Tomáš Vaclík: "This Was My Worst Football Year"
The Czech keeper hopes the addition of Caleb Porter will lead to a clean slate entering the 2024 campaign.
As the New England Revolution prepares to begin preseason on January 13th, goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík sat down with Martin Mls of sport.cz to discuss his year in New England.
(Editor’s Note: Vaclik’s answers are translated into English via Google Translate)
Vaclík called his first season in New England “a very strange experience.” After signing with the club as a free agent on August 26th following the sale of Djordje Petrović, Vaclík and many expected him to be a constant presence in goal, but he didn't see the field and only made one bench appearance in 2023. He described the season as his “worst football year.”
“The year 2023 did not go very well for me professionally,” he said. “The last time I played in Huddersfield was in the second English league in mid-April and I haven't played in a live match since.”
The interview then transitioned to the relationship between Vaclík and goalkeeper coach Kevin Hitchcock. When talking about what he did with his time in America, Vaclík described how he had a lot of time off.
Vaclík added how he had even more off time as “the goalkeeper coach usually didn't even send me to the training of players who were not in the nomination.”
Vaclík added how there was a lack of communication between him and Hitchcock.
“In the beginning he still talked to me, but not for the last six weeks. I don't even know what it was,” Vaclík said. “After a series of changes to the head coaches, he (Hitchcock) was given the power to decide who will be the goalkeeper. Overall, it was a wild time for the team.”
When asked about his teammates’ reaction to his situation, he said everyone was surprised.
“No one understood,” Vaclík said. “They knew what I had done and what my CV was. They sensed what I could give to the team. I came in as a replacement for the Serbian Petrovic…The guys asked me, ‘But next time you're going to catch, right?’ And I said, ‘It doesn't look like it, gentlemen.”
Despite everything that has happened, Vaclík looks ready to turn his attention to 2024. During his interview, he seemed excited about the addition of Caleb Porter.
“The most important thing is that a new person has come in who doesn't know anything about us, and we should all start from scratch.”
As the 2024 season approaches, hopefully, the addition of Porter can bring Vaclík and the club some relief following a volatile end to the 2023 season.