TORONTO, Canada. Nov 16 — His origin is Polish, he was born in Austria, and earns his money Belgium, but internationally he represents Canada. The 28-year-old Micheal ‘Mike’ Klukowski is a regular on the Canadian national team, but his father believes he would have easily done the same for Poland.
“He would rather have played for Poland, but here no one appreciated his talent,” reveals the father of Michael Klukowski, Bogumil to Dziennik.
“It is a pity that the PZPN never sought interest in him. I believe that Michael could have easily played as a left-back on the Polish national team. We would not have to seek any Boenisch’s…”
Klukowski was born in Amstetten, Austria – as Bogumil explains this was only due to the family needing to await the proper visas to travel to Toronto, Canada, where Klukowski was raised.
He began his career playing for the Oshawa Kicks and Scarborough Blues FC, along with the local Canadian Polonia amateur clubs. Already at a tender age the young Klukowski was making strides in Canada and his father firmly believed he could become a future Polish international. Bogumil would often send Klukowski to Poland to play in tournaments and train with Polish coaches to attract interest, but instead received nothing but a ticket back home.
The Polish-Canadian soon signed a contract in Europe after being linked up with Dijon FCO in 1999. He later joined up with Tourcoing FC on a small stint before catching the attention of Ligue 1 outfit LOSC Lille Metropole whom he joined in 2001.
Unfortunately, the Canuck was yet to be ready for top tier European football and spent time only as a reserve in Lille. Being unhappy with his situation Klukowski signed for lower Belgium division club R.A.A. Louvieroise where he made 72 league appearances. It wouldn’t have been long until top club Club Brugge KV came in knocking for the promising young defenseman and offer him a bewildering contract. To this day Klukowski remains one of Brugge’s top players and an integral part of the Canadian national team, where he now has 25 international caps.
Klukowski is not the only player of Polish heritage to play for Canada, with both Tomasz Radzinski and Chris Pozniak also being well known members.
“Like with my son, Poland never gave any attention to Tomasz (…), I do not know him very well, but I am friends with his parents. They both finished university in Poznan and his father, Jan, is a trucker in Canada.”
“However, the boys themselves are very good friends. They even visit each other from time to time in Belgium, because now Radzinski plays in Lierse SK in the Belgian Second Division.” says Klukowski senior.
Radzinski like Klukowski made a strong impact in Canada and quickly received interest from Europe. From there he played with Belgium powerhouse RSC Anderlecht which allowed him to make a move to the Barclays English Premier League.
“Do you know why Tomasz also did not play for Poland? Because nobody from Poland was interested in him. And yet he was top scorer in the Belgian league, then he played for Everton FC, and Fulham FC. Oh, what goals he would score!”
On Saturday, the Canadians played away against Macedonia and lost 0-3. Klukowski played 90 minutes, but the 35-year-old Radzinski failed the make the bench. Both, however, are expected to play against Poland.
“I am sure they will show their worth against Poland, (…)” adds Bogumil Klukowski.
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