– The transfer talks for this window were already underway before my arrival, Michał Prukaj was preparing the transfer arrangement. I have my ideas, I do not hide, we are thinking about a larger Polish version of this cloakroom. There are plans, still implementation. We will see how it goes – Marcin Ryszka in Weszlo.Fm talked to Jacek Zieliński, the coach of Cracovia, who defeated Rakow Częstochowa on his return to the coach’s bench. We are talking about how the Pasy cloakroom has changed for four years, what are Cracovia’s further plans, including transfer plans. We invite.
It is impossible to enter the same river twice. How has the Cracovia river changed over these four years?
She has changed a bit: today she has a great training facility that I still admire. Another team – there were two boys from my team who were joining the team then, Pestka and Lusiusz. Another Cracovia, but the thrill is the same. Nice atmosphere at the first match, victory – we are glad that some nice moments have come back and may it last as long as possible.
You were replaced by Michał Probierz, who ruled for four years, now you are coming back, the situation has changed. I wonder – what are these feelings?
These are not unknown feelings. However, it is a feeling that professor Filipiak, after all, appreciated what I did in Cracovia then, since he trusted me once again. I had to leave good memories.
Reading the interview that you gave to Mateusz Midze, you could feel that the backstage of the dismissal was not fully understood. There were slight grudges.
It was like that back then, but we cleared it up later. We have talked to professor Filipiak many times since then, we shook hands. I always had a good contact with the professor, we understood each other well, indeed this case shook our arrangement a bit, but after explaining everything, the ice was broken.
You said then that when Professor Filipiak wanted to cooperate again in a few years, you would not think twice. Fate is a prankster, so it happened.
It happened and again: I think it proves that I did a good job at the time in Cracovia, despite various situations and problems, because it was a different team, a different club. The budget is definitely bigger today, we have the mentioned center, base, nice trained youth. Currently, Cracovia has everything to ensure that this organizational level, the level of the base and the fans is followed by the sports level.
After being released, trainers often go to war. In 2017, the Lord spoke positively about Cracovia, although he also said that some things need to be straightened out. Has it been possible?
I am after the first conversation with the professor, we will meet, we will definitely talk about more than one topic. I am hopeful, besides, I had the opportunity to work with such charismatic personalities as president Drzymała, president Wojciechowski, now with Mr Filipiak, previously with the Witkowski family. I think the experience is there, so I am confident about our cooperation.
Recently, you ran Cracovia for two years and two months. Will you be able to break this record?
Hard to say. There are different moments in a coach’s life. It’s always the most pleasant when they take a coach. But comes the moment of release. I will not make a declaration. I would like to fulfill the contract that I have signed. With a good game, streak, make it last longer than before.
You’ve been outside the carousel for two years. The cloakroom smell was missing?
I’ve been a trainer for 29 years, so it’s always missing the most. I was a TV expert, I commented on Euro and Champions League matches, but the most lacking training is team management from the pitch.
Will this commentary microphone be missing? You have received favorable reviews.
I do not hide, I felt good behind him, great experiences, nice cooperation with many wonderful people. Will it be missing? I have always treated it as a hobby, a cut-scene, a different way of looking at the ball, even preparing for the match, because this material also needs to be polished. Maybe it will be missing, but now the trainer is the most important.
Was it possible to talk to coach Prróbek?
We talked with Michał after his release, before Michał left for a well-deserved vacation, for which he went for the first time in many years. We agreed to have a coffee when she gets back. Now I’m doing my job, I’m waiting for Michał, we’ll talk for sure.
What locker room did you enter?
More European. Many languages, nations, you have to adapt to it. Speak in English, not only Polish. But the game remains the same, 11/11. I think we will get there quickly so that Cracovia will go up and bring a lot of joy to the fans.
Is the lack of leading Poles a problem of Cracovia’s locker room? The Tower of Babel has become a bit.
This is a problem of Cracovia. At the moment, we have a group of Poles, but very young, the oldest of whom is Filip Piszczek, 26 years old. This is how this team is built. I have no possibility now, no one knows what change. You have to roll up your sleeves, get along with those people who are here now and fight for the best. I am of good cheer. I always focused on what I had to do. I’m not going to complain. I knew what team I was going into. After the first days, I will say that this is a group of really nice guys, hardworking, committed, who want to be better and win. I just want to help them.
Is there a chance to bring Polish players in the winter that can jump into the squad right away?
Transfer talks to this window were already underway before my arrival, Michał was preparing the transfer arrangement. I have my ideas, I do not hide, we are thinking about a larger Polish version of this cloakroom. There are plans, still implementation. We’ll see how it turns out.
Let’s go back to the game with Raków. The heart beat faster during the Cracovia anthem?
Always listening to the national anthem of Cracovia, even as a guest coach, this anthem made an impression. I am very happy with the atmosphere at the game, I am very happy to be in the middle of this environment. The adrenaline is still there, so I guess I’m not burned out at all yet, as some people have suggested. I am still able to give a lot to this team.
If I wrote my account, I would give it the title: the old fox defeated the young wolf. Marek Papszun is still a relatively young coach, was the satisfaction that we managed to beat him on his debut? There was also some luck in this match, but still.
Fortunately, you have to deserve it, we deserved it. Raków is a really good team, dominating for many minutes. We suffered almost 60 minutes playing defensively. But the condition was to survive Raków’s storm and start playing your game. In the last half an hour it worked.
Finally: what is Cracovia playing this season?
There are no specific goals. I am in front of such a conversation with the professor. The situation in the table does not allow for the making of superpower plans. Our goal is every next game.