Pavel Srníček : biography
Pavel Srníček (born 10 March 1968) is a Czech former professional footballer and goalkeeping coach of Gambrinus liga club Sparta Prague.
As a player he was a goalkeeper from 1990 to 2007, notably remembered for his time in the Premier League with Newcastle United, Sheffield Wednesday and Portsmouth. He also played in Serie A for Brescia and AS Cosenza, in Portugal for Beira-Mar and in his native country for Banik Ostrava.
Born in Ostrava, Srníček was originally signed by Newcastle in December 1990 on loan from Banik Ostrava by manager Jim Smith, who left within months to be succeeded by Ossie Ardiles - by this time his transfer had been made permanent, and he was soon established as the club's first choice goalkeeper after the appointment of Kevin Keegan as manager in February 1992. He was a key player in the team that won promotion to the FA Premier League as Division One champions in 1992-93, and quickly established themselves as a top side, not finishing outside the top six in any of the next four seasons. He almost collected a title medal in 1995-96, when Newcastle had led the league by 10 points at Christmas, only to be overhauled by Manchester United during the final three months of the season.
He later faced competition from Shaka Hislop for the number 1 jersey, but injury to Hislop enabled Srníček to keep his place. In 1997, Newcastle signed Shay Given, and after making only one appearance for the club that season, Srníček returned to his old club before coming back to the Premiership with Sheffield Wednesday. He had relative success with Wednesday before being released by the club in 2000.
Since then he has had various spells at other clubs including Brescia, Portsmouth F.C., West Ham United and Beira-Mar.
For over 10 years, he was also the only goalkeeper to receive a rating of 10/10, in the individual players ratings in British tabloid The Sun, despite being on the losing side in a 1996-97 season Premiership match against Liverpool, until Robert Green received the same rating for his performance as West Ham goalkeeper against Arsenal.
Srníček made an emotional return to Newcastle in 2006, signing a short-term deal until the end of the year as cover for the injured Shay Given.
Srníček did not appear for Newcastle until Saturday 23 December (the last match before the end of his original contract), when Newcastle defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-1. Srníček was brought on for injured Shay Given, who pulled his groin in the 87th minute, and received a huge, tremendous reception from the Newcastle crowd; this was his 150th appearance for the Magpies. Srníček was also voted one of the most popular Newcastle United players of all time.
On 23 December 2006, after making his second appearance for the club, he signed a new contract running until the end of the season. On 16 May 2007, following Sam Allardyce's appointment as Manager of Newcastle United, he was told his contract would not be renewed. With the news of his release, he finally drew a close on his career.
He has since begun the Srníček school of goalkeeping in Czech Republic offering youngsters from around the world to learn from his unique coaching styles. He is also involved in a number of charity organisations.
On 4 January 2012, Sparta Prague confirmed Srníček as their head goalkeeping coach.
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