Papszun, Raków and the matter of representation

Coach Marek Papszun is basically a deal on a new contract with Raków Częstochowa. As a matter of fact, only the length of the new contract and the moment of its signing remain to be established. It is related to the selection of a new manager. Contrary to appearances, Papszun may be one of the most interesting candidates for this function.

Would have less impact

On December 5, in the League + Extra in Canal +, the coach admitted that the authorities of the Częstochowa club had made him a proposal to extend the cooperation. Coach Papszun then had to consider not only a new contract with Raków, but also oral arrangements with Legia Warsaw. Everything indicated that it would finish the season near Jasna Góra, and it will be in the capital from July 1, 2022. However, this scenario will not come into force, because the concept has changed again in Legia. Just before the end of the year, Radosław Kucharski was replaced as the sports director by Jacek Zieliński, who heard that he would now be almost independently responsible for the sports division at the Warsaw club. The new director had doubts as to whether the Pope was a suitable candidate to lead Legia. A conversation was to take place between him and Raków’s coach. It turned out that the proposal of the Polish champions is not as attractive as the initial arrangements. It is not even about financial matters, but above all about the scope of duties. The coach Papszun would not have such a big impact on building the team’s staff, and thus on transfers and the entire sports plot at Łazienkowska Street. Therefore, he finally rejected the offer.

Usually it extended for a year

So now he has an offer from Raków. One thing is certain – he will get a big raise. The length of the contract is an issue to be determined. In recent years, he has usually signed one-year contracts. We hear, however, that if he wants a longer contract, he will also get one. No specific negotiations have yet taken place. This is due to a simple reason – the owner of Raków, Michał Świerczewski, is currently on vacation and is not in Poland. Moreover, Papszun is one of the candidates for the new manager of the Polish national team. The new helmsman of the Polish team is to be selected by January 19. Therefore, before the decision of the Polish Football Association, one should not expect information about the new contract of the Raków coach.

The president wanted him in Jaga

Already a few months ago it was heard that Papszun has high ratings with the current president of the Polish Football Association Cezary Kulesza. At one time he wanted to hire this trainer in Jagiellonia, but then the trainer had an important contract with Raków and therefore nothing came of this topic. Let us remind you that in 2010-21 Kulesza was the president of the Białystok club.

Nawałka – a safe option

The favorite to replace Paulo Sousa in the national team is Adam Nawałka. However, it should be remembered that for the first time he was nominated for this position in 2013 by the then president of the Polish Football Association, Zbigniew Boniek. Perhaps president Kulesza will not want to copy the maneuver of his predecessor and will bet on someone completely new. The choice of Nawałka would therefore be a safer option, because he already knows the specifics of the coach’s work (a small number of pre-match training sessions, frequent travels and player observations during the season), and he also has relations with the majority of experienced team members. In turn, a “new person” in the role of a manager, such as coach Papszun, would have to learn everything while working and only then establish relations with the majority of players. It must be remembered that the Polish national team will play in two-stage play-offs, giving the right to play in the world championship in Qatar. In the semi-finals, the rival of the White-Reds will be away from Russia (March 24, at 6.00 p.m.), and the final opponent will be one of the two: Sweden – Czech Republic. If we win in Moscow, the decisive match will be played at the PGE Narodowy on March 29, at 20.45.

The results influenced the selection of the general manager

However, the results in the club speak for Papszun. In 2021, Raków scored the most points in Ekstraklasa – 66. In addition, the inhabitants of Częstochowa won the vice-championship of Poland, as well as the national cup and the Super Cup. In the summer RKS was close to promotion to the group stage of the Conference League, but in the end the Belgian Gent (1-3) turned out to be better on aggregate. In the league, the team from Jasna Góra is currently third, six points behind the leader – Lech Poznań.

It is also worth examining the choices of the last selectors. Waldemar Fornalik, Adam Nawałka and Jerzy Brzęczek have in common that in their clubs: Ruch Chorzów, Górnik Zabrze and Wisła Płock they achieved surprisingly good results. It is similar now with Papszun and Raków.

Kulesza’s sovereign decision

Now, however, it is difficult to predict who will be chosen by CEO Kulesza. Apart from Nawałka and Papszun, the group of candidates includes several other Polish coaches. The following names were mentioned in the media: Michał Probierz, Czesław Michniewicz, Jacek Magiera and Maciej Skorża. There are also numerous foreign options. One can hear from the environment of the union boss: – The CEO talks to many colleagues and people. Analyzes, checks and considers. However, the selection of a new manager will be his sovereign decision. He will make this choice in his head and heart.

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Photo FotoPyk


About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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