Weiss keeps son in check for Slovakia

PRETORIA - Father-son chats in the Weiss family are difficult affairs, with Slovakia coach Vladimir saying on Wednesday he was being extra strict with his son of the same name as they prepare for the World Cup.

Three generations of Vladimir Weisses have played football for their country, one winning an Olympic silver medal in 1964, one playing at the 1990 World Cup and one getting ready to take to the field in South Africa. Weiss junior does not get any favours from his father.

"It's not so easy, I am very strict with him, much stricter with him than other players," the coach told Reuters in an interview on the pitch after the team's first training session in Pretoria.

"It's not so easy for him either but he's a nice guy so he's is very popular with the rest of the team. I hope his talent is good and he can help his team."

Grandfather Weiss, it seems, has the easiest job.

"He is sitting at home waiting to watch the matches on the television," said 45-year-old Weiss, straining to speak over the din of the vuvuzelas being blown by the dozens of fans watching his players train.

"The grandfather is happy now, his son is coaching the team and his grandson is 20 years old and is playing at the World Cup, it's very good for the family."

Slovakia face Italy, New Zealand and Paraguay in Group F, with Tuesday's opener with the All Whites likely to offer some clues as to how far they will progress in their first World Cup appearance as an independent nation.

"We must try to win the first game, it is historic for Slovakia to be here. If we win we have the chance to progress," said the coach.

"I'm a lucky man because I started as a player in the 1990 World Cup and after 20 years I am a coach at the World Cup, it's very nice for me."

Follow FFT.com on Twitter Join FFT.com on Facebook