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EKSTRAKLASA

ALL 16 TEAMS PREVIEWED


Season Preview Contributors: Łukasz Jesionowski (Arka Gdynia), Mateusz Owski (Bruk­Bet Termalica Nieciecza), Stefan Kubiczyn (Cracovia), Daniel Iwan (Górnik Łęczna), Kamil Gorawski (Korona Kielce), Kuba Seweryn (Jagiellonia Białystok), Kuba Krzyżostaniak (Lech Poznań), Maciej Słomiński (Lechia Gdańsk), Kuba Żywko (Legia Warszawa), Thomas Pitura (Piast Gliwice), Dawid Małachowski (Pogoń Szczecin), Christopher Lash (Ruch Chorzów), Mateusz Dziopa (Śląsk Wrocław), Stuart Warren (Wisła Kraków), Piotr Rogalski (Wisła Płock), Michał Rygiel (Zagłębie Lubin) Predictors: Ryan Hubbard, Tomasz Włodarczyk, Michał Trela, Paweł Mogielnicki, Leszek Milewski, Andrzej Gomołysek, Maciej Słomiński, Michał Zachodny, Piotr Żelazny, Piotr Koźmiński, Marek Wawrzynowski, Christopher Lash, Jacek Stańczyk. All squads and information correct as of July 14th 2016. Images of Ekstraklasa ball, trophy and logo all courtesy of Ekstraklasa S.A. Ustaw Ligę logo courtesy of UstawLige.com Squads taken from 90minut.pl


@Ryan_Hubbard

ryanhubbardpol

4. Arka Gdynia 6. Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza 8. KS Cracovia 10. Górnik Łęczna 12. Jagiellonia Białystok 14. Korona Kielce 16. Lech Poznań 18. Lechia Gdańsk 20. Legia Warszawa 22. Piast Gliwice 24. Pogoń Szczecin 26. Ruch Chorzów 28. Śląsk Wrocław 30. Wisła Kraków 32. Wisła Płock 34. Zagłębie Lubin 36. The Stadia 38. Predictions 40. Stats & Records

Ryan-Hubbard.co.uk The final ball at the European Championships has barely been kicked, but already the start of the Polish Ekstraklasa season is upon us. It feels barely five minutes ago that the Polish Championship was handed to Legia Warszawa, but starting on 15th July, 15 other teams will start on the long road to trying to prevent them lifting a 12th league title. Meanwhile 2014/15 champions Lech Poznań  will  be  aiming  to  put  last  season’s disappointment to rest, and both newcomers Arka Gdynia  and  Wisła  Płock  will  hope  to  follow  the example set by both Bruk-Bet Termalica and Zagłębie  Lubin  ­  the  latter  having  secured European football immediately following promotion. If you’re new to the Ekstraklasa, this guide is designed to introduce you to the league, its teams, and their players. If you already follow, hopefully it will provide a useful little addition to your season preparation. Either way, I thoroughly hope you’re looking forward to this season as much as we all are.

Ekstraklasa.org @_Ekstraklasa_ ekstraklasa_official www.ekstraklasa.org


Arka Gdynia, a team from the city of ‘sea and dreams’ won Pierwsza Liga quite comfortably last season, with only 3 losses in 34 matches. The once Polish Cup winners have waited 5 years to return to the Ekstraklasa, after being relegated at the end of the 2010/11 season. Both the club officials and supporters believe that the newcomers might be able to positively surprise the spectators – and they were given an example last  campaign  when  Zagłębie Lubin finished third in their first season after promotion. However, everyone realizes that avoiding relegation should be the main goal for the team. The most important matchday will certainly be the local derby with Lechia Gdańsk – a date everyone in Gdynia is looking forward to.

defender Adam Marciniak and last season’s Pierwsza Liga top scorer Szymon Lewicki to mention just a few – Arka seems a well-balanced, interesting mixture of both younger players and more experienced team members. The former include a promising central defender Michał Marcjanik and midfielder Michał Nalepa, who has already won his first U-21 cap in the national team last season; while the latter is represented by  the  aforementioned  Łukasiewicz,  as well as skilled Brazilian winger Marcus da Silva.

Arka extended the contracts of all essential players, including captain Antoni Łukasiewicz (he will take over the role from Krzysztof Sobieraj) and top scorer  Paweł  Abbott  (12  goals  last season). With new signings – ex-Cracovia

ŁUKASZ JESIONOWSKI @l_jesionowski

HOW THEY’LL FARE

Great team spirit played an important role last campaign and the coaching staff will be looking to maintain that this season as well.

A tough season awaits in the top tier, although they seem to have strengthened well. Won the Pierwsza Liga at a canter last year, and will be confident of staying up. Likely to be bottom half though.

GOALKEEPERS Konrad Jałocha, Kamil Kotkowski, Pavels Steinbors.

DEFENDERS Alan, Adam Marciniak, Michał Marcjanik, Krzysztof Sobieraj, Tadeusz Socha, Dawid Sołdecki, Przemysław Stolc, Marcin Warcholak, Tomasz Wojcinowicz, Paweł Wojowski.

MIDFIELDERS Adrian Błąd, Miroslav Bozok, Yannick Kakoko, Antoni Łukasiewicz, Marcus Vicinius, Damian Mosiejko, Michał Nalepa, Rafał Siemaszko, Mateusz Szwoch, Rashid Yussuf.

ArkaGdyniaSSA

STRIKERS

arkagdyniassa

Paweł Abbott, Szymon Lewicki, Patrik Lomski, Gaston Sangoy, Dariusz Zjawiński.

@ArkaGdyniaSSA

www.arka.gdynia.pl

Established:

1929

Kit Manufacturer:

Adidas

First match in top­flight:  

17 August 1974 1­0 v ŁKS Łódź

Primary Sponsor:

Polnord Gdynia


ODDS FOR THE TITLE

150/1 Yannick Kakoko 2.00M ZŁ

-----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. BB. Termalica 2/17. Wisła Kraków

STAR MAN

German-born Kakoko joined appearances for their second Arka during the winter break string before dropping down from Miedź Legnica, making the leagues. thirteen appearances and The pacy and skilful scoring two goals as they midfielder is of Congolese stormed to the Pierwsza Liga descent; and his father was title. also a professional footballer Kakoko spent five years of - representing Zaire in the his youth career at Bayern 1974 World Cup. Munich, and made three

MANAGER

CAPTAIN

GRZEGORZ NICIŃSKI

MIROSLAV BOZOK

Managerially, he’s still relatively unknown in Poland; but having played 182 times for Arka, the fans there know much more. Took Gryf Wejherowo on a surprise run in the 2011/12 Polish Cup.

Following Krzysztof Sobieraj’s decision to step down as skipper, Slovakian Bozok was appointed just a few days before the season. The defender returned for his second spell in Gdynia a year ago after time in Łęczna and Bełchatów.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Adrian Błąd (Zagłębie Lubin), Szymon Lewicki (Zawisza Bydgoszcz), Adam Marciniak (AEK Larnaca), Dawid Soldecki (Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza) Pavels Steinbors (AS Nea Salamis),  Dariusz  Zjawiński (Cracovia).

Dariusz Formella  (Lech  Poznań), Jakub Miszczuk (Ruch Chorzów), Grzegorz  Tomasiewicz  (Pogoń Siedlce).

#ARK

3/18. Ruch Chorzów 4/19. Jagiellonia B. 5/20. Śląsk Wrocław 6/21. Legia Warszawa 7/22. Zagłębie Lubin 8/23. Korona Kielce 9/24. Cracovia 10/25. Lech Poznań 11/26. Piast Gliwice 12/27. Górnik Łęczna 13/28. Pogoń Szczecin 14/29. Lechia Gdańsk 15/30. Wisła Płock


Termalica Bruk-Bet - or as named for this season Bruk-Bet Termalica - is one of the most interesting clubs in Ekstraklasa. But not because of its history: Termalica have neither big trophies in their vitrine, nor outstanding players.

small new stadium with an elephant (symbol of Bruk-Bet) in the background, then you are watching the Bruk-Bet Temalica. Last season was a miracle, the team was promoted from the Pierwsza Liga and everyone expected to see them fall down as quickly as they went up. But they fought to survive among the sharks, not playing amazing creative football, but as strong as the concrete paving slabs which the club was built upon. Ultimately they achieved the unthinkable by maintaining their position in the Ekstraklasa - even beating Legia Warszawa in their lair.

Termalica is interesting because of its particular position, policy and - most notably - its smallness in the Ekstraklasa. The club has the smallest budget, and represent the smallest town in the league, with less than 800 people living in the south-eastern village of Nieciecza. A team without any history until Krzyztof Witkowski, president of the construction company Bruk-Bet decided to buy the local club in 2005, and install his wife Danuta as president. Termalica’s aim for this season will be nothing more than to consolidate their The purchase could be described as year position in the League, and continue to zero for the tiny club, who in 10 years build the big dream of the very little town. went from the sixth division to the first. a new rural and fully equipped stadium MATEUSZ OWSKI has been  built  in  Żabno.  If  you  see @OwskiMateusz players in an orange hue, playing in a

HOW THEY’LL FARE

After surviving their first top-flight campaign, the league’s smallest club are hoping to improve on their 13th-place finish. Decent moves in the market will help, but don’t expect a massive climb.

GOALKEEPERS Krzysztof Pilarz, Dariusz Trela.

DEFENDERS Patryk Fryc, Michał Markowski, Kornel Osyra, Dalibor Pleva, Artem Putivchev, Pavol Stano, Przemysław Szarek, Sebastian Ziajka.

Bruk-Bet-Termalica-Nieciecza-KS135111069854702

@BB_Termalica www.termalica.brukbet.com

MIDFIELDERS Bartłomiej Babiarz, Vlastimir Jovanović, Mateusz Kupczak, Patrik Misak, Dawid Plizga, Bartłomiej Smuczyński, Samuel Stefanik.

STRIKERS David Guba, Vladislavs Gutkovskis, Martin Juhar, Wojciech Kędziora, Volodymyr Koval, Stefan Nikolić, Jakub Wróbel.

Established:

1922

Kit Manufacturer:

Nike

First match in top-flight:

20 July 2015 0-1 v Piast Gliwice

Primary Sponsor:

Bruk-Bet, Termalica


MANAGER

CAPTAIN

CZESŁAW MICHNIEWICZ

BARTŁOMIEJ BABIARZ

The Belarussian-born ex-keeper is seen as one of the country’s top coaches, and has bossed Lech Poznań, Widzew Łódź and  Zagłębie  Lubin. Took unfancied Pogoń  Szczecin  to 6th last year.

Following Jakub Biskup’s departure, 27-yearold Babiarz was a surprise choice to replace him as captain. The midfielder made his Ekstraklasa debut for Ruch in 2013, but strong performances last season have convinced Michniewicz to hand him the responsibility.

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

200/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

David Guba (AS Trencin), Vlastimir Jovanović (Korona  Kielce),  Kornel Osyra (Piast Gliwice), Samuel Stefanik (Podbeskidzie Bielsko­Biała), Przemysław Szarek (Sandecja Nowy Sącz), Dariusz Trela (Korona Kielce), Jakub Wróbel (Siarka Tarnobrzeg).

