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The Central Defender who forged Petr Čech's signature

An Interview with Prague Raptors Central Defender, Vlad Orlov - By Simona Lebánková




He was born in Ukraine, but lived in the Czech Republic since very young age. "I am fluent in Russian, but my mum says that I have a horrible accent." Why did he think he won't be part of Prague Raptors and why did he forge Petr Čech's signature? Find more about our central defender, Vladislav Orlov, in our new interview:


How were you feeling after the pre-season?

I was not confident at all during pre-season, because of the fact that we didn't win a single game that I was playing. I was also worried about the registrations. I used to play for one team where we had an issue with it and I remember that it was quite difficult. But everything went well. Our first match was 9-0 and luckily it was 11 of us on the pitch. We lost our second match in the cup, but I enjoyed it. After the second game I got the man of the match, so that felt pretty good.


Congratulations! Are you feeling good about you and team performance so far?

I knew only one person before from the team before I started playing for Prague Raptors. Everyone was new to me, but I think we managed to make a good team. I think the performance will be much better in the future, we will progress for sure. Personally, I thought I won't be able to play for Raptors, because I saw an article on social media and video from the trials. I thought "cool, this is a great project" and didn't look at it anymore.


How did you ended up joining Raptors then?

My good friend, Şener , wrote me that he is with Raptors and they need a central defender. I told him: "Okay man, they are pretty good, I've seen the video and I'm not sure if I will be able to make it. I'm not feeling it." But he convinced me to try and after the first trial, our coach, Jon, came to me and asked me if I want to join the team. And here I am.


We are happy to have you here! Is there a football or team that inspires you?

I liked football since I was a little kid, probably like every one of us. But I really got into football after EURO 2004, which from my personal view, Czech Republic was supposed to win, but I am not going to start about it. I got impressed by Petr Čech. I also really liked the golden era of Chelsea - Čech, Terry, Drogba, Lampard. I used to have their posters in my room and was into Premier League. But the player I admire the most is Karel Poborský. I think he was an amazing football player. Right now, there is no one who I look up to.


What have you found so inspiring about Čech and Poborsky?

After the Euro my mum bought me as a Christmas present a book called “Češi do toho!”. It´s a book about the journey of the Czech team from the qualification to the match with Greece in 2004. I've read it a million times. There is at least five pages about every player and even a signature. I copied signatures from the book and said to my friends at school that I have Petr Čech´s signature, but actually it was mine. I also used to be a goalie, because I am quite tall.


How would you describe your football style in one word?

Dedicated.


You were born in Ukraine. When did you move to Czech Republic?

We moved when I was 4,5 so I don´t remember much from Ukraine, but I've been there twice since we moved here. I am fluent in Russian, but my mum says that I have a horrible accent. I tell her the same about her Czech one. But I believe that I am better in Russian than in English. I was born on the Russian side of Ukraine, so I can understand only a few words in Ukrainian. And if they talk with strong accent I can't understand anything.

Is your mum trying to implement the traditions?

My mum cooks the Russian meals. Especially in winter when my grandma comes. Winter in Ukraine is quite hard, electricity goes down, it´s freezing and it's much better to have her here and take care of her. Overall, Ukraine is one of the poorest countries in Europe and a lot of people are coming here to find a better life. They value the money they get, because they wouldn't get them in Ukraine. And a lot of jobs they do here, other people wouldn't do.


What are your hobbies beside football?

I was really close to computers since I was little. Most of the times I was doing three things: playing football, reading and playing on the computer. I work in IT now and it's not only a job, but also hobby of mine. I'm learning new stuff every day and I enjoy it.


You also mentioned books. What kind of books do you like?

Mostly fantasy. My favorite is The Witcher Saga written by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. They also made a game, so I read a book and then played a game.


What are you going to do in order to not lose the next game?

I am central defender, so the best thing that could happen is that ball doesn't even cross our half. You know, the ideal scenario is that goalkeeper can take a nap. But seriously, I think we need to focus on our strategy and tactic and I believe that we will do better and better every time we play.


5 Questions with Vlad

Ronaldo or Messi? None

Follower or Leader? Follower

Mourinho or Conte? Mourinho

Premier League or Champions League? Premier League

Right Foot or Left Foot? Right Foot



Our next 'Meet the Raptors' interview is coming very soon. Make sure to sign-up to our Facebook page to keep up with all the latest news.

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