18 lip 2010

Foreign Ekstraklasa

Times when Pogoń Szczecin was build purely on Brazilian players seems to be quite long ago. Every single football fan, journalist, coach and person involved were critic about this and finally the project of Ptak' family was over. But we should not stop right there, few years ago, especially because our league is in danger of pushing polish, home-grown players on the football margin in their own country.

There are symptoms of bad tendencies and, as my examples will strictly appeal to current season, it must be remembered that everybody involved should be blamed about current situation. During this transfer window 40% of already made deals were about bringing in foreign players. What is more, our wealthiest clubs (Lech, Legia and Wisla) made only three transfers of polish players (two of them are Zurawski and Wichniarek, old players coming back from abroad) from all 14 deals between them. It is a big shame, as they show, without any disgrace, that You can fight for the title or European cups with team based mostly on foreigners.

More examples? Most of managers will prefer to sign two players from Balkans than one from Poland, and say that is normal, as the costs are almost the same. One manager said that he will bring creative players from South America as he cannot find anyone of that standards in Poland. Yesterday one agency send to train with one of polish clubs four Nigerian players and trend to test foreign footballers in large numbers during the summer is very popular one in Ekstraklasa.

As I said, everyone should be blamed. We see lack of coaching system in Poland, we moan about lack of football pitches, funds on ambitious coaches and so on, but forget that even if players will be brought up, managers will prefer to look for an abroad transfer. One day we will hear one manager openly saying that you cannot win anything with polish players. In Poland.

Hopefully there is time to change it. Apart from caps on foreign players, numbers of home-grown players in club squads should be increased, coaches must be forced to involve young footballers in the league. In the top three teams we don't see young talents moving up, getting their chance - it's more on buying promising players from clubs that raised them.

There are voices saying, or rather justifying polish transfer market, that it is devastated place by players' agents, clubs demanding horrendous money for footballers that are definitely not worth it. It is all true, but those who say it, are also to blame. Scouting network in our country is very poor one, not even developed properly in 30%. People responsible for it in clubs don't know what to do, don't know how big this scene is and what great effect it could give. Scouting in polish clubs is largely margined by managers.

Youth League (Młoda Ekstraklasa) should be that scene where young players are given the chance to shine, are given minutes before getting them in the League. But it is wasted as clubs don't really care what standards of football young players are presenting. They just organize few castings and count that somehow they'll find good talent. You could count on both hands players that are now playing in Ekstraklasa, after getting their time in Youth league.

And sadly, the only ones who doesn't seem to know the potential of Youth League are saying about how polish transfer market is devastated. They don't know, they don't care about training system in their club, rarely know who's who in youth teams, don't have contact with coaches of teams from U-11 to U-18. They even don't realize that when the market is so sick, the only cure for it is to raise players on Your own, not bring players from abroad.

Sadly, polish football is all about shortcuts and blaming the others. As long as it will be a small war between managers, agents, players, authorities, polish football will stagnate to the new low of UEFA and FIFA ranks. With new stadiums, money, fans and pitches but without a clue how to make a proper football league and national team out of it.

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