Jakub Biskup (Chojniczanka Chojnice), Elvis Bratanović (released), Tomasz Foszmańczyk (GKS Katowice), Dariusz  Jarecki  (Górnik  Łęczna), Sebastian Nowak (GKS Katowice), Dawid  Sołdecki  (Arka  Gdynia), Andrzej Witan (Wisła Puławy).

1/16. Arka Gdynia 2/17. Cracovia 3/18. Zagłębie Lubin 4/19. Górnik Łęczna 5/20. Pogoń Szczecin

STAR MAN

6/21. Lech Poznań 7/22. Lechia Gdańsk

Kędziora may be at the ripe old age of 35, but his nine goals last season - the highest of any Termalica player - proved that he still has what it takes to succeed in the Ekstraklasa. Formerly of Piast Gliwice and Zagłębie Lubin, Kędziora struggled to make a huge impact at both clubs, netting just fifteen top flight goals in six seasons. But his most-prolific top-flight season so far was integral in helping Termalica to their biggest achievement to-date. A knowledgeable striker who has great positioning, and often seems to find himself in the centre of the box at the right time. At six-feet and one-and-a-half-inches, he’s a good target man, and great header of the ball. Although he’s primarily rightfooted, he’s also quite competent and comfortable on his left-foot too.

8/23. Legia Warszawa 9/24. Ruch Chorzów 10/25. Wisła Płock 11/26. Śląsk Wrocław 12/27. Jagiellonia B. 13/28. Wisła Kraków

Wojciech KEdziora 2.30M ZŁ

#BBT

14/29. Piast Gliwice 15/30. Korona Kielce


It's tough to know what to expect after the most successful season in living memory. Was that the first step to cementing a place among the elite, or are we tomorrow's Odra Wodzisław Śląski?

point of Anton Karanchanakov and will report back when I find out. It's too early to comment on the other summer acquisitions, but if the gutless performance in the Europa League qualifiers is anything to go by, we ought to hope the club's transfer activity isn't quite over yet. It was bitterly disappointing to see the first European competition in the club's history end so quickly, but if we must find a bright side our thin squad won't be stretched by 3 competitions now. There is nothing to stop us matching last year's performance domestically, though it seems unlikely Lech and Wisła will fail quite so dramatically in their own campaigns this time round. Personally - I'll be happy with 4th, a cup run and a win in the derby.

Some things are clear – the Pasy definitely still need to replace Deniss Rakels' goals, find a battling attacking midfielder once Bartosz Kapustka finally goes, and perhaps ought to think about their defence before Piotr Polczak gets any worse. Vestenicky, who last year looked occasionally impressive while failing to make a significant impact, has signed permanently from Roma, which provides flair if not finishing - and he will need to work on his selfishness as a matter of urgency if he's to fit in to Jacek Zieliński's  style.  Worryingly, Cracovia seem to be increasingly STEFAN KUBICZYN heavy with tricky wingers with no end @CracoviaNews product - I'm waiting to discover the

HOW THEY’LL FARE

Last season’s finish won’t be expected again, but if they get a good start a top-half finish shouldn’t be a problem. Having already been knocked-out of Europe, they’ll fancy another crack next year.

GOALKEEPERS Rafał Dobroliński, Grzegorz Sandomierski, Krystian Stępniowski, Adam Wilk.

DEFENDERS Florin Bejan, Deleu, Paweł Jaroszyński, Robert Litauszki, Kamil Pestka, Piotr Polczak, Łukasz Sosnowski, Hubert Wołąkiewicz, Jakub Wójcicki

MIDFIELDERS Hubert Adamczyk, Marcin Budziński, Mateusz Cetnarski, Miroslav Covilo, Damian Dąbrowski, Milan Dimun, Radosław Kanach, Bartosz Kapustka, Anton Karachankov, Przemysław Pyrdek, Sebastian Steblecki, Mateusz Szczepaniak.

STRIKERS Erik Jendrisek, Krzysztof Szewczyk, Tomas Vestenicky, Mateusz Wdowiak.

mkscracovia @MKSCracoviaSSA mkscracovia www.cracovia.pl

Established:

1906

Kit Manufacturer:

Legea

First match in top-flight:

25 March 1928 6-0 v Czarni Lwów

Primary Sponsor:

Comarch


MANAGER

CAPTAIN

JACEK ZIELIŃSKI

PIOTR POLCZAK

Polish Championship winner with Lech Poznań in 2009/10, Zieliński was sacked just four months later. Spent short stints at Polonia Warsaw and Ruch Chorzów before arriving in Kraków 15 months ago.

Back in his hometown after three years in Russia, the 6-foot 3-inch centre-back made 31 appearances last season, scoring once. Has five international caps to his name, picked-up between 2008 and 2009.

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

25/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT 1/16. Piast Gliwice

Milan Dimun  (FC  Kosice),  Rafał Mateusz  Argasiński  (released), Dobroliński  (GKS  Katowice), Boubacar Dialiba (released), Damian Radosław  Kanach  (Stal  Rzeszów), Drzewiecki (released), Szymon Róbert Litauszki (Ujpest), Sebastian Kiebzak  (released),  Łukasz  Zejdler Steblecki (Górnik Zabrze), Mateusz (GKS  Katowice),  Dariusz  Zjawiński Szczepaniak (Podbeskidzie Bielsko- (Arka Gdynia). Biała).

2/17. BB. Termalica 3/18. Górnik Łęczna 4/19. Wisła Kraków 5/20. Lech Poznań 6/21. Ruch Chorzów

STAR MAN Something of a coup for the Pasy when he arrived from Spartak Trnava in 2015, striker Jendrisek has proceeded to show some of the form which earned impressive reviews during his time in Germany. Although not earning a call-up to the Euro 2016 squad, Jendrisek is familiar with the Slovakian national team, playing 37 times and scoring four goals. He earned his first cap whilst at Kaiserslautern, where he averaged over one goal in every three games - a ratio he’s is already bettering in Kraków. More comfortable on his left foot than his right, but in reality it doesn’t matter - he can score beautiful goals with either. And not just in the penalty area either, as some of his goals in the red-andwhite stripes have shown.

7/22. Pogoń Szczecin 8/23. Lechia Gdańsk 9/24. Arka Gdynia 10/25. Zagłębie Lubin 11/26. Korona Kielce 12/27. Wisła Płock 13/28. Śląsk Wrocław 14/29. Jagiellonia B.

Erik Jendrisek 3.00M ZŁ

#CRA

15/30. Legia Warszawa


Maintaining a spot in the top flight was the target for season one, and thanks to a strong end to the campaign it was achieved. Just. If that second season is, as the cliché says, more difficult, then it could be a long one ahead in Łęczna. It could be longer in more ways than one, and not even in Łęczna either, as the club’s owners decide whether they will play their home games 20 miles down the road in Lublin. It’s an outcome that fans of Górnik nor Motor Lublin want, but one that looks increasingly likely with each passing day. Things are looking bleak on-the-pitch too, with only a wafer-thin squad to fight  for  Łęczna’s  Ekstraklasa  status. Nine players have left the club during the off-season, with only a handful signed to replace them. Several more arrivals have been touted, but nothing which particularly whets the appetite,

HOW THEY’LL FARE

while the club’s dire financial situation makes their remaining players - Jakub Świerczok, Grzegorz  Piesio,  Grzegorz Bonin  and  Łukasz  Mierzejewski  in particular - targets for a whole host of clubs. It would truly be a surprise if none of those players leave before the end of August. For a club of Górnik’s size to play top-level football for a prolonged period of time usually requires one of several things: generous owners, a large fan base, or a strong team ethic - none of which the Zielono-Czarni currently possess. Last season there were two worse teams in the Ekstraklasa than Górnik Łęczna.  This  season,  they  might  not be so lucky. DANIEL IWAN

A late rally saved them last season, but it looks as though it will be much of the same this time out. Have made a couple of signings, but none yet which stand-out as season-changing.

GOALKEEPERS Wojciech Małecki, Dominik Mucha, Sergiusz Prusak.

gornikleczna @zielono_czarni

DEFENDERS Łukasz Bogusławski, Damian Jakubik, Dariusz Jarecki, Aleksander Komor, Leandro, Łukasz Mierzejewski, Paweł Sasin, Maciej Szmatiuk.

zielono_czarni www.gornik.leczna.pl

MIDFIELDERS Grzegorz Bonin, Krzysztof Danielewicz, Szymon Drewniak, Slaven Jurisa, Grzegorz Piesio, Radosław Pruchnik, Damian Szpak, Łukasz Tymiński, Dragomir Vukobratović.

STRIKERS Piotr Grzelczak, Przemysław Pitry, Patryk Szysz, Bartosz Śpiączka, Jakub Świerczok.

Established:

1979

Kit Manufacturer:

Jako

First match in top­flight:  

9 August 2003 3­1 v Wisła Płock

Primary Sponsor:

Bogdanka S.A.


ODDS FOR THE TITLE

200/1 -----------

Grzegorz bonin 2.30M ZŁ

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Ruch Chorzów 2/17. Lechia Gdańsk 3/18. Cracovia

STAR MAN

Although not as young as Although scoring goals is he was when tearing down not his main asset, he does the wing for Korona Kielce so more often than a and Górnik Zabrze, the fact midfielder should - his eight that the 33-year-old has last season made him second-highest now made a century of Górnik’s Can also appearances in three years scorer. Łęczna shows  how occasionally provide a decent cross. important he is to them.

MANAGER

CAPTAIN

ANDRZEJ RYBARSKI

SERGIUSZ PRUSAK

Originally an assistant of Yuriy Shatalov, Rybarski was promoted to his first managerial role after the Ukrainian resigned in May. Kept  Łęczna  in the Ekstraklasa, but is still studying for his UEFA Pro License.

Now 37-years of age, shot-stopper Prusak is reaching the twilight of his career. Missed swathes of last season after a red card, but returned help Łęczna secure their Ekstraklasa status.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Szymon Drewniak (Chrobry Głogów), Piotr Grzelczak  (Jagiellonia  Białystok),  Dariusz Jarecki (Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza), Slaven Jurisa (Dinamo Pancevo), Aleksander Komor (Motor Lublin), Wojciech  Małecki  (Kotwica  Kołobrzeg), Damian  Szpak  (Orlęta  Radzyn  Podlaski), Dragomir Vukobratović (OFK Belgrade).

Dziugas Bartkus (Valletta FC), Jan Bednarek (Lech  Poznań),  Lukas  Bielak (Bytovia  Bytów),  Tomislav  Bozic  (Wisła Płock),  Marcin  Kalkowski  (Gryf Wejherowo), Marquitos (released), Veljko Nikitović (end of career), Tomasz Nowak (Zagłębie  Sosnowiec),  Silvio  Rodić (released).

