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UEFA.com's weekly wonderkid: Jiří Januška

"The complete playmaker" according to to Příbram's youth coach, Jiří Januška starred in the UEFA Youth League and is now looking to make his mark with the seniors.

Příbram's Jiří Januška after scoring against Benfica
Příbram's Jiří Januška after scoring against Benfica ©Jan Vostrý

Having impressed in Příbram's surprising run to the UEFA Youth League last 16, Jiří Januška's next step is to build on his first few appearances in the Czech club's senior side.

Name: Jiří Januška
Club: Příbram
Debut: 13 September 2015 v Viktoria Plzeň
Position: midfield
Nationality: Czech
Date of birth: 11 October 1997
Preferred foot: right (but plays with both feet)
Height: 175 cm

They say …
His best qualities are hard work and motivation, he gives 100% to football. He finishes very well and has the ability to get into shooting positions after beating a defender. Jiří also shows great timing with all his passes – he is the complete playmaker. Every coach appreciates a player who can decide a result in the crucial moments of the match. His finish is stunning.
Petr Janota, Příbram youth coach

Jiří Januška takes on the Benfica defence
Jiří Januška takes on the Benfica defence©Jan Vostrý

We encourage Jiří to take responsibility during the games, go for the finish, practise things he will need to become a success in senior football. He has a bright future ahead of him if he keeps working hard on his development.
Pavel Nováček, Příbram academy coach

Background …
Januška's first club was Sedlčany, but he has been part of the renowned academy at Příbram since he was nine. He was in the same age group as Václav Černý, the forward who has impressed at Ajax this season, and has represented the Czech Republic's Under-16, U17 and U19 sides.

Playing style …
Januška is a classic midfielder who takes free-kicks and corners and is at his best when a team's attacking efforts start with him. However, he is also capable of holding his own when he needs to win the ball, and likes taking responsibility, taking the last kick during both Příbram's UEFA Youth League penalty shoot-outs this season.

Shades of …
Many Czech fans dream of seeing another Pavel Nedvěd; Januška's hard-working style and powerful finish might just be the answer.

Eureka moment … 
The stunning header that clinched victory against Zimbru in the UEFA Youth League back in September. Januška's goal helped Příbram eventually go on to play CSKA Moskva in the play-off round, a tie he decided by calmly converting the decisive penalty.

Jiří Januška (No10) with the rest of the Příbram team
Jiří Januška (No10) with the rest of the Příbram team©Jan Vostrý

Best-case scenario …
Januška currently plays for the Czech Republic's U19 side, and has already made five top-flight starts for Příbram. There has been interest from bigger clubs, but winning a regular place in his current side's starting XI is his next step. Then he may follow the path of former team-mate Černý, now of Ajax and the Czech U21s.

He says …
"My biggest dream in football is to play at a FIFA World Cup or a EURO tournament. At club level my dream is to play for Chelsea, my favourite club. I know I have to work hard at training every single day and improve my game."
Speaking to UEFA.com