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Slovakia goalkeeper Matus Kozacik comments on 2006 Leeds United trial spell


The number one for Slovakia will be looking to keep England at bay.


Leeds United will have one representative in action at the European Championships this summer.

Stuart Dallas is heading to France with the Northern Ireland national team and will be looking to cause an upset in the competition.

There will of course be others at the tournament with past links to Leeds, including one of the goalkeepers heading to France to compete against England in the group stage.

Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas in action with Belarus' Sergei KislyakNorthern Ireland's Stuart Dallas in action with Belarus' Sergei Kislyak

Slovakian keeper Matus Kozacik is in their squad for the competition and this week spoke about time spent at Leeds United on trial in 2006.

He told Websoviny:

“I was wanted in Italy and in England. While in Italy I was almost before the signature of the contract, in England at Leeds United, I attended only a short trial, after which I returned home.

Viktoria Plzen's Matus Kozacik in action against Manchester City's James MilnerViktoria Plzen's Matus Kozacik in action against Manchester City's James Milner

“Even as a young boy I could have moved from Slavia Prague to Italy. But it remained only in the experiments. I do not even know why these things ended broken. But I think everything is as it should have been.”

Kozacik’s trial at Leeds was well publicised at the time. The player himself even admitted he wanted a move to Leeds – telling Sky Sports:

"They were satisfied with my performances.

"They wanted me to take part in a weekend's practice match. However, I needed to undergo surgery.

"Nothing has been finalised. When there is something solid, then we will see.

"If Leeds offer good terms, I think I'd accept. It would be a step forward."

SK Slavia Prague - Matus KozacikSK Slavia Prague - Matus Kozacik

Unfortunately, nothing ever came of it and in the near-decade since he has played for Sparta Prague and Anorthosis Famagusta before finding his best form in recent years at Czech side Viktoria Plzen – with whom he has won the Czech league title on three occasions.

Leeds United fans will be likely to see him in action this summer, as Kozacik is considered the first-choice keeper for Slovakia at present.

Here’s hoping he doesn’t prove too tough to beat for the England team.

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