#GKŁ

4/19. BB. Termalica 5/20. Legia Warszawa 6/21. Zagłębie Lubin 7/22. Jagiellonia B. 8/23. Piast Gliwice 9/24. Korona Kielce 10/25. Pogoń Szczecin 11/26. Lech Poznań 12/27. Arka Gdynia 13/28. Wisła Płock 14/29. Śląsk Wrocław 15/30. Wisła Kraków


One year you are battling for the championship, the other to avoid the relegation. That’s the case of Jagiellonia Białystok. Ahead of the 2016/17 season, people in Bialystok try to predict what is the true look of their team in Ekstraklasa. This year there will be no excuses for Michał Probierz squad. There has been no European competition for Jagiellonia and the only player that has left Białystok in the summer is young goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski, who has joined Italian club Fiorentina for a fee in the region of 3.5 million euro. Instead, Probierz got some experienced players from abroad: Slovakian goalkeeper Marian Kelemen, Croatian centre-back Ivan Runje and Ukrainian winger Dmitro Khomchenovskiy to name a few;

HOW THEY’LL FARE

while several promising footballers from the Pierwsza Liga - Maciej Górski from Chrobry Głogów, Damian Szymanski from GKS Bełchatów and Damian Weglarz from Zawisza Bydgoszcz - will surely help to make the team more competitive than last year. The competition for a place in Jagiellonia’s first eleven is quite impressive as the yellow-and-red have won six out of nine summer friendly games and the last three of them. The team seems to be well prepared for the first matches of the season, which surely won’t be easy as Jagiellonia pay visits to Legia Warsaw on matchday 1 and Lech Poznan on matchday 3. KUBA SEWERYN @KubaSeweryn

While the squad may not look the strongest, in Michał Probierz Jaga have a coach who can get the best from them. A mid-table finish is almost certain, but which side of the half-way mark they fall depends on whether they can add a little more quality.

GOALKEEPERS Hubert Gostomski, Krzysztof Karpieszuk, Marian Kelemen, Damian Węglarz.

DEFENDERS Łukasz Burliga, Guti, Michał Koźlik, Emil Łupiński, Mateusz Maliszewski, Paweł Olszewski, Kamil Pajnowski, Ivan Runje, Łukasz Sołowiej, Jonatan Straus, Piotr Tomasik, Marek Wasiluk.

MIDFIELDERS Fedor Cernych, Dmytro Chomchenovskiy, Michał Domański, Kacper Falon, Przemysław Frankowski, Jacek Góralski, Rafał Grzyb, Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Patryk Koncewicz, Karol Mackiewicz, Przemysław Mystkowski, Patryk Niemczynowicz, Mateusz Ostaszewski, Dawid Polkowski, Dominik Prusaczyk, Taras Romanchuk, Damian Szymański, Dariusz Szymonowicz, Jakub Tabor, Konstantin Vassiljev.

STRIKERS Emil Gajko, Bartosz Giełażyn, Maciej Górski, Kacper Piechniak, Karol Świderski.

JagielloniaBialystok1920

@Jagiellonia1920 jagielloniabialystok www.jagiellonia.pl

Established:

1920

Kit Manufacturer:

Errea

First match in top­flight:  

9 August 1987 1­1 v Widzew Łódź

Primary Sponsor:

STAG, Miasto Białystok


ODDS FOR THE TITLE

Konstantin vassiljev 2.80M ZŁ

50/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Legia Warszawa 2/17. Ruch Chorzów 3/18. Lech Poznań

STAR MAN

With 21 goals, 31-year-old Vassiljev sits in fourth on Estonia’s all-time top international goalscorers list, and is showing no sign of stopping just yet. The attacking-midfielder netted seven times for Jaga last season, bettering his five-

MANAGER

goal haul for Piast the year before. Dangerous with the ball anywhere around the box, and deadly within shooting range. But it isn’t just his goals - he made nine assists last season too.

5/20. Wisła Płock 6/21. Lechia Gdańsk 7/22. Górnik Łęczna

CAPTAIN

MICHAŁ PROBIERZ

RAFAŁ GRZYB

After a playing career spent largely in Silesia, Probierz’s most-successful spells in management have been at Jagiellonia. Led the club to both their first trophy, and their first European campaign in 2010.

Entering his fourth season as Jaga captain, 33-year-old Grzyb is still an integral part of Probierz’s side. Only keeper Bartek Drągowski played more than his 3034 minutes last season.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Dmytro Chomchenovskiy (SD Ponferradina), Maciej Górski (Chrobry Głogów), Marian  Kelemen  (MFK Zemplin Michalovce), Ivan Runje (Omonia Lefkossias), Łukasz Sołowiej Zagłębie  Sosnowiec),  Damian Szymański (GKS Bełchatów), Damian Węglarz (Zawisza Bydgoszcz).

Alvarinho (Sląsk Wrocław), Krzysztof Baran  (released),  Bartłomiej Drągowski  (Fiorentina),  Piotr Grzelczak (Gąrnik Łęczna), Sebastian Madera  (Zagłębie  Lubin),  Filip Modelski (released), Matija Sirok (NK Domzale), Igors Tarasovs (Giresenspor).

#JAG

4/19. Arka Gdynia

8/23. Wisła Kraków 9/24. Śląsk Wrocław 10/25. Korona Kielce 11/26. Pogoń Szczecin 12/27. BB. Termalica 13/28. Zagłębie Lubin 14/29. Cracovia 15/30. Piast Gliwice


Last season was simply a write-off for Korona. So much so that their survival wasn’t due to good performances, but rather just playing slightly less poorly that some of the teams around them. It is hard to fathom how, having gone through a spell in late 2015 which saw just three goals in ten games, the Yellow-reds ended-up just a single point from a top-eight spot at the end of the regular season. In reality, it was the form of a select few players in spring - particularly Airam Cabrera,  Bartek  Pawłowski, Vlastimir  Jovanović  and  Kamil Szlwestryak - which did enough to maintain the club’s top flight status for another year. But herein lies Korona’s problem: not one of the aforementioned players will be in Kielce for the new campaign. Just ten of their 39 goals last season were scored by players who remain at the club, leading to questions over who is going to make the difference

HOW THEY’LL FARE

this season. If you thought last year was bad, this one has the potential to be much worse. There are a few rays of sunshine peeking through the bleak clouds: Michał Przybyła and Serhij Pylypchuk remain at the club, and will be important players in the battle for survival. Bartosz Rymaniak and captain Radek Dejmek also provide much continuity at the back, while there are several decent goalkeeping options. But the big question will be whether those players available are good enough as a team to extend their eight-year run in the Ekstraklasa, and the early impressions are not looking good. While a number of good players will pull on the yellow-and-red shirt this season, those lost have created a gap which looks much too big to fill. KAMIL GORAWSKI

One of the more unpredictable sides in the league, it’s difficult to know what to expect of Korona. Plenty of talented players, but have lost several top players. As it stands, a battle to survive could be on the cards.

GOALKEEPERS Maciej Gostomski, Zbigniew Małkowski, Artur Marzec, Michal Peskovic.

DEFENDERS Adrian Bednarski, Radek Dejmek, Elhadji Pape Diaw, Vladislav Gabovs, Ken Kallaste, Piotr Rogala, Bartosz Rymaniak, Dmitrij Vyerchovcov, Michał Wrześniewski.

korona.kielce.oficjalna @Korona_Kielce koronakielce www.korona-kielce.pl

MIDFIELDERS Nabil Aankour, Mercin Cebula, Rafał Grzelak, Jakub Kotarzewski, Bartosz Kwiecień, Vanja Marković, Kamil Matulka, Michał Mokrzycki, Mateusz Możdżeń, Serhij Pylypchuk, Mariusz Rybicki, Paweł Sobolewski, Charlie Trafford, Adrian Uniat, Tomasz Zając.

STRIKERS Hubert Laskowski, Michał Przybyła, Łukasz Sekulski.

Established:

1973

Kit Manufacturer:

Hummel

First match in top-flight:

26 July 2005 0-0 v Cracovia

Primary Sponsor:

Lewiatan


MANAGER

CAPTAIN

TOMASZ WILMAN

RADEK DEJMEK

Another coach in his first managerial role, having taken the reigns from Marcin Brosz at the end of May. Completed an internship at Fulham, and now working towards his UEFA Pro License.

The Czech defender arrived in Kielce in 2013, after spells in Prague, Liberec and Pribram. Signed a new two-year deal in the summer, and was rewarded with the captaincy, replacing Płock­bound Kamil Sylwestrzak.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Maciej Gostomski (Glasgow Rangers), Ken Kallaste (Górnik Zabrze), Mateusz Możdżeń  (Podbeskidzie Bielsko­Biała),  Michal  Pesković  (no club), Mariusz Rybicki (Pogoń Siedlce).

Airam Cabrera (released), Aleksandrs Fertovs (released),  Vlastimir  Jovanović (Bruk­Bet Termalica Nieciecza), Bartłomiej Pawłowski  (Lechia  Gdańsk),  Łukasz Sierpina  (Podbeskidzie  Bielsko­Biała), Kamil  Sylwestrzak  (Wisła  Płock),  Dariusz Trela (Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza), Maciej Zalęcki (Kotwica Kołobrzeg), Adam Zawierucha (Stal Stalowa Wola).

100/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Zagłębie Lubin 2/17. Pogoń Szczecin 3/18. Piast Gliwice 4/19. Lech Poznań 5/20. Lechia Gdańsk 6/21. Wisła Kraków

STAR MAN The French-Moroccan midfielder doesn’t score goals - his failure to hit the net in two seasons at Korona testify to that. However in those two years he has been the Yellow-and-reds’ most consistent player in terms of assists - with three in 2014/15, and then four in 2015/16. It may not sound many, but it is the best in a team which doesn’t score a lot of goals. The 22-year-old, who could still be classed as “one for the future”, came through the youth system at French side Bastia, and made numerous appearances for their B side before his move to Poland. Signed a one-year contract extension in April, which will keep him at the club until the end of the campaign. If he can help Korona avoid the drop, his stock will increase dramatically.

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

7/22. Wisła Płock 8/23. Arka Gdynia 9/24. Górnik Łęczna 10/25. Jagiellonia B. 11/26. Cracovia 12/27. Śląsk Wrocław 13/28. Ruch Chorzów 14/29.Legia Warszawa

Nabil Aankour 1.90M ZŁ

#KOR

15/30. BB. Termalica


“If no one else will say it, I will: we’re aiming to be champions of Poland.” Lech Poznan coach Jan Urban declared a week before the season kicks off. After what can only be described as a disastrous title defense last season, Lech are looking to use this upcoming season to return to their place as one of the two top teams in Poland. Without any European competitions to distract them, they have the opportunity to focus solely on the Ekstraklasa and to make a deep run in the Polish Cup.

Poland’s Euro 2016 squad, Hungarian Tamas Kadar, and Finnish defender Paulus Arajuuri will leave in the summer transfer window. With the midfield reinforced, the biggest question marks are around Lech’s defense and strikers. It may take some time for this squad to gel, but at the very least, there is an expectation that they will return to Europa League qualifying next year at the bare minimum.

KUBA KRZYŻOSTANIAK Lech have brought in four players so @KubaLech far: Goalkeeper Matus Putnocky, Defender Lasse Nielsen, and midfielders Mateusz Makuszewski and Radoslaw Majewski - all joining on free transfers. It is however expected that Karol Linetty, who was part of

HOW THEY’LL FARE

They simply must do better this year, and the Super Cup win is a good base. Last term was full of instability, so a good start is of paramount importance. No European competition this year either, so no excuses.

GOALKEEPERS Jasmin Burić, Mateusz Lis, Miłosz Mleczko, Bartosz Mrozek, Matus Putnocky.

DEFENDERS Paulus Arajuuri, Jan Bednarek, Kebba Ceesay, Tomasz Dejewski, Robert Gumny, Tamas Kadar, Tomasz Kędziora, Lasse Nielsen, Maciej Wilusz.

