On hearing the surname 'Kadlec‘, most Bundesliga fans will think of Michal, the recently departed Bayer 04 Leverkusen defender, or, to go further back, his father Miroslav, a stalwart of the 1. FC Kaiserslautern defence in the 1990s.
These days, however, it’s young star Vaclav that everyone seems to be talking about, with the new arrival at Eintracht Frankfurt having created quite a stir in his native Czech Republic.
Growing up in the capital city of Prague, Vaclav spent his formative years with Bohemians 1905, whose youth sides he turned out for between 1997 and 2008, before moving as a 16-year-old to top-tier outfit AC Sparta Prague.
He wasn’t with his new club to play in the reserves as a talented youngster, but to be groomed for the first team in years to come. Kadlec was given his Gambrinus Liga debut in October 2008, still aged just 16, going on to score two senior goals in his first full season.
He remained an important part of the first team squad for the next three seasons, but it was his performances in 2012/13 that caught the eye of the bosses at Eintracht.
The powerful, athletic forward netted an impressive 14 times to be the league’s second highest scorer, helping Sparta to a second-place finish and qualification for the UEFA Europa League. Small wonder, then, that Frankfurt coach Armin Veh had him on his wish-list in the summer of 2013.
Experienced, with potential
Sporting director Bruno Hübner spoke correctly when he mentioned Kadlec’s “great potential to develop”, but having played over 100 games in the Czech top flight, it’s also fair to say that he already has an enviable amount of experience.
And neither is it surprising that he’s already a full Czech Republic international, with four caps and one goal to his name. Having signed a four-year deal at the Commerzbank, he could well become an idol to Frankfurt’s fans in the years to come.