On the 1st of September 2017, the football club AC Sparta Prague received the status of a Club football academy (KFA) under the Football Association of the Czech Republic (FAČR). This system of youth training closely follows previous activities of the preparatory clubs (for children aged 5–11), Youth Sports Clubs (SpSM, ages 12–15) and Youth Sports Centres (SCM, ages 16–19).
Ing. Jaroslav HřebíkYouth Sports Director
AC Sparta Prague uses the Strahov Training Centre to provide training grounds for 340 players who can take advantage of the state of the art equipment and conditions available at the stadium. Our club is also among the first to offer a fully professional approach to the education of talented youngsters. In total, 15 professional coaches, most of whom hold a degree in education on top of their coaching diplomas, oversee the comprehensive training and education of young football players with the help of 40 external coaches and other experts in the field of youth training (physical therapists, masseurs, scouts, a nutritionist, and a psychologist). To make sure the entire system works without any flaws, there are other professional staff to take care of the management and coordination of the whole process, together with other partner institutions (primary schools, high schools, boarding schools and FAČR).
Mgr. Miroslav KriegChief Couch of the Youth Sports Centre
The main goal of the AC Sparta KFA is to create the proper training conditions for players with the potential to have successful careers as professional adult athletes. Currently, over 40 youths representing the Czech Republic at international competitions are AC Sparta members, putting our club at the top spot in the country. We are also the 7th best academy in Europe judged by the number of players who make it in the professional athletic world of adults. There are almost 50 AC Sparta youth academy graduates who are currently active in the highest-level sporting events in the adult category, both in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Mgr. Jan KopáňkoYouth Sports Centre Manager
The pillar of all the youth-related activities of AC Sparta Prague lies in a unified Concept of Athletic Training Program that describes the top priorities and methods of working with gifted youth. What makes this concept unique within the Czech Republic is the integrated approach to methodology, as well as the strenuous requirements placed on both individual and team play that are a stepping stone to work opportunities in the best European clubs.
Mgr. Jaroslav VavříčekPreparatory Units Manager
The main duty of every coach is to inspire a love for sports and regular exercise in every child. The aim is to select the most talented players and move them into AC Sparta’s youngest teams after two years of preparatory training.
Sparta’s most famous player who went through all of the club’s youth divisions, always playing in the best team of every division. He had his first peek into the A-team at the age of 18, transferring to Borussia Dortmund, where he stayed for 5 years, after two seasons. Another big jump in his career came in 2006 when he entered the British Premier League, wearing the colours of Arsenal F.C. for the next 10 years. He then returned to Sparta in the summer of 2016 and officially ended his professional career in December 2017. In total, he played 105 matches as a member of the Czech national team.
Tomáš was 5 years old when he first started playing football at Sparta. He continued on, moving up through all of the best teams of the youth divisions and signing his first professional contract at the age of 17. He gained valuable experience playing in the adult league during his year-long loan spell at FK Jablonec before returning to Sparta for two productive seasons, winning the Czech Cup, the Czech Football League and helping his team in the Champions League. He then joined the Ukrainian Shakthar Donetsk where he stayed for 10 years, winning eight league titles, four Ukrainian Cups, and the UEFA Cup in 2009.
One of the players representing the strong group of players born 1992 and raised at the Strahov academy. He first joined Sparta’s A-team at the age of 17 and has since played 131 games in the Czech league, scoring 25 goals as a left midfielder. He also played several seasons of the UEFA Europa League, including the quarter-finals in 2016 when Sparta faced Villarreal, and then transferred to FC Bologna. One of his greatest achievements was the second place at UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
Pavel is another player from the 1992 “gang”, and a grandson of Václav Vrána – one of the club’s legendary players. His first adult stint was with Viktoria Žižkov as well – he spent six months there, before returning to Sparta, where he gradually made his way on to the pitch wearing the team’s colours. In the 2013/2014 season, he made a final transition from the right midfielder into the defence, becoming the core element of the team’s roster. He also played a big hand in winning a Double for his team. In the summer of 2015, he signed a contract with a Bundesliga team, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
A skilled forward with great aim is one of Sparta’s former pupils as well. He first joined the A-team in the season of 2013/14 and holds the season’s Czech Cup. In the next season, however, he only appeared on Sparta’s junior roster, so he was sent off for a year’s loan to Bohemians1905, where he became one of the core members of the team and scored 8 goals in Czech First League matches. This, together with his achievements on the Czech Republic national under-21 football team, earned him a contract with U.C. Sampodria in Italy where he scored 11 goals as a substitute, subsequently landing a contract with A.S. Roma.
David took his first steps into the A-team at the age of 18. He made his debut in a match with Sparta’s long-term rival, Slavia, when he had to replace Petr Kouba, who had been sent off, and managed to finish the game without conceding a single goal. In the same season, he also had to replace Jaromír Blažek during the final game of the ČMFS Cup, helping his team achieve victory. After several loans, he made a final transition into Slovan Bratislava, staying there for two seasons before returning to the Czech Republic and signing a contract with Slovan Liberec, helping the team win the Czech First League. He had also spent some time under contract with two different Turkish teams. In 2014, he came back to Sparta.
Martin Frýdek ml.
Son of Sparta’s famous midfielder, Martin is another strong player born in 1992. He became a part of Sparta’s B-team at the age of 19 and was sent on loan to FK Senica in Slovakia at the end of the season. In January 2013, he was a part of a transfer deal under which he and his fellow Sparta-raised player, David Pavelka, were sent to Liberec in exchange for Lukáš Vácha. He gained a permanent position as a member of the first 11 in Slovan Liberec, winning the Czech Cup. After returning to Sparta in the summer of 2015, he managed to get his break and played in a quarter-final match against Villarreal at the UEFA Europa League competition.