MIDFIELDERS Dariusz Dudka, Dariusz Formella, Maciej Gajos, Darko Jevtić, Kamil Jóźwiak, Karol Linetty, Radosław Majewski, Maciej Makuszewski, Szymon Pawłowski, Abdul Aziz Tetteh, Łukasz Trałka.

STRIKERS Nicki Bille Nielsen, Dawid Kownacki, Marcin Robak.

lechpoznan.oficjalna @lechpoznan lechpoznan1922 www.lechpoznan.pl

Established:

1922

Kit Manufacturer:

Nike

First match in top­flight:  

14 March 1948 3­4 v Widzew Łódź

Primary Sponsor:

STS Buchmakerskie


MANAGER

CAPTAIN

JAN URBAN

ŁUKASZ TRAŁKA

Five-time Championship winner (thrice as a player with Górnik Zabrze, and twice as manager with Legia), who has also spent time in Spain. Managed Osasuna before returning to Poland in October 2015.

After signing from Polonia Warsaw for €100,000 in  2012,  Trałka  eventually lifted the first trophy of his career with the 2015 Championship, after successive silver medals. Has since won a pair of Super Cups.

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

6/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Jan Bednarek  (Górnik  Łęczna), Dariusz Formella (Arka Gdynia), Radosław  Majewski  (AS  Veria), Maciej Makuszewski (Vitoria Setubal), Lasse Nielsen (Odense BK), Matus Putnocky (Ruch Chorzów).

Marcin Kamiński (VfB Stuttgart), Krzysztof Kotorowski (end of career), Piotr Kurbiel (Pogoń  Siedlce),  Mateusz  Lis (Podbeskidzie  Bielsko­Biała),  Gergo Lovrencsics (Ferencvaros), Adam Makuchowski (ROW 1964 Rybnik). Krystian Sanocki (MKS Kluczbork), Sisi (released), Vladimir Volkov (released), Niklas Zulciak (released).

1/16. Śląsk Wrocław 2/17. Zagłębie Lubin 3/18. Jagiellonia B. 4/19. Korona Kielce 5/20. Cracovia 6/21. BB. Termalica

STAR MAN

7/22. Piast Gliwice 8/23. Pogoń Szczecin

A free transfer from Zagłębie Lubin ahead of the 2013/14 season, midfielder  Pawłowski  has  proven to be an absolute steal for the Kolejorz. His nine goals and ten assists were integral as Lech lifted the Ekstraklasa title in the 2014/15 season, and he managed a further six goals and three assists last season, despite the club’s stuttering campaign. With Lech’s storming Superpuchar victory perhaps setting the tone for their season, Pawłowski can shine. Although right-footed, his best football seems to be played on the left side as an inverted winger. It is from here he has the fantastic ability to place a pinpoint cross, or even fire a stunner into the top corner.

9/24. Lechia Gdańsk 10/25. Arka Gdynia 11/26. Górnik Łęczna 12/27. Wisła Kraków

Szymon PAWŁowski 3.30M ZŁ

#LPO

13/28. Legia Warszawa 14/29. Wisła Płock 15/30. Ruch Chorzów


After finishing one place outside of the European places for 3 years in a row the aim for Lechia Gdańsk this season must be clear – continental football.

last season in that regard. The other thing required is the patience of the owners, who since taking over in 2014 have already hired six managers.

Last term the team played some attractive football after crawling from the lower reaches of the table to 5th place. That was when manager Piotr Nowak took over. Nowak was a remarkable playmaker himself with Polish national side, 1860 Munich, Chicago Fire then went to become a successful coach in the US. He was fired by Philadelphia Union amid a scandal concerning mistreatment of players - on one occasion even making them run in the heat without giving water.

So far, contrary to previous season breaks, the transfer rollercoaster has not been put on a wild spinning mode, and only two additions have been made: the offense boosted  by  Rafał  Wolski  from Fiorentina, while Bulgarian Milen Gamakov from Botev Plovdiv will strengthen defensive lines. Marco Paixao has returned from injury and will feel like a new addition too with his twin Flavio impressing last season.

There were fears over how he’d adapt after years living far from Poland, but he did more than well. He found a common language with the Balkan contingent with ex-Juventus player Milos Krasic as well as Polish internationals Jakub Wawrzyniak, Sławomir Peszko  and  Sebastian  Mila. What’s more he introduced a 3-5-2 system that clicked almost straightaway. One thing that is to be improved is their away form, as Lechia were worst team

HOW THEY’LL FARE

If the team plays well the Gdańsk Energa stadium will fill. It had an average attendance of around 13,000 last season - not bad, but it didn’t look good in a 40,000-capacity ground built especially for Euro 2012. It is however certain that at least one game will be nearly sold out, as with the promotion of Arka Gdynia, the Tri-city derby returns after 6 year break. MACIEJ SŁOMIŃSKI @MaciejSlominski

We say the same every year with Lechia: “with the squad they have, they should be challenging for Europe”. We’ve been let-down in the past, but expectations this season should be no different.

GOALKEEPERS Mateusz Bąk, Łukasz Budziłek, Marko Marić, Vanja Milinković­Savić, Damian Podleśny.

DEFENDERS Adam Chrzanowski, Adam Dźwigała, Gerson, Rafał Janicki, Mi;osy Kalahur, Mario Maloca, Paweł Stolarski, Jakub Wawrzyniak, Grzegorz Wojtkowiak.

MIDFIELDERS

LechiaGdansk @LechiaGdanskSA lechia_gdansk www.lechia.pl

Michał Chrapek, Flavio Paixao, Milen Gamakov, Lukas Haraslin, Martin Kobylański, Aleksandar Kovacevic, Milos Krasić, Juliusy Letniowski, Daniel Łukasik, Michał Mak, Sebastian Mila, Bartłomiej Pawłowski, Sławomir Peszko, Piotr Wiśniewski, Rafał Wolski.

STRIKERS Adam Buksa, Adam Gołuński, Grzegorz Kuświk, Marco Paixao, Michał Żebrakowski.

Established:

1945

Kit Manufacturer:

New Balance

First match in top-flight:

20 March 1949 5-1 v Cracovia

Primary Sponsor:

ETL


ODDS FOR THE TITLE

Flavio Paixao 3.10m zŁ

10/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Wisła Płock 2/17. Górnik Łęczna 3/18. Wisła Kraków

STAR MAN

Lechia have no shortage of third in the Canadian talented players, but Classification with 11 goals Portuguese star Paixao is and eight assists. on another level. His The forward has had transfer from  Śląsk something of a nomadic Wrocław was an inevitability career to date, having spent after his twin Marco signed time in Iran, Scotland and at the start of the year, and Spain before settling in he finished the campaign Poland.

MANAGER

CAPTAIN

PIOTR NOWAK

SEBASTIAN MILA

Despite 19 caps for Poland, his managerial career has been spent largely in the USA. Was an assistant to National Team coach Bob Bradley, and recipient of the Polish Order of Merit.

He may never have made it outside of Poland, but Mila will be forever remembered for some of his goals notably a free-kick versus Man City whilst playing for Dyskobolia, and a stunner which helped Poland to a first-ever victory over Germany.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

4/19. Śląsk Wrocław 5/20. Korona Kielce 6/21. Jagiellonia B. 7/22. BB. Termalica 8/23. Cracovia 9/24. Lech Poznań 10/25. Ruch Chorzów 11/26. Legia Warszawa 12/27. Zagłębie Lubin 13/28. Piast Gliwice 14/29. Arka Gdynia

Milen Gamakov (Botev Plovdiv), Przemysław Macierzyński (SL Benfica Bartłomiej Pawłowski (Korona Kielce), B),  Neven  Marković  (released), Damian Podlesny (Chojniczanka Rudnilson (released). Chojnice),  Rafał  Wolski  (Wisła Kraków).

#LGD

15/30. Pogoń Szczecin


Having won both the Ekstraklasa title and the Polish Cup in their centenary year, Legia Warszawa look poised to continue the celebrations in Europe thanks to a large co-efficient obtained during the course of the past few seasons. However, all is not rosy in Warsaw.

Nikolić could join Artur Jędrzejczyk on their way out of the club following their eye-catching performances. With Ariel Borysiuk already sold to QPR and first-team transfers remaining nebulous, many in Warsaw are beginning to consider the club's push for the mythical group stage of Champions League a marketing The decision to part ways with the ploy more than a real goal for the likeable bear of a manager, Stanis- coming season. lav Cherchesov still grates with many, even though his replacement Legia fans are hoping that the Sum- the Albanian Besnik Hasi - boasts mer of Uncertainty doesn't turn into good credentials, having worked in a Winter of Discontent... various roles at Belgian powerhouses Anderlecht. He remains some- KUBA ŻYWKO thing of a wildcard in Warsaw, @Garm1981 though - as does the squad. All five of Legia players at Euro 2016 have progressed past the group stage, and  there  are  fears  that  Michał Pazdan, Ondrej Duda, and Nemanja

HOW THEY’LL FARE

Champions - there should be no other aim. Despite a new manager, and undoubted attempts from abroad to steal their better players, they are still the strongest team in Poland. Hopefully though they won’t suffer a European hangover this year.

GOALKEEPERS Maciej Bąbel, Radosław Cierzniak, Radosław Majecki, Arkadiusz Malarz.

DEFENDERS Bartosz Bereszyński, Łukasz Broź, Tomasz Brzyski, Adam Hlousek, Igor Lewczuk, Michał Pazdan, Jakub Rzeźniczak Mateusz Wieteska.

MIDFIELDERS Michail Aleksandrov, Ondrej Duda, Guilherme, Kasper Hamalainen, Tomasz Jodłowiec, Michał Kopczyński, Jakub Kosecki, Michał Kucharczyk, Rafał Makowski, Thibault Moulin, Tomasz Nowotka, Sebastian Szymański, Stojan Vranjes.

LegiaWarszawa @LegiaWarszawa

STRIKERS

legiawarszawa

Jarosław Niezgoda, Nemanja Nikolić, Aleksander Prijović., Adam Ryczkowski, Sadam Sulley.

www.legia.com

Established:

1916

Kit Manufacturer:

Adidas

First match in top-flight:

3 April 1927 1-4 v Warszawianka

Primary Sponsor:

Fortuna


Nemanja Nikolic 4.20M ZŁ

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

3/5 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Jagiellonia B. 2/17. Śląsk Wrocław 3/18. Wisła Płock

STAR MAN

How every team in the Ekstraklasa would love to have a Nemanja Nikolić in their team… His record in Poland is something to behold - 28 goals and 10 assists in 37 games. But it is far from a one-off, as his previous

record for Hungarian clubs Kaposvar and Videoton can testify. Lethal in front of goal, the last thing any keeper will want to see is the Magyar international bearing down on them. You’d bet your house on him to score.

MANAGER

CAPTAIN

BESNIK HASI

JAKUB RZEŹNICZAK

Ex-Albanian centre-back Hasi is a newcomer to the Ekstraklasa, replacing Russian Stanislav Cherchesov. His only previous managerial experience was a twoyear stint at Belgian club Anderlecht.

After an injury to Ivica Vrdoljak, Rzeźniczak ­ at the club since the age of 18 - was the only choice to take the armband. With 4 Polish titles, 6 Polish cups and a Super Cup, he is already the mostsuccessful Legia player in their history.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Konrad Handzlik  (Wisła  Kraków), Jakub Kosecki (SV Sandhausen), Thibault Moulin (Waasland-Beveren), Sadam Sulley (Vision FC).

