Mlada Bolesav – a 44,000 people city in Czech Repiblic, some 65 kilometers Northeast of Prague. Though the city’s history is dated back to the 10th century and has a historic city center, it is majorly known for being the home of car manifacturer Skoda. And it is known for floorball. Technology Florbal Mlada Bolesav is one of the biggest teams ins the country, who became Czech champions by winning the 2018 Superfinal. The club may be exceptional by itself, but they now created something even more outstanding: After having its debut already on 5th March 2020, Flobal Mlada Bolesav released a movie about the history of the club on YouTube on 23rd March 2020. The movie called Made in Bolka is available on Youtube and recorded in Czech with English subtitles. I just had to watch this floorball documentary and present it to you.
Made in Bolka – The Movie
The movie starts with the very beginning of the club and the history of professional floorball in Czech Republic, at the 1998 World Floorball Championship. The intial club of the city was Sokol Mlada Bolesav, but soon they were followed by the Pionyri team. Sokol became straightly promoted four times in a row, finally playing in the first division instead of the fifth one.
Jozef Volf, a player’s father, who was originally involved in soccer, became the first club president and managed to lead and financially stabilze the club so that it could survive in the first division. The debut match was against Liberec on 19th September 2004. They won that match by a very dynamic and speedy way of playing the game. They finished the season fifth – the best rookie team result of the league so far. The dominating player of that time was Petr Novotny, being the league’s top scorer for three seasons in a row.
The movie also topics the history of the Mlada Bolesav players in the national team and how much the 2008 WFC in Prague was a game changer for the sports as such. Thereby, you also have statements from people like Filip Suman, president of the Czech Floorball Federation
The Path To The Top
The third section of the movie is called The Path To The Top. After failing in the quarterfinals three times in a row, Volf decided to adjust the team lead and acquired Tomas Pacak as a team manager. Pacak professionalized the club. The way they drove the team was inspiring for other Czech teams. At this time, the team name also altered to Billy Boy Mlada Bolesav. A huge break-through for the club was hosting the 2011 Champions Cup, which also meant the first floorball matches in the Mlada Bolesav ice hockey arena. The Champions Cup was less successful, but they reached the cup final, which they finally won.
Players like goalie David Rytych, Petr Kolos or Jan Jelinek gave the team additional strength. They were still underestimated by parts of the league. In the 2014/15 season, the team topped the regular season for the first time and also qualified for the superfinal after a dramatic semifinal. They took Tatran Stresovice took the title in front of over 11,000 spectators in the O2 Arena Prague until the penalty shootout. Novotny failed in the sixth attempt of his team and Tatran became Czech champion.
The following season gave a new arena, an updated logo (with the crown) and even a new head coach. However, the season ended in the semifinal. However, the team used it as transition season and implemented some changes like the “Made in Bolka” logo and merchandise and a change in goalie coach.
Mlada Bolesav dominated the 2016/17 season and went to the superfinal as clear favorite. However, the star team was tending to get old, maybe their last chance to win the championship in that roster, heading against Chodov. The players describe that superfinal as very tactical and likely the least interesting to watch – but finally, what counts is that Chodov took the victory.
The movie is in its 5th chapter already, when it tells the story of the 2018 Czech Championship win. One big transfer was Milan Tomasik, who played in Sweden for six seasons before. The regular season and playoffs went quite straight, but the superfinal was initially held at Ostrava, home of their rival team Vitkovice. Mlada Bolesav scored the empty-netter to the 5-3 score sone 90 seconds to go, but Vitkovice was able to tie the match in the final minute.
Despite this disappointment, “Bolka” could win in overtime by a Milan Tomasik goal – a goal, which sealed their first-ever Czech Championship.
At that point in time, Jozef Volf was already too ill to travel to Ostrava. He passed away a couple of months after the title, in fall 2018.
The club dedicated the movie to him and to Petr Grünfeld, who also passed away before the finalization of the film.
The movie also shows the 2018/19 season, in which Vitkovice won the superfinal and Mlada Bolesav “just” won the cup – but after winning that superfinal, this story does not feel to be too unhappy.
Made in Bolka – My View
Wow, a fifty minute documentary on floorball – on a certain club, but somehow also about the sports in Czech Republic and in general. It is a really cool piece of work, absolutely worth watching. Yes, of course, it is also a piece of marketing. It increases the focus on Mlada Bolesav, on the club and the Made in Bolka brand. Thus, it is a bit on the heroic side, it is centrist as well. But it is still honest. You find sentences like “We did not play our best” in the documentary. It also gives a lot of hints – and hope – how to drive a non-top focus sports like floorball on a highly professional level (the film itself is of course an evidence for that).
Finally, Made in Bolka is no cheap marketing for the club, for Skoda or for whatever – it tells a story. There are a lot of stories of stars and unhappy moments on and off the floorball rink. Even if you are not in the sports, you should give it this one hour of attention. If you are a floorball addict, you will watch it anyway. Top Pick! for sure.
Made in Bolka on Youtube
The full film Made in Bolka is available for free on YouTube. The movie is in Czech, but as you saw in the screenshots above, it is fully subtitled in English.
All pictures used: Screenprints taken from Made in Bolka
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