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Season review: Poland

Published: Saturday 8 June 2013, 12.19CET
Jan Urban's Legia Warszawa were the dominant force in Polish football, winning the league from KKS Lech Poznań and confirming a double at WKS Śląsk Wrocław's expense.
by Piotr Koźmiński
Season review: Poland
Champions Legia celebrate their cup final success ©Legia Warszawa
Published: Saturday 8 June 2013, 12.19CET

Season review: Poland

Jan Urban's Legia Warszawa were the dominant force in Polish football, winning the league from KKS Lech Poznań and confirming a double at WKS Śląsk Wrocław's expense.

A first Ekstraklasa title since 2006, coupled with a third successive Polish Cup, made it an outstanding season for Legia Warszawa under the guidance of Jan Urban. Legia winger Jakub Kosecki was player of the year while GKS Piast Gliwice earned a European competition debut.

Champions: Legia Warszawa
After coming third last term amid great expectations, this year Legia finally delivered a first championship since 2006. They underlined their dominance by beating second-placed KKS Lech Poznań twice, and earned Jan Urban – who had returned to the helm last summer – his first title as a coach. Surviving a rocky mid-season spell, when top scorer Danijel Ljuboja was suspended, Legia refound their form and ended the campaign in style, thrashing deposed champions WKS Śląsk Wrocław 5-0 on the last day.

Cup final: WKS Śląsk Wrocław 1–2 Legia Warszawa (on aggregate)
A 2-0 first-leg victory put Legia in command of the tie, as Marek Saganowski's brace gave Śląsk a mountain to climb in the Warsaw return on 8 May. It was a satisfying moment for the forward, who had sat out a long stretch of the season because of heart irregularities. Although a much-improved Śląsk won the sequel 1-0, Legia held on to complete the first part of their double.

European places*
Legia Warszawa – UEFA Champions League second qualifying round
KKS Lech Poznań – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round
WKS Śląsk Wrocław – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round
GKS Piast Gliwice – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

©Getty Images

Player of the year: Jakub Kosecki (Legia Warszawa)
The discovery of the year in Poland was the son of former Legia ace Roman Kosecki. The 22-year-old Jakub scored a number of vital goals for the capital club from the left wing, his sterling performances eliciting a first cap for the national side. "My father was an excellent player but he never won the title with Legia. I want to achieve this and say, 'This is a gold medal, dad,'" Kosecki Jr said prior to Legia's triumph.

One to watch: Gergő Lovrencsics (KKS Lech Poznań)
The Hungarian winger was signed on loan from Lombard-Pápa TFC at the beginning of term, but played so well that Lech soon put up the cash to buy him outright. Known for his outlandish hairstyles, which come courtesy of his hairdresser fiancee, the 24-year-old notched several outstanding goals to quickly became a crowd favourite in Poznan.

Surprise package: GKS Piast Gliwice
The Ekstraklasa newcomers surprised everybody by finishing fourth and qualifying for Europe, via the UEFA Europa League, for the first time. For a long while in the shadow of regional rivals Górnik Zabrze, they ended up a place above Górnik, thanks in part to the stewardship of coach Marcin Brosz and assistant Dariusz Dudek, brother of goalkeeper Jerzy.

Leading scorer: Robert Demjan, TS Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biala (14)

Relegated: GKS Bełchatów, KSP Polonia Warszawa (did not receive a licence)

Promoted: Zawisza Bydgoszcz and MKS Cracovia Kraków

Number: 168
The number of top-flight goals scored by retiring Jagiellonia Białystok forward Tomasz Frankowski. Six of them came this term as he went third in the all-time list. When the 38-year-old netted goal No168, he celebrated by revealing a T-shirt showing the names of all the players who had provided assists down the years.

Quote
"I once beat Artur Boruc from 20 metres for the national team so scoring against Wojciech Skaba from a few yards was a piece of cake."
Legia's Michał Żewłakow's cup final own goal was not quite up there with his best

Last updated: 09/06/13 11.07CET

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http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=pol/news/newsid=1959453.html#season+review+poland

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