Ariel Borysiuk (Queens Park Rangers), Branimir Galić  (released),  Artur Jędrzejczyk  (FK  Krasnodar),  Michał Masłowski  (Piast  Gliwice),  Marek Saganowski (released), Jakub Szumski (released), Ivica Vrdoljak (released).

#LEG

4/19. Piast Gliwice 5/20. Górnik Łęczna 6/21. Arka Gdynia 7/22. Ruch Chorzów 8/23. BB. Termalica 9/24. Zagłębie Lubin 10/25. Wisła Kraków 11/26. Lechia Gdańsk 12/27. Pogoń Szczecin 13/28. Lech Poznań 14/29. Korona Kielce 15/30. Cracovia


Ahead of the 2015-16 season, if someone had said that Piast Gliwice would be challenging for the Ekstraklasa title – that someone would have been labelled a mad man. But the team, managed by Radoslav Latal, surprised everyone and recorded their best season in the clubs 71-year history, finishing second - two points behind champions Legia Warszawa. Piast topped the table for 19 gameweeks, recorded 20 victories and lost only eight , one times. Unfortunately for the of those losses came to Legia with three games to go, which put their title bid to bed. After two seasons of relegation battles, Piast finished runners-up and collected some fine accolades at the season-ending Ekstraklasa Gala: Coach of the season Radoslav Latal, Best goalkeeper Jakub Szmatuła and  Best  defender  Patrik  Mraz. Those three are still with the club heading into the new season, but Kamil Vacek, the elegant midfielder who pulled the strings (5 goals, 11 assists) and was a big part of the success last season, looks to be heading somewhere else. The Czech was on loan with an option to buy, which Piast had looked to do during the summer, but Vacek hasn’t returned and is now training back in his homeland.

HOW THEY’LL FARE

Vacek’s compatriot Martin Nešpor, who scored 11 goals last season, has also left the club. Piast were hoping to re-sign the player, another also on loan, but the negotiations broke down and Latal must now find a new striker to partner Josip Barišić (11 goals) up top. The defence however has been bolstered, by Lithuanian international Edvinas Girdvainis and Serbian Aleksandar Sedlar, an area Latal wanted to improve after allowing 45 goals in 37 games. The aim for the blue-and-red is to finish in the Top 8 and advance to the Championship Group. Latal has said it will be more difficult this year as opponents are aware of their capability. The Czech master also wants Piast to fight on all fronts this season; Ekstraklasa, Polish Cup and in Europe. The Europa League qualifiers are just around the corner, but according to Latal the squad is ready for the challenges that lie ahead in the new season. The gaps left by Vacek and Nešpor must however be filled if Piast Gliwice want to come close to the success of last year. THOMAS PITURA @PituraThomas

Last season’s runners-up spot was a one-off, surely. However they have a good team ethic, and are unlikely to be involved in Europe for too long, so who knows? Maybe they can surprise us all again.

GOALKEEPERS Jakub Freitag, Dobrivoj Rusov, Jakub Szmatuła.

DEFENDERS Edvinas Girdvainis, Hebert, Uros Korun, Tomasz Mokwa, Paweł Moskwik, Patrik Mraz, Marcin Pietrowski, Aleksandar Sedlar.

PiastGliwice @PiastGliwiceSA piastgliwicesa www.piast-gliwice.eu

MIDFIELDERS Gerard Badia, Dominik Budzik, Martin Bukata, Marcin Flis, Maciej Jankowski, Mateusz Mak, Michał Masłowski, Radosław Murawski, Igor Sapała, Bartosz Szeliga, Sasa Zivec.

STRIKERS Josip Barisić.

Established:

1945

Kit Manufacturer:

Joma

First match in top-flight:

9 August 2008 2-0 v Cracovia

Primary Sponsor:

eToto Miasto Gliwice


MANAGER

CAPTAIN

RADOSLAV LATAL

RADOSŁAW MURAWSKI

The Czech is most-famed for having been sent-off by Pierluigi Collina in a Euro 2000 game against Netherlands, despite having already been substituted. Guided Piast to their highest ever finish in 2016.

Aged just 22, Murawski is the youngest captain in the Ekstraklasa by some distance. A Piast youth graduate, the attacking midfielder has garnered massive praise for his role in Piast’s successes.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Marcin Flis (GKS Katowice), Jakub Freitag (reserves), Edvinas Girdvainis (Marbella), Michał Masłowski (Legia Warszawa), Aleksandar Sedlar (FK Metalac).

Patrick Dytko (SSVg Velbert 02), Patryk Dziczek (released), Kristijan Ipsa (released), Arturs Karasausks (released), Jakub Kuzdra (Polonia Bytom), Piotr Kwaśniewski (MKS  Kluczbork),  Rafał Leszczyński  (Podbeskidzie  Bielsko­Biała), Martin Nespor (released), Kornel Osyra (Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza), Kamil Vacek (released).

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

40/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Cracovia 2/17. Wisła Płock 3/18. Korona Kielce 4/19. Legia Warszawa 5/20. Zagłębie Lubin

STAR MAN Only one player scored more assists than the Slovakian’s 11 last season - an impressive feat for a defender. The marauding left-back also chipped-in with three goals to help Piast to their surprise runnersup spot. Mraz’s first spell in Poland didn’t go too well, leaving Śląsk Wrocław in controversy just eleven months after signing from MSK Zilina. But following short spells at FK Senica and  Górnik  Łęczna,  he  has  found his place in Upper Silesia. Voted as the best defender in the Ekstraklasa last season by his fellow players, Mraz has more than enough about him to continue his form. If he is able to, then Piast will reap the benefits, and we may even be talking about him as a possible Slovak international.

6/21. Pogoń Szczecin

Patrik Mraz 3.00M ZŁ

#PIA

7/22. Lech Poznań 8/23. Górnik Łęczna 9/24. Wisła Kraków 10/25. Śląsk Wrocław 11/26. Arka Gdynia 12/27. Ruch Chorzów 13/28. Lechia Gdańsk 14/29. BB. Termalica 15/30. Jagiellonia B.


Sixth place was maybe a little harsh after a regular season which saw us finish on the podium, but an inability to win games away from home in the Championship Group proved that Pogoń weren’t quite good enough to challenge for a place in Europe. It is a shame, as coach Czesław Michniewicz had assembled a team which played without fear for much of the campaign, but just lacked quality in certain areas at times. Now Michniewicz has moved on, and in his place Kazimierz Moskal will try to achieve success where his predecessor failed. He’ll be helped by much the same squad, with only a couple moving on to new adventures; while the several players signed will help to add depth to what was a fairly thin squad - even if they do not look at first glance to be particularly inspiring. The arrival of David Niepsuj (young right-back from Germany) and Spas

HOW THEY’LL FARE

Delev (a Bulgarian striker with six goals in three years) don’t offer much cause for optimism, however the acquisition of Kamil Drygas from Zawisza Bydgoszcz could be interesting. He scored 14 times in the Pierwsza Liga last season, and goals from him could prove to be a boost. But rather than signings, it is the retained players which provide Pogoń with their best chance of progression: defenders Jakub Czerwiński and Jarek Fojut, midfielders Takafumi Akahoski and  Rafał  Murawski,  and  of  course goalscorer Łukasz Zwoliński. Moskal need only make a few tweaks to the tactics, and if he can do so correctly, European football for the first time in 15 years could be a possibility. DAWID MAŁACHOWSKI

Last season’s draw specialists, drawing 17 of their 37 games. They can score in games, but they can also concede, so a mid-table finish seems the most-obvious prediction.

GOALKEEPERS Adrian Henger, Radosław Janukiewicz, Dawid Kudła, Bartosz Piotrowski, Jakub Słowik.

DEFENDERS Jakub Czerwiński, Jarosław Fojut, Adam Frączczak, Mateusz Lewandowski, Hubert Matynia, Sebastian Murawski, David Niepsuj, Ricardo Nunes, Sebastian Rudol, Michał Stańczyk.

MIDFIELDERS Takafumi Akahoshi, Karol Danielak, Spas Delev, Kamil Drygas, Adam Gyurcso, Dawid Kort, Mateusz Matras, Rafał Murawski, Robert Obst, Jakub Piotrowski, Michał Walski.

PogonSA @PogonSzczecin pogonszczecinsa

STRIKERS Seiya Kitano,  Filip Kozłowski, Marcin Listkowski, Łukasz Zwoliński.

www.pogonszczecin.pl

Established:

1945

Kit Manufacturer:

Zina

First match in top-flight:

15 March 1959

Primary Sponsor:

Grupa Azoty, ZCh Police S.A.

0-1 v Gwardia Warszawa


MANAGER

CAPTAIN

KAZIMIERZ MOSKAL

RAFAŁ MURAWSKI

Long­associated with  Wisła,  Moskal replaced  Czesław  Michniewicz  last month for his first topflight role away from Kraków. Capped six times as a player for the national team, scoring one goal.

The former Lech Poznań and Rubin Kazan midfielder is now well into his third year at Pogoń after signing on a free. Made his Poland debut in 2006, playing a total of 48 times, including all three games at Euro 2012, and twice at Euro 2008.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

50/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Wisła Kraków Karol Danielak (Zawisza Bydgoszcz), Vladimir Dvalishvili (Dinamo Tbilisi), Spas Delev (Beroe Stara Zagora), Miłosz Przybecki (Ruch Chorzów). Kamil Drygas (Zawisza Bydgoszcz), Radosław  Janukiewicz  (Górnik Zabrze), Seiya Kitano (reserves), Filip Kozłowski (Rozwój Katowice), David Niepsuj (VfL Bochum).

2/17. Korona Kielce 3/18. Śląsk Wrocław 4/19. Zagłębie Lubin 5/20. BB. Termalica 6/21. Piast Gliwice

STAR MAN For the last two seasons the former Arka Gdynia  and  Górnik  Łęczna loanee has been the Portowcy’s top-scorer in the league, and of all their current attacking options he is best-placed to do so again. Sporting the number 93 shirt in reference to his year of birth, Zwolinski netted 12 times in 2014/15, and on another eight occasions last term. Tricky footwork is an important part of his game, but he backs it up by doing the dirty work. His strength in particular is an asset, and at 6-feet tall he is an imposing figure in the penalty area. Zwolinski may be having the time of his life playing for his hometown club, but another strong season could see him moving on to pastures new in the near future.

7/22. Cracovia 8/23. Lech Poznań 9/24. Wisła Płock

Łukasz Zwolinski 2.50M ZŁ

#POG

10/25. Górnik Łęczna 11/26. Jagiellonia B. 12/27.Legia Warszawa 13/28. Arka Gdynia 14/29. Ruch Chorzów 15/30. Lechia Gdańsk


The 2015-16 season was one of ups and downs for Ruch. On the plus side they played some excellent attacking football and brought through a number of exciting young talents (Patryk Lipski,  Kamil  Mazek,  Łukasz Moneta, Mariusz Stępiński) but on the other hand played rather chaotically in defence and completely collapsed after just barely scraping into the Ekstraklasa’s top eight. The season ahead looks rather similar for Ruch – with no quality additions to the defence (left-back Adam Pazio can hardly be considered a decent defender) and some nice additions to the attack – the return of experienced winger  Piotr  Ćwielong  after  seven years awaty could be a master-stroke, and the addition of young striker Jakub Arak could work out well. Ruch’s key players will continue to be the very talented ball-playing midfielder Lipski, someone who could go far if he keeps up the performances

HOW THEY’LL FARE

of last season, the evergreen Łukasz Surma – who at 39 is still very capable of organising a midfield, and striker Stępiński,  whose  15  goals  in  2015­6 earned a call-up to Poland’s Euro 2016 squad and the attention of several large foreign clubs. Ruch’s aim for 2016-7 has to be another top eight finish – and with experienced manager Waldemar Fornalik at the helm – this looks just about attainable. CHRIS LASH @rightbankwarsaw

For the last six seasons Ruch have alternated between top- and bottom-half finishes. This season, they are down for the latter. Some good players, but a lack-of-depth in some spots is worrying.

