Hearts look to have found a replacement ‘keeper for Jon McLaughlin, who will likely exit the club this summer - Zdenek Zlamal, known as ‘SuperBob’ has signed a three-year deal. Here’s the lowdown on Hearts’ new ‘keeper...
He scored a 92nd minute equaliser in a derby
Zlamal was in goal for Bohemians 1905 away to Dukla Prague in August 2015. The home side scored twice in two minutes just before the interval, and on 71 minutes, Josef Jindrisek reduced the deficit from the penalty spot. Bohemians won a series of corners in injury time and from one, Zlamal rose highest to power a header past Filip Rada in the Dukla Prague goal. Zlamal tore his shirt off and jumped into the stand to celebrate with the Bohemians fans, receiving a yellow card for his troubles.
His playing career has been somewhat ‘nomadic’
Born in 1985, a five-year-old Zlamal joined Spartak Hulin in the third tier of Czech football in 1990, remaining in their youth system until 2002, when he made his debut for the first team as a 16-year-old.
However, he was knocked unconcious after a collision with an opponent in the 82nd minute and was taken to hospital.
In 2004 he took a step up and joined SK Hanacka Slavia Kromeriz in the second division, where he made more than 30 appearances.
He then moved to Sparta Prague - despite reports claiming he had agreed a deal to sign for Slovan Liberec - before heading to Tescoma Zlin on loan for a season.
He eventually did join Slovan Liberec in 2007, before leaving for Udinese in 2009. Loan spells at Cadiz in Spain, and Slavia Prague followed before he was transferred to Bari.
He was immediately sent on loan to Sigma Olomouc, before joining the eastern Czech side on a permanent basis. In 2014 he signed for Bohemians 1905, before signing on at Turkish Super Lig side Alanyaspor in 2016.
He returned to his country of birth in 2017, signing for Fastav Zlin - his 13th club in a career that has seen him play in four different countries.
Hearts will be his 14th club, and Scotland his fifth nation. He’ll meet up with a former team mates in the Scottish top flight - Rangers winger Daniel Candeias was one of his colleagues at Alanyaspor - while Zlamal has also played in the same team as ex-Celtic, Hamilton and St Mirren midfielder Massimo Donati and former Kilmarnock goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola.
He has Europa League experience
Zlamal has played in the Europa League, for Slovan Liberec and Zlin.
His opposite number on his European debut against Zilina was one Dusan Pernis, later of Dundee United, while in 2017 he twice faced a Copenhagen side containing one Danny Amankwaa.
However, he’s only been on the winning side once - a 1-0 win away to Leichtenstein outfit Vaduz.
He was attached to Sparta Prague when they faced Hearts in the UEFA Cup in 2006 but wasn’t part of the matchday squad for either leg due to his tender years.
He once broke an entire goal
Earlier this year he broke a post while playing for Fastav Zlin against Mlada Boleslav, as he tried to prevent a speculative effort looping over him. Zlamal flicked the ball away from the top corner before colliding with the frame of the goal, breaking the left hand post. He was fine, but the goals needed replaced. And that’s not even the most remarkable part of the story - Zlamal in Czech means ‘broke’. You can watch the clip here.
Judging by highlights, he isn’t shy of a spectacular save or two and at 6ft 4in, will be an imposing figure for opposing forwards to deal with.