Jaroslav Drobny joined Hamburger SV from Hertha BSC Berlin in 2010
Jaroslav Drobny joined Hamburger SV from Hertha BSC Berlin in 2010

Long road to the top

Born on 18 October 1979 in the Czech town of Pocatky, Jaroslav Drobny embarked on a career in professional football when he signed his first contract with S.K. Ceske Budejovice in the summer of 1999. He had previously spent his teenage years at various youth sides including SK Chrudim and FC Vítkovice.

After three seasons at Budejovice, where he matured into a key first team player, the 192cm Drobny then made the brave move to go abroad, signing for Greek side Panionios in 2001. Here he gained further experience and made over 100 appearances for the club. In 2005 he was spotted by English Premier League side Fulham, who took the keeper to Craven Cottage.

Misfortune struck the then 26-year-old, as injury on his arrival prevented him from establishing himself at the west London club. After a brief loan spell at ADO Den Haag and a less-than-successful stint with Ipswich Town, he was given first team football again at VfL Bochum, whom he joined on loan in January 2007. He impressed in his debut season in the Bundesliga and moved to Hertha BSC Berlin later that summer and went on to become a key member of the side.

After 120 appearances for Hertha, he then joined Hamburger SV in the summer of 2010 and continues to be one of the league most reliable stoppers, with a knack for producing spectacular saves with uncanny frequency.