GOALKEEPERS Kamil Lech, Jakub Miszczuk, Wojciech Skaba.

DEFENDERS Mateusz Cichocki, Rafał Grodzicki, Michał Helik, Michał Koj, Martin Konczkowski, Paweł Oleksy, Adam Pazio.

ruchchorzow @ruchchorzow1920 ruchchorzow1920 www.ruchchorzow.com.pl

MIDFIELDERS Przemysław Bargiel, Piotr Ćwielong, Łukasz Hanzel, Maciej Iwański, Patryk Lipski, Kamil Mazek, Łukasz Moneta, Miłosz Przybecki, Łukasz Surma, Miłosz Trojak, Maciej Urbańczyk.

STRIKERS Jakub Arak, Michał Efir, Lukasz Siedlik, Mariusz Stępiński.

Established:

1920

Kit Manufacturer:

Adidas

First match in top-flight:

3 April 1927 0-7 v 1.FC Katowice

Primary Sponsor:  

Węglokoks


ODDS FOR THE TITLE

Mariusz Stepinski 3.00M ZŁ

150/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Górnik Łęczna 2/17. Jagiellonia B. 3/18. Arka Gdynia

STAR MAN

At only 21-years-of-age, Stępiński is already proving to be one of the sparks in a very bright future for Polish football. Although questions had been raised following a disappointing loan spell at Wisła  Kraków,  Stępiński answered them all last

MANAGER

season in Chorzów with fifteen goals in 34 games. A Polish international at multiple age-groups, it surely won’t be long until he adds to his three fullinternational caps. Another good year and he could earn another chance abroad too.

CAPTAIN

WALDEMAR FORNALIK

RAFAŁ GRODZICKI

Back in Chorzów for a second spell after an unsuccessful 15 months with the national team. As a defender played 233 times for the club in a 12-year stint, helping to win the club’s last title in 1989.

Grodzicki is in his second spell at Ruch, having previously played there between 2008 and 2012. Twice Polish vice-champion, threetime Polish Cup finalist, and runner-up in both the Ekstraklasa Cup and Super Cup. All without lifting a trophy.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Jakub Arak  (Zagłębie  Sosnowiec), Piotr Ćwielong (VfL Bochum), Jakub Miszczuk (Arka Gdynia), Adam Pazio (Podbeskidzie  Bielsko­Biała),  Miłosz Przybecki (Pogoń Szczecin).

Konrad Korczyński  (released),  Artur Lenartowski (released), Tomasz Podgórski (Podbeskidzie BielskoBiała),  Matus  Putnocky  (Lech Poznań),  Adam  Setla  (released), Marek Szyndrowski (released), Kamil Włodyka (released), Marek Zieńczuk (released).

#RCH

4/19. Wisła Płock 5/20. Wisła Kraków 6/21. Cracovia 7/22. Legia Warszawa 8/23. Śląsk Wrocław 9/24. BB. Termalica 10/25. Lechia Gdańsk 11/26. Zagłębie Lubin 12/27. Piast Gliwice 13/28. Korona Kielce 14/29. Pogoń Szczecin 15/30. Lech Poznań


After a  very  poor  last  season,  Śląsk Wrocław would like to fight for some­ thing more than just remaining in the Ekstraklasa. However these plans may remain just a dream, largely because the owners - the city of Wrocław  ­  have  no  money  available for transfers. It is still unknown whether the city government will eventually sell the club, and this uncertainly has been reflected in the team. In June, the club sanctioned the exits of defender Dudu (Apollon Limassol), goalkeeper Mateusz Abramowicz (end of contract) and midfielders Tomasz Hołota (Arminia Bielefeld), Tom Hateley (most likely Glasgow Rangers) and Marcel Gecov (possibly ending his career). In their place, they bought in goalkeeper Lubos Kamenar, defender Augusto Pereira Loureiro, midfielders Adrian Łyszczarz and Alvarinho,  while

HOW THEY’LL FARE

Łukasz Madej  returned  to  the  club following relegation with Górnik Zabrze. There are still also uncertainties over whether Wrocław will continue to be home to both Robert Pich and Bence Mervo, who last season presented themselves well in the green shirt. Local media said that the club will do everything possible to buy Mervo, and if not, would settle for a return on loan. But in the end it probably won’t matter - another relegation battle looks a strong possibility.

MATEUSZ DZIOPA @Mateusz_Dziopa

Lots of experience within the squad, but drastically underperformed last term. Need more goals in the regular season this time. If they can manage that, a top-eight finish could be on the cards.

GOALKEEPERS Lubos Kamenar, Mariusz Pawełek.

DEFENDERS Augusto, Piotr Celeban, Kamil Dankowski, Lasha Dvali, Adam Kokoszka, Mariusz Pawelec, Łukasz Wiech, Paweł Zieliński.

MIDFIELDERS Alvarinho, Filipe Goncalves, Andras Gosztonyi, Peter Grajciar, Jacek Kiełb, Łukasz Madej, Maciej Matusik, Ryota Morioka, Róbert Pich, Ostoya Stjepanović, Wiktor Żytek.

STRIKERS Kamil Biliński, Mariusz Idzik, Bence Mervo.

slaskwroclawpl @SlaskWroclawPl slaskwroclaw.pl www.slaskwroclaw.pl

Established:

1946

Kit Manufacturer:

Adidas

First match in top-flight:

16 August 1964 0-3 v Szombierki Bytom

Primary Sponsor:

-


ODDS FOR THE TITLE

Ryota Morioka 3.00M ZŁ

40/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

1/16. Lech Poznań 2/17. Legia Warszawa 3/18. Pogoń Szczecin

STAR MAN

Two-time Japanese international Morioka was a relative unknown upon his arrival from J1-League club Vissel Kobe, but if he continues on from his first season in  Wrocław,  he won’t be for much longer. Despite playing less than

half of the season, his seven goals put him as Śląsk’s top  scorer  for  the campaign, and made him an instant fan-favourite in Lower Silesia. Watch-out for his excellent close ball-control, as well as his great finishing ability.

MANAGER

CAPTAIN

MARIUSZ RUMAK

PIOTR CELEBAN

After successive second-placed finishes with Lech  Poznań,  Rumak  was dismissed early in the 2014/15 season. Then saw his Zawisza Bydgoszcz side relegated the same season.

Returned for a third spell in Wrocław in 2014, having spent a few years in Romania. Was a part of the  Śląsk team which lifted the Ekstraklasa title in 2012, and has made 10 appearances for Poland.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

Alvarinho (Jagiellonia  Białystok), Augusto (US Creteil Lusitanos), Filipe Goncalves (Moreirense), Lubos Kamenar  (Spartak  Trnava),  Łukasz Madej (Górnik Zabrze), Ostoja Stjepanović (AEL Limassol).

Mateusz Abramowicz (GKS Katowice), Michał Bartkowiak  (released),  Dudu Paraiba (Apollon FC), Marcel Gecov (released), Tom Hateley (released), Tomasz Hołota (Arminia Bielefeld), Konrad Kaczmarek (released), Krzysztof Ostrowski (released),  Maciej  Pałaszewski  (Raków Częstochowa), Ihor Tyshchenko (released), Jakub Wrąbel (Olimpia Grudziądz).

4/19. Lechia Gdańsk 5/20. Arka Gdynia 6/21. Wisła Płock 7/22. Wisła Kraków 8/23. Ruch Chorzów 9/24. Jagiellonia B. 10/25. Piast Gliwice 11/26. BB. Termalica 12/27. Korona Kielce 13/28. Cracovia 14/29. Górnik Łęczna 15/30. Zagłębie Lubin


Wisła Krakow  will  be  hoping  for  vast improvement after a hugely disappointing season in which they failed to even make the top half of the table during a turbulent time which saw the club play under three different permanent managers. After a poor start to the 2015/16 season manager Kazimierz Moskal was relieved of his duties two games before the end of the autumn round, to be replaced by Tadeusz  Pawłowski  whose  tenure bizarrely lasted only the first three games of the spring round. With the club looking nervously over their shoulder at the relegation zone after a disastrous run of form, they made the bold move to appoint Dariusz Wdowczyk, in what was the former Legia defender’s first job since a much publicised match fixing scandal which saw him handed a three year ban. Despite not being a popular move amongst everybody, results soon turned around and almost saw them sneak into the championship round on the last day of the regular season. Despite the disaster of 2015/16 there is

HOW THEY’LL FARE

much cause for optimism for the White Star, as towards the end of the season it appeared Wdowczyk had restored a lot of confidence amongst the squad which had been severely lacking under the previous coaches. January signings Zdenek Ondrasek and the returning Patryk Małecki also  impressed  and  played  a pivotal role in the vast improvement towards the end of the season. Małecki in particular beginning to look more like the player who was so highly rated in his younger years. And whilst the club missed out on their number one transfer target, former Fiorentina loanee Rafal Wolski who eventually signed for Lechia Gdańsk,  they  have  strengthened  by bringing in forward Mateusz Zachara from Chinese side Henan Jianye, as well as full back Adam Móyta from Podbeskidzie. Anything less than a top half finish will be a disaster for the club this year, with many hoping they could turn out to be the dark horses. STUART WARREN @StuartWarren10

Another side who need to improve. Wdowczyk had them playing good football late in the season, and they have experience and talent in equal measure. Anything less than top-six will be a disappointment.

GOALKEEPERS Michał Buchalik, Michał Miśkiewicz, Mateusz Zając.

DEFENDERS Jakub Bartosz, Michał Czekaj, Arkadiusz Głowacki, Richard Guzmics, Boban Jović, Krystian Kujawa, Adam Mójta, Rafał Pietrzak, Maciej Sadlok, Szymon Witek, Piotr Żemło.

WislaKrakow @WislaKrakowSA wislakrakowsa www.wisla.krakow.pl

MIDFIELDERS Rafał Boguski, Petar Brlek, Tomasz Cywka, Wilde­Donald Guerrier, Grzegorz Gulczyński, Patryk Małecki, Krzysztof Mączyński, Jakub Mordec, Denis Popović, Alan Uryga, Oskar Wąsikowski.

STRIKERS Paweł Brożek, Krzysztof Drzazga, Zdenek Ondrasek, Adrian Wójcik, Mateusz Zachara. Established:

1906

Kit Manufacturer:

Adidas

First match in top-flight:

3 April 1927 4-0 v Jutrzenka Kraków

Primary Sponsor:

Telefonika


MANAGER

CAPTAIN

DARIUSZ WDOWCZYK

ARKADIUSZ GŁOWACKI

Perhaps familiar to some British fans, the former Reading and Celtic full-back is now better-known in Poland for his role in the country’s corruption scandal. Back in management after a spell at Pogoń Szczecin.

