Ryan Byrne/INPHO Vitezslav Jaros waves to the St Patrick's Athletic supporters after victory in the FAI Cup.
# loan star
'Magnificent signing' Jaros returns to Liverpool with perfect Pat's sign-off
The young goalkeeper was terrific in the FAI Cup final victory, the final game of his loan spell from Liverpool.

AMONG THE MANY people wishing Saint Patrick’s Athletic well ahead of Sunday’s FAI Cup final was Jurgen Klopp: he texted his pre-game message of support to the goalkeeper he loaned to Inchicore for the season, Vitezslav Jaros. 

The Czech U21 goalkeeper has been a revelation for Pat’s this season, and, though untroubled in the penalty shootout, was nonetheless integral to victory. He made two point blank saves from Ross Tierney and then Rob Cornwall in the dying minutes of extra-time to secure Pat’s the chance to win the Cup from spot kicks.  

His loan period is now up, so these were his final acts for Pat’s. 

“A brilliant sign-off”, reflected Jaros in the glow of victory. “Can’t get any better than that, winning the cup in front of 40,000 people. Brilliant.” 

Liverpool’s Head Scout and Loans Manager were among the crowd at the Aviva Stadium, and saw circumstance render Jaros’ shoot-out preparation largely redundant. He had details of where each Bohs’ player had placed their most recent spot kick written on a water bottle by the side of his goal, but he ultimately did not have to make a save as Tyreke Wilson dragged his penalty wide and Keith Ward saw his bounce agonisingly off the crossbar. 

“I think the two they scored were great penos, right in the bottom corner”, said Jaros. “I don’t think I had much of a chance. Maybe the second one, I could have saved it. And then the few they missed, I think I had one covered if it was on target.” He added he was ready to take one should it have come to that. 

Pat’s coach Stephen O’Donnell hailed Jaros’ contribution to the club in 2021. 

“It’s plain to see that he will play at a higher level. He’s only 20. He’s brilliant, you seen today, I’ve played with a few good keepers cross-channel who had come on loan to Scotland, he’s the best 20 year old I’ve ever come across or been involved with regards football, as a goalkeeper.

“He makes big saves, he’s so composed, the occasion doesn’t get to him. If you didn’t know his age you would think he was 27 or 28. He thinks like a man, acts like a man and he’s just a brilliant keeper.” 

vitezslav-jaros-makes-a-late-save Ryan Byrne / INPHO Jaros makes a late save from Ross Tierney. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

“Liverpool were obviously here today, he’s been a magnificent signing for us”, added Pat’s manager Alan Matthews. “We’ll see him playing at a higher level. His work ethic and the application: you’d expect it from a seasoned pro not a guy who came in as a teenager and he goes back as a far better player and goalkeeper than when he came in.” 

Jaros also reflected on his growth during his year in Ireland. 

“The main things in men’s football: the game management, when to go long and when to go short, when to slow down and when to speed up. Game management would be the main thing.

“And experience. Seeing things, and then you know what’s going to happen as you’ve seen it before in a game.”

He said he doesn’t know his next step, but will return to Liverpool for a physical assessment and will then get some time off ahead of the January transfer window, meaning another move may be in the offing with Caoimhin Kelleher, Adrian and Loris Karius leaving his parent club well-stocked for back-up to Alisson Becker. 

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