Men's National Team

Fornalik replaces Smuda as Poland’s coach

Fornalik replaces Smuda as Poland’s coach

WARSAW, Poland. July 10 (AP) – Waldemar Fornalik was appointed the national coach by the Polish Football Association on Tuesday, replacing Franciszek Smuda, whose contract ends next month.

Waldemar FornalikThe 49-year-old Fornalik has coached Ruch Chorzow since 2009, and played in the Polish league as a defender in the 1980s and early 90s. As a coach he won respect for taking a group of unexceptional players in Ruch Chorzow and guiding the team in three years to second place in the Polish Cup last season.

Ruch Chorzow leader Dariusz Smagorowicz said Fornalik was “very loved and respected by fans” and that “he built a great team that was in a position to challenge the best teams in the league.”

Now Poles will be watching to see if Waldemar Fornalik — nicknamed “Waldek King” by fans — can work similar magic with a national team that has underperformed for years.

Antoni Piechniczek, the vice-president of the association, described Fornalik as a passionate trainer.

“Diligence, modesty and conscientiousness: These qualities describe him not only as a coach but also as a person,” Piechniczek said.

In a news conference, Fornalik thanked those who placed trust him and said he hopes he will bring satisfaction to Poland fans.

“I think my work will give satisfaction to the people who believe in me,” he said.

Under Smuda’s guidance at the European Championship, co-host Poland played well at times, but ultimately failed to live up to its own expectations, and didn’t advance out of the group stage. Poland drew with Greece and Russia and lost to the Czech Republic.

The election of Fornalik was announced by Grzegorz Lato, the association president who has been under pressure to step aside due to dissatisfaction with the national team.

“We were aware that time was short because in September we start World Cup qualifications,” Lato said at a news conference.

Lato said there were two other candidates, Jerzy Engel, who coached the national team in the 2002 World Cup, and Jacek Zielinski, Smuda’s assistant.

He said Fornalik received 11 votes, Engel three and Zielinski none. There was one abstention.

For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/psnfutbol

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Men's National Team

More in Men's National Team

Poland Celebrate Centenary Match with Win over Isreal

PSN StaffJune 10, 2019

Piatek On Target in Northern Macedonia Clash

PSN StaffJune 7, 2019
PZPN

EURO 2020 Qualifiers: Poland Roster for Northern Macedonia and Israel

PSN StaffMay 21, 2019

Lewandowski Scores in Poland Win over Latvia

PSN StaffMarch 24, 2019

Piatek Goal Helps Poland Edge Austria in Qualifying Opener

PSN StaffMarch 21, 2019

Brzeczek: No Time for Experiments Against Austria

PSN StaffMarch 18, 2019

EURO 2020 Qualifiers: Poland Roster for Austria and Latvia

PSN StaffMarch 11, 2019

Podstawski: If I Get the Call for Poland, I Won’t Turn it Down

PSN StaffFebruary 25, 2019

Official: Poland Drawn to Group G for UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifying

PSN StaffDecember 2, 2018