Now aged  37,  Głowacki  has  spent almost three-quarters of his playing career associated with Wisła,  making  316 appearances in the process. Played at both the World Cup in 2002, and Euro 2012.

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

20/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT 1/16. Pogoń Szczecin

Adam Mójta (Podbeskidzie Bielsko- Vitaliy Balashov (released), Konrad Handzlik (Legia Warszawa), Jakub Biała), Mateusz Zachara (no club). janur (released), Grzegorz Marszalik (released), Rafael Crivellaro (FC Arouca), Emmanuel Sarki (released), Rafał Wolski (Lechia Gdańsk).

2/17. Arka Gdynia 3/18. Lechia Gdańsk 4/19. Cracovia 5/20. Ruch Chorzów

STAR MAN With 132 goals in the Polish topflight, just two more separate Brożek from a place in the top­ten list. Hitting double figures in seven of his last eight Ekstraklasa seasons, it’s almost a formality that he’ll do it within the next few months. With his advancing years he has been forced to become much more of a poacher than in his earlier days, but it is a role that suits him: his intelligence and positioning are second to no other striker in the league.  While  Wisła  may  be becoming less-reliant on him, Brożek  is  still  their  “Mr. Dependable”. With seven Polish championships to his name, he is already one of the most-decorated players in the country. But he’d still love to add to them.

#WIS

6/21. Korona Kielce 7/22. Śląsk Wrocław 8/23. Jagiellonia B. 9/24. Piast Gliwice 10/25.Legia Warszawa 11/26. Wisła Płock 12/27. Lech Poznań 13/28. BB. Termalica 14/29. Zagłębie Lubin

Paweł Brozek 3.30M ZŁ

15/30. Górnik Łęczna


A return to the big-time has seemed so far away for so very long, but under coach Marcin Kaczmarek, the “other Wisła” have finally achieved their goal. It has been nine years since top-flight football last grace the pitch at the Kazimierz Górski Stadium. Some would argue even longer, as the Nafciarze team of the time struggled to make any impact on the season. Now though, hopes will be set a little higher. Last season’s impressive Pierwsza Liga campaign, in which the Mazovians finished 9 points clear of third place, has brought back a feelgood factor that has been missing for a very long time. Importantly, many of they players key to last season’s success have been retained.  Striker  Mikołaj  Lebedyński and midfielder Arkadiusz Reca, who hit 26 goals between them, will make the step-up - Reca having never played in the Ekstraklasa, and Lebedyński playing only five times for

HOW THEY’LL FARE

Podbeskidzie. Midfielders Maksymilian Rogalski and Piotr Mroziński also stay on the books, and will bring a wealth of knowledge to an otherwiseinexperienced squad. But it is the signings, the few which have arrived, which have signalled the club’s intentions; notably the loan acquisition of Dominik Furman from Toulouse, which still seems something of coup. Kamil Sylwestrzak and Tomislav  Bozić  also  look  to  be impressive additions to the strength and depth of the squad. A tough season lies ahead, but there is no reason to suggest that top-flight football isn’t back in Płock for good. PIOTR ROGALSKI

It’s going to be a tough season for the new boys. There’s some Ekstraklasa quality in the squad, but you would expect them to be occupying the lower spots in the league for large parts of the season.

GOALKEEPERS Bartosz Kaniecki, Seweryn Kiełpin, Mateusz Kryczka, Klaudiusz Kurek.

DEFENDERS Tomislav Bozić, Damian Byrtek, Bartłomiej Sielewski, Cezary Stefańczyk, Patryk Stępiński, Kamil Sylwestrzak, Przemysław Szymiński.

MIDFIELDERS Dominik Furman, Vitali Hemeha, Dimityr Iliyev, Dawid Jabłoński, Dominik Kun, Wojciech Łuczak, Jakub Łukowski, Giorgi Merebashvili, Piotr Mroziński, Damian Piotrowski, Arkadiusz Reca, Maksymilian Rogalski, Patryk Szczepański, Piotr Wlaszło.

STRIKERS Emil Drozdowicz, José Kanté, Mikołaj Lebedyński, Kamil Nowicki, Krystian Popiela.

wisla.plock @WislaPlockSA wislaplocksa www.wisla.plock.pl

Established:

1947

Kit Manufacturer:

Adidas

First match in top­flight:  

30 July 1994 0­1 v Sokół Pniewy

Primary Sponsor:

BudMat


MANAGER

CAPTAIN

MARCIN KACZMAREK

MAKSYMILIAN ROGALSKI

Son of  famed  coach  Bogusław,  the 43-year-old is currently the longestserving manager in the Ekstraklasa, with his reign standing at four years. Promoted Wisła  from  the  third­ tier in 2013.

Made his debut for hometown club Raków Częstochowa  in  2001  whilst studying at the city’s university. Since then, his two spells in Płock have been separated by a six-year stint at Pogoń Szczecin.

ODDS FOR THE TITLE

200/1 -----------

FIXTURES ROUND

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT 1/16. Lechia Gdańsk

Tomislav Bozić  (Górnik  Łęczna), Jakub  Bąk  (Bytovia  Bytów),  Fabian Dominik Furman (Toulouse), Vitali Hiszpański  (Podbeskidzie  Bielsko­ Hemeha (Hoverla Uzhorod), José Biała),  Lukas  Kubus  (1.FC  Tatran Kanté (Górnik Zabrze), Jakub Presov),  Marko  Radić  (Slezsky  FC Łukowski  (Zawisza  Bydgoszcz), Opava). Giorgi Merebashvili (APO Levadiakos), Krystian Popiela (Cagliari), Kamil Sylwestrzak (Korona Kielce).

#WPŁ

3/18. Legia Warszawa 4/19. Ruch Chorzów 5/20. Jagiellonia B. 6/21. Śląsk Wrocław

STAR MAN Already a candidate for transfer of the summer, Furman’s arrival in Płock came as a massive surprise to many. Still only 24, and with several pieces of silverware and a couple of international caps behind him, he would have made a welcome addition to a number of top-flight clubs. However the midfielder’s arrival from Toulouse - his third loan move in eighteen months - is yet another sign that he is playing for his future. At Wisła he can develop himself as a leader, and should they remain in the top-flight, they would be silly not to take-up their option to sign him. A strong presence in the middle with an extremely varied range of passing, Furman will be the man pulling all of the strings in Płock.

2/17. Piast Gliwice

7/22. Korona Kielce 8/23. Zagłębie Lubin 9/24. Pogoń Szczecin 10/25. BB. Termalica 11/26. Wisła Kraków 12/27. Cracovia 13/28. Górnik Łęczna 14/29. Lech Poznań

Dominik Furman 2.50M ZŁ

15/30. Arka Gdynia


So here we go… Ten years ago Zagłębie finished third a season after being promoted to the Ekstraklasa, securing their spot on the last day. The next year? Well they went on to win the entire thing, after going on an epic head to head fight with GKS Bełchatów. Now? The Lubin-based club finished third, just a season after being promoted to the Ekstraklasa, being sure of a third place only when all the games had finished. This really is quite spooky. But hey, it’s not over yet. Back then Zagłębie was very solid at the back, had a great creator  in  Maciej  Iwański  but  were poor up front. Nowadays, the team led by Piotr Stokowiec is solid in defence, (possibly) has a great creator in Filip Starzyński and are poor up front. Okay, I’ll stop now, I think you get the point already. Well, just try not believing the hype. This is a decent team, but not good

HOW THEY’LL FARE

enough to repeat what they did back in May. Should Starzyński come back, there’s at least a possibility of them doing so, but without him there’s just not enough quality. Strikers Piątek and Papadopulos can’t seem to find a reliable touch. There’s literally no pace on the wings if Janus continues to sit on the bench. Zagłębie won’t concede a lot, but will score less if Sporting Director Piotr Burlikowski doesn’t bring some Starzyński­calibre players to play up front. My guess then is that they’ll finish somewhere between fourth and eight place - too good to fight for survival, but not good enough to compete for a championship. MICHAŁ RYGIEL @M_Rygiel

If they can carry on this season the way they finished the last, they’ll have every chance of another podium finish. Some real quality in the squad, but won’t be underestimated this time.

GOALKEEPERS Konrad Ferenc, Dominik Hładun, Martin Polacek.

DEFENDERS Dorde Cotra, Maciej Dąbrowski, Daniel Dziwniel, Lubomir Guldan, Jarosław Jach, Sebastian Madera, Aleksandar Todorovski, Damian Zbozień.

KGHMZaglebieLubin @ZaglebieLubin zaglebielubin www.zaglebie.com

MIDFIELDERS Filip Jagiełło, Łukasz Janoszka, Krzysztof Janus, Jarosław Kubicki, Patryk Mucha, Łukasz Piątek, Adrian Rakowski, Filip Starzyński, Jakub Tosik, Jan Vlasko, Arkadiusz Woźniak, Karol Żmijewski, Paweł Żyra.

STRIKERS Konrad Andrzejczak, Michal Papadopulos, Krzysztof Piątek, Artur Siemaszko. Established:

1946

Kit Manufacturer:

Nike

First match in top-flight:

27 July 1985 1-0 v GKS Katowice

Primary Sponsor:

KGHM


ODDS FOR THE TITLE

25/1 -----------

FIXTURES Maciej Dabrowski 2.70M ZŁ

ROUND

1/16. Korona Kielce 2/17. Lech Poznań 3/18. BB. Termalica

STAR MAN

With Filip  Starzyński’s future at the club still in doubt,  Zagłębie  need someone who can provide stability’ and defender Dąbrowski is that someone. Signed permanently after helping  Zagłębie  win promotion back to the

Ekstraklasa whilst on loan in 2015,  Dąbrowski  is  a no-nonsense centre-back who is rarely shaken. At 6ft 4in, he’s not only a towering presence in the back-line, but also from set-pieces, scoring three times last term.

MANAGER

CAPTAIN

PIOTR STOKOWIEC

KONRAD FORENC

Stokowiec steered Zagłębie to a place on the podium last term - his highestever finish. A nomadic former midfielder, who represented a total of twelve clubs during a sixteen-year playing career.

The former Poland U-19 international has spent most of his career on Zagłębie’s books,  with  a couple of lower-league loans for experience. Now 24, he is one of the youngest captains in Poland.

TRANSFERS IN

TRANSFERS OUT

4/19. Pogoń Szczecin 5/20. Piast Gliwice 6/21. Górnik Łęczna 7/22. Arka Gdynia 8/23. Wisła Płock 9/24. Legia Warszawa 10/25. Cracovia 11/26. Ruch Chorzów 12/27. Lechia Gdańsk 13/28. Jagiellonia B. 14/29. Wisła Kraków

Sebastian Madera (Jagiellonia Adrian Błąd (Arka Gdynia), Sebastian Białystok),  Patryk  Mucha  (reserves), Bonecki  (Chrobry  Głogów),  Luis Artur Siemaszko (reserves). Carlos (released), Eryk Sobków (GKS Katowice).

