Poland appoint Probierz as new coach

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Soccer Football – Polish Football Association present new coach of national team – Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Warsaw, Poland – September 20, 2023 New Poland coach Michal Probierz during a press conference Kuba Atys/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS

(Reuters) -Michal Probierz has replaced Fernando Santos as coach of Poland’s national team, the Polish Football Association (PZPN) said on Wednesday.

Poland parted ways with Portuguese coach Santos last week following their 2-0 defeat in Albania, which left them struggling to qualify for Euro 2024.

“Michal Probierz has been appointed selector of the Polish national team. This is the best possible choice. I wish the new coach good luck,” PZPN President Cezary Kulesza said in a statement.

Probierz won both the Polish Cup and Super Cup twice, with Jagiellonia Bialystok and Cracovia, and has managed the national Under 21 side since July 2022.

The new manager’s contract will run until the end of the qualifying period for the 2026 World Cup. After the big name appointment of Santos, Probierz was keen to address the fact that his selection may not meet with overall approval.

“I know that I am in many cases a controversial person, for many my choice was not obvious,” the new manager told reporters at his presentation on Wednesday.

“But I would like to thank the board for their support, it is important that people believe in me.

“I coached many players who are in the squad today, such as Lukasz Skorupski. It’s not like I am a random coach, so I ask the fans to hold off on their assessments.”

Former Poland under 21 coach Probierz will be in charge for the next round of qualifiers in October when they travel to the Faroe Islands before hosting Moldova.

With the Under-21 side, Probierz had made a good start to their qualification campaign for the 2025 European Championship with two wins from two, but will now need to turn things around with the senior team.

Poland are fourth in Group E with six points from five matches. They are four points behind leaders Albania, and two behind second-placed Czech Republic and Moldova.

“We will give the coach all the tools needed. We believe that we will go to the European Championships,” PZPN President Kulesza said.