*I wrote this one quite a while ago, but it seems young Mr. Masek made his debut today for the Chelsea youth team with a goal and two assists. Masek is now 16, and has apparently completed the move to London. I thought it might be an interesting read, so I changed the title and pushed it back to the top...
Chelsea are close to agreeing a £1.2m deal for Czech Republic teenager Dominik Masek. The 15-year-old forward from FC Pribram is set to sign for Chelsea when he turns 16 in July
That kind of thing always catches my eye, especially since I came across his name a lot when doing some research for the Tomas Kalas article last week. He's quite highly thought of by the Czech national team coaching staff, and was selected last year as the brightest talent under the age of 18 in the country. Masek and several members of the coaching staff at FK Pribram reportedly traveled to London last November to tour the Chelsea training grounds and academy and came away very impressed.
Unlike the deal reached with Nathan Ake of Feynerood earlier this year, Masek's club seems to be totally on board with this signing, and Masek looks like he'll be the third youngster (Ake, Anjur Osmanovic) to reach an official agreement to join the Chelsea academy in the summer. He'd be joining the club on a scholarship deal, which would become a professional contract when he reaches his 17th birthday in July 2012. For those of you looking for a little more on Masek, I'll have a brief bio and some video after the jump.
Masek was born on July 10, 1995 in the Czech Rebublic. He's the son of former Czech player Jaroslav Masek (who is a month younger than I am...yikes), so he has spent his life around professional sports. He currently stands about 5'7" tall, but he's young enough that he'll still likely grow some more. His father was about 6' tall, so assuming he winds up with a similar build he'll have decent size.
He's a left footed player who is noted for his dribbling skills, pace, and acceleration. As of now, his role is somewhat undefined. He's played in every attacking midfield and forward position imaginable, but that's not irregular for a 15 year old. He seems to be being used at his current level as a left wing/left striker, but it's only been three games there. He'll definitely end up being an attack minded player though, regardless of where he settles in. When asked, he says he models his game after Messi and Ronaldo, but I'd guess you'll hear that out of about 95% of young attackers his age.
Masek recently made his debut for the Czech U17 national team in their bid to qualify for the UEFA championships this summer. He's made three starts this month, finding the back of the net once and assisting on another goal. He's been the leading goal scorer for the Czech U16 team for the two seasons prior to that. The Czech team has been playing well, and eliminated the Italian team from the competition with Masek's goal. They will be participating in the final phase of the competition in Serbia in May, and those games will likely be available on ESPN 3 for those of you who wish to follow along. Here's a little video clip of Masek to give you a very early look at him:
The video quality isn't the greatest, and the guy that made it clearly has a thing for 80's hair bands, but it does give you a nice look at Masek in U16 and U17 level competition. There's a few pretty looking goals in there, so he'll be a fun one to watch in the youth and reserve games here the next few seasons. It's always nice to see the academy adding highly touted youngsters, and it's even nicer when other teams seem to actually be on board with the moves. We'll keep an eye on Masek as the year goes on, and hopefully he'll slot seamlessly into life in London.