#ZAG

15/30. Śląsk Wrocław


STADION ENERGA GDAŃSK Lechia Gdańsk Capacity: 41,984

STADION MIEJSKI W GDYNI Arka Gdynia Capacity: 15,139

STADION MIEJSKI IM. FLORIANA KRYGIERA

Pogoń Szczecin Capacity: 17,541

INEA STADION Lech Poznań Capacity: 41,609

STADION ZAGŁĘBIA LUBIN Zagłębie Lubin Capacity: 16,076

STADION MIEJSKI WE WROCŁAWIU Śląsk Wrocław Capacity: 43,673

STADION MIEJSKI W GLIWICACH Piast Gliwice Capacity: 10,037

STADION RUCHU CHORZÓW Ruch Chorzów Capacity: 9,300


STADIONIE MIEJSKIM LEGII WARSZAWA IM. MARSZAŁKA J. PIŁSUDSKIEGO

STADION IM. KAZIMIERZA GÓRSKIEGO

Legia Warszawa Capacity: 31,023

Wisła Płock Capacity: 10,978

STADION MIEJSKI W BIAŁMSTOKU Jagiellonia Białystok Capacity: 22,386

KOLPORTER ARENA Korona Kielce Capacity: 15,550

STADION GKS GÓRNIK ŁĘCZNA Górnik Łęczna Capacity: 7,226

STADION SPORTOWY BRUK-BET TERMALICA

Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza Capacity: 4,666

STADION MKS CRACOVIA Cracovia Capacity: 15,016

STADION MIEJSKI IM. HENRYKA REYMANA

Wisła Kraków Capacity: 33,130


2016/17 SEASON PREDICTIONS We asked a number of top journalists to make a few bold predictions ahead of the Ekstraklasa season. Here is what they had to say… Ryan Hubbard

Tomasz Włodarczyk

@Ryan_Hubbard Editor EKSTRAKLASAreview.co.uk

Chief football writer, Przegląd Sportowy

Champions: Lech Poznań Cup winners: Legia Warszawa Relegated: Korona Kielce, Górnik Łęczna Surprise Package: Arka Gdynia Flop of the season: Piast Gliwice Star Player: Ryota Morioka Breakout Star: Szymon Lewicki

@wlodar85

Champions: Legia Warszawa Cup winners: Lech Poznań Relegated: Bruk­Bet Termalica, Górnik Łęczna Surprise Package: Wisła Płock Flop of the season: Thibault Moulin Star Player: Nemanja Nikolić Breakout Star: Dariusz Formella

Michał Trela

Paweł Mogielnicki

@MichalTrelaBlog Journalist, Przegłąd Sportowy

@mogiel90 Editor, 90minut.pl

Champions: Legia Warszawa Cup winners: Lech Poznań Relegated: Górnik Łęczna, Korona Kielce Surprise Package: Wisła Płock Flop of the season: Cracovia Star Player: Rafał Wolski Breakout Star: Arkadiusz Reca

Champions: Legia Warszawa Cup winners: Legia Warszawa Relegated: Górnik Łęczna, Korona Kielce Surprise Package: Lechia Gdańsk Flop of the season: Piast Gliwice

Leszek Milewski

Andrzej Gomołysek

@leszekmilewski Journalist, Weszlo.com

Creator Taktycznie.net, Analyst InStat

Champions: Legia Warszawa Cup winners: Lech Poznań Relegated: Gónik Łęczna, Bruk­Bet Termalica Surprise Package: Wisła Płock Flop of the season: Pogoń Szczecin Star Player: Tomasz Jodłowiec Breakout Star: Someone from Ruch Chorzów

@taktycznie

Champions: Legia Warszawa Cup winners: Lechia Gdańsk Relegated: Górnik Łęczna, Korona Kielce Surprise Package: Lechia Gdańsk Flop of the season: Ruch Chorzów Star Player: Ryota Morioka Breakout Star: Dariusz Formella


Maciej Słomiński

Michał Zachodny

@MaciejSlominski Writer, The Guardian and WSC

@mzachodny Journalist, Sport.pl

Champions: Lechia Gdańsk Cup winners: Lechia Gdańsk Relegated: Bruk­Bet Termalica, Górnik Łęczna Surprise Package: Wisła Płock Flop of the season: Lech Poznań Star Player: Mateusz Cetnarski Breakout Star: Przemysław Mystkowski

Champions: Lech Poznań Cup winners: Lechia Gdańsk Relegated: Korona Kielce, Arka Gdynia Surprise Package: Zagłębie Lubin Flop of the season: Wisła Kraków Star Player: Guilherme Breakout Star: Kamil Jóźwiak

Piotr Żelazny

Piotr Koźmiński

@ZelaznyPiotr Magazyn Kopalnia

@UEFAComPiotrK Journalist, SportExpress and UEFA

Champions: Legia Warszawa Cup winners: Lechia Gdańsk Relegated: Górnik Łęczna, Korona Kielce Surprise Package: Wisła Płock Flop of the season: Piast Gliwice Star Player: Kasper Hamalainen/Filip Starzyński Breakout Star: Patryk Lipski

Champions: Legia Warszawa Cup winners: Lechia Gdańsk Relegated: Górnik Łęczna, Arka Gdynia Surprise Package: Wisła Kraków Flop of the season: Piast Gliwice Star Player: Flavio Paixao Breakout Star: Bartosz Kapustka

Marek Wawrzynowski

Christopher Lash

@M_Wawrzynowski

@rightbankwarsaw Blogger, Rightbankwarsaw

Writer, WP.pl; Author, Wielki Widzew

Champions: Lech Poznań Cup winners: Lechia Gdańsk Relegated: Bruk-Bet Termalica, Korona Kielce Surprise Package: Piast Gliwice/Zagłębie Lubin Flop of the season: Cracovia Star Player: Rafał Wolski Breakout Star: Jan Vlasko

Jacek Stańczyk @Jacek_Stanczyk Journalist, WP SportoweFakty Champions: Legia Warszawa/Lechia Gdańsk Cup winners: Lechia Gdańsk Relegated: Górnik Łęczna, Ruch Chorzów Surprise Package: Korona Kielce Flop of the season: Piast Gliwice Star Player: Rafał Wolski Breakout Star: Arkadiusz Reca

Champions: Legia Warszawa Cup winners: Legia Warszawa Relegated: Górnik Łęczna, Bruk­Bet Termalica Surprise Package: Wisła Kraków Flop of the season: Piast Gliwice Star Player: Rafał Wolski Breakout Star: Patryk Lipski


TOP-FLIGHT RECORDS TOP GOALSCORERS 1. Ernest Pohl (186) 2. Lucjan Brychczy (182) 3. Gerard Cieślik (167) 4. Tomasz Frankowski (167) 5. Teodor Peterek (156)

6. Włodzimierz Lubański (155) 7. Kazimierz Kmiecik (153) 8. Jan Liberda (147) 9. Teodor Anioła (139) 10. Fryderyk Scherfke (134)

MOST APPEARANCES 1. Łukasz Surma (524*) 2. Marcin Malinowski (458*) 3. Marek Chojnacki (452) 4. Dariusz Gęsior (427) 5. Janusz Jojko (416)

6. Marek Zieńczuk (416*) 7. Zygfryd Szołtysik (395) 8. Arkadiusz Głowacki (391*) 9. Paweł Janik (389) 10. Tomasz Kiełbowicz (383)

CUP WINNERS

LEAGUE WINNERS 14 ­   Górnik Zabrze, Wisła Kraków* 13 - Ruch Chorzów** 11 - Legia Warszawa 7 ­   Lech Poznań 5Cracovia 4 ­   Pogoń Lwów, Widzew Łódź 2 ­   ŁKS Łódź, Polonia Bytom, Stal Mielec, Śląsk   Wrocław, Zagłębie Lubin, Polonia Warszawa,   Warta Poznań 1Garbarnia Kraków, Szombierki Bytom * Wisła Kraków won the 1951 League title, but the title of “Polish Champions” went to Cup Winners Ruch Chorzów.

18 65 ­   4 ­   32-

1-

Legia Warszawa Górnik Zabrze Lech Poznań Wisła Kraków, Zagłębie Sosnowiec Ruch Chorzów*, GKS Katowice, Amica Wronki Śląsk Wrocław, Polonia Warszawa, Dyskobolia Grodzisk Wielkopolski Gwardia Warszawa, Lechia Gdańsk, ŁKS Łódź, Wisła Płock, Jagiellonia Białystok, Arka Gdynia, Miedź Legnica, Stal Rzeszów, Widzew Łódź, Zawisza Bydgoszcz


POLISH CHAMPIONS 1921 1922   1923    1924 1925    1926    1927    1928    1929    1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939-47 1948 1949    1950    1951    1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958    1959 1960 1961 1962 1962-63 1963-64 1964-65 1965-66 1966-67 1967-68 1968-69 1969-70 1970-71 1971-72 1972-73

Cracovia (unofficial) Pogoń Lwów (unofficial) Pogoń Lwów (unofficial) NO COMPETITION Pogoń Lwów (unofficial) Pogoń Lwów (unofficial) Wisła Kraków Wisła Kraków Warta Poznań Cracovia Garbarnia Kraków Cracovia Ruch Wielkie Hajduki Ruch Wielkie Hajduki Ruch Wielkie Hajduki Ruch Wielkie Hajduki Cracovia Ruch Wielkie Hajduki NO COMPETITION Cracovia Wisła Kraków Wisła Kraków Wisła Kraków* Ruch Chorzów Ruch Chorzów Polonia Bytom Legia Warszawa Legia Warszawa Górnik Zabrze ŁKS Łódź Gónik Zabrze Ruch Chorzów Górnik Zabrze Polonia Bytom Górnik Zabrze Górnik Zabrze Górnik Zabrze Górnik Zabrze Górnik Zabrze Ruch Chorzów Legia Warszawa Legia Warszawa Górnik Zabrze Górnik Zabrze Stal Mielec

1973-74 1974-75 1975-76 1976­77 1977­78  1978-79 1979-80 1980­81  1981­82  1982­83  1983­84  1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 1987-88 1988-89 1989­90  1990­91  1991­92  1992­93  1993-94 1994-95 1995­96  1996­97  1997­98  1998­99  1999-00 2000­01  2000-02 2002­03  2003­04  2004­05  2005-06 2006­07  2007­08  2008­09  2009­10  2010­11  2011­12  2012-13 2013-14 2014­15  2015-16

Ruch Chorzów Ruch Chorzów Stal Mielec Śląsk Wrocław Wisła Kraków Ruch Chorzów Szombierki Bytom Widzew Łódź Widzew Łódź Lech Poznań Lech Poznań Górnik Zabrze Górnik Zabrze Górnik Zabrze Górnik Zabrze Ruch Chorzów Lech Poznań Zagłębie Lubin Lech Poznań Lech Poznań Legia Warszawa Legia Warszawa Widzew Łódź Widzew Łódź ŁKS Łódź Wisła Kraków Polonia Warszawa Wisła Kraków Legia Warszawa Wisła Kraków Wisła Kraków Wisła Kraków Legia Warszawa Zagłębie Lubin Wisła Kraków Wisła Kraków Lech Poznań Wisła Kraków Śląsk Wrocław Legia Warszawa Legia Warszawa Lech Poznań Legia Warszawa


Ekstraklasa Season Preview 2016-17  

EKSTRAKLASAreview.co.uk brings you its Season Preview of the 2016-17 Ekstraklasa, featuring guides on all sixteen team, plus predictions fro...

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