The Polish men’s national beach football team is in for a very hard-working turn of June and July. First, they will play for the medals of the European Games Krakow – Małopolska 2023, and then they will fight for promotion to the World Championships.
The Poles began their preparations for these events at the beginning of spring. First, they faced Portugal twice, the second-ranked team in the world ranking. They are 11-time medallists at the world championships, including gold three times. They lost 6:8 and 4:11, but Tomasz Wydmuszek, manager of the national team, was satisfied with the short training camp. – We have to appreciate this time very well. What we wanted to remember and work out during these trainings, we managed to do. It was a good introduction to the season,” the PZPN website quotes the coach.
Another part of the preparations were friendly matches against Germany, who are ranked a little higher in the ranking. Poland is ranked 34th, and their opponents 26th. This time the players of coach Wydmuszek lost the first meeting 5:8, and won the second one after penalty kicks. – Surely it was a very useful lesson in terms of rating the play of players. Lots of goals, extra time, penalty kicks. Matches played at a good pace, we chased the result and then watched it. This is a valuable experience for us,” believes the coach. – These training camps must be considered fruitful. The first match against Portugal showed that we can fight against the best.
And the Poles will face the top teams that during the European Games at the Beach Sports Centre in Tarnów. Aport form Portugal, Spain (4th in the ranking), Switzerland (6th), Italy (9th), Ukraine (13th), Azerbaijan (28th) and Moldova (39th) will compete for medals. The Polish nationals will make their debut at the European Games in beach soccer, which has been on the event’s programme since the beginning. The title is defended by the Portuguese, who beat the Spanish in Minsk.
Beach football competition at the European Games is scheduled from 27 June to 1 July. Just four days later, the Poles in Azerbaijan will begin their fight for the World Championships (5-9 July). There they will meet rivals well known from the Games. – It will be an exceptionally intense time and a challenge for everyone in our team,” admits the Poles’ coach.