RADEK CERNY will be heading for pastures new following the completion of his contract at QPR, and goalkeeping coach David Rouse has paid tribute to the professionalism and ability of the 39-year-old.
Cerny joined the R’s prior to the 2008/09 season and went on to make 87 appearances during his five-year stay at Loftus Road.
“People use the word ‘professional’ too widely but in Radek’s case it’s very apt,” Rouse told www.qpr.co.uk. “He has been a complete professional in the time he has been with us.
“You look at how he has carried himself as he’s gone from being first-choice in his first season to number two, down to number three and this season he has been down the pecking order at number four.
“But throughout all that, his manner about the place and his good humour has never changed and never wavered. It’s a good mark of the man. Irrespective of whether you’re playing or not, you have to put in 100 per cent and Radek has always done that.
“He enjoyed every single training session, and he had the ability to make everyone else in the group enjoy it too.
“Even though he was not in the 25-man squad this season, the work he has put in with the rest of the goalkeepers is immeasurable. He has a lot of experience and always gave good advice.”
Cerny’s defining moment for the Hoops arguably came at Watford during the 2010/11 campaign. Paddy Kenny had been between the sticks all season and looked set to remain so for the match at Vicarage Road. But it wasn’t just any game. Rangers knew victory would seal Championship glory.
Incredibly, Kenny pulled up in the warm-up and Cerny was drafted in to make his first start of the campaign in a fixture of huge importance as the R’s looked to seal a return to the Premier League after a 15-year exile.
Cerny was a more-than-able deputy and produced a solid display, keeping a clean sheet in the process as the R’s beat the Hornets 2-0.
“A lot of goalkeepers would struggle in that situation, particularly people not as experienced as Radek,” Rouse said. “But his temperament meant it wasn’t a problem for him. You knew on the day that you had no worries there.”
At 39, some may feel now is the right time for Cerny to hang up his gloves. Rouse doesn’t agree.
“I think he’s got a few more years in him, and a few more saves in him,” he said. “As a goalkeeper, the experience you have in your latter years means you don’t need to rely so much on your athleticism.
“But Radek still has those physical attributes to go with his experience and I’d like to think he has got at least two or three years left in him.
“I’d like to extend a big thanks to Radek. Throughout my time at the club I have worked with him and it has been a fantastic honour to do so. I’ll be sad to see him go but wish him all the very best for the future.”