.