Former Poland striker Roman Kosecki has cast a long shadow over the fledgling career of his son Jakub, but this season the Legia Warszawa youngster aims to achieve something that always eluded his father: win the Ekstraklasa.
Roman Kosecki was one of Poland's leading lights in the early 1990s, a national-team regular who thrived in Turkey, Spain and France in between two seasons at Legia. He remains firmly in the public eye today as a three-term member of parliament, yet he may not be the most famous Kosecki for much longer. His 21-year-old son Jakub is beginning to make an impact.
After impressing on loan at second tier ŁKS Łódź in 2010/11, he was sent out again last term, this time to league rivals KS Lechia Gdańsk, where after a difficult start he prospered in his final two months. "I'm glad of my time at Lechia," the forward told UEFA.com. "I scored my first Ekstraklasa goals and made my first assists. I returned to Legia a better player."
The evidence of his performances in UEFA Europa League qualifying this season confirm that: Kosecki has registered a goal and an assist in four starts as Legia set up a play-off meeting with Rosenborg BK, the first leg of which takes place on 23 August. "We have three important goals this season," he said. "We want to claim the title, win the Polish Cup and reach the Europa League group stage.
"We have a fantastic coach, Jan Urban, who knows the club inside out, and we have a good mix of great players with experience playing abroad, like Miroslav Radović and Danijel Ljuboja, and some young guns," he added. "We also have fantastic supporters and the mixture could be productive. Most experts in Poland say we are favourites to win the league and I won't argue. Legia were born to win and we must bring the title back to the capital."
It has been six seasons since they last managed it. The Polish Cup holders finished third last term, three points adrift of champions WKS Śląsk Wrocław, who beat Legia on penalties in last week's Super Cup. If Kosecki can help end the wait this term, it will do his ambition of joining his father in the Legia hall of fame no harm – and though eager to avoid comparisons, he admits that Roman is a