Party time for Socceroos star as Sparta Prague end league title drought

Awer Mabil and Sparta Prague have clinched the Czech First League title for the first time since 2013-14.

The most successful club in the country’s history, Sparta had gone nine years without a league title.

But that changed on Wednesday (AEST) as a goalless draw away to Slovacko was enough to seal the trophy in the penultimate game of the season.

Socceroos star Mabil, who is on loan from LaLiga outfit Cadiz, was an unused substitute but the Australia international got his hands on a second piece of league silverware.

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His first league title came during his time at Danish club Midtjylland, where he also hoisted the trophy aloft with current Sparta head coach Brian Priske.

“I hope it is clear what this achievement means to people,” Priske said amid the celebrations. “I saw a lot of them with tears in their eyes and I’m so happy that we were able to do this for them. 

“I am also extremely happy to be a part of this team, we have great guys here who honestly deserved it with their performances.”

There have been flashes of brilliance, but it has not been an easy time for the A-Leagues graduate in Prague.

A loan signing in January, the 27-year-old reunited with his former boss Priske in search of more regular football.

Yet, he has only started one of his 13 league appearances; that start came back in February. In those 270 minutes of action, however, he has managed to score twice. Those two goals came in the same game – a dramatic regular-season showdown against Slovan Liberec.

Mabil scored penalties in the 90th and 101st minutes to inspire Sparta.

When Mabil joined Sparta, the deal included the option to make the move permanent.

“If he stays? I can’t answer that right now,” Priske said recently.

Meanwhile, former Sydney FC head coach Vitezslav Lavicka is returning to Sparta.

Lavicka, who led Sydney to the A-League Men Premiership-Championship double in 2009-10, will take up the role of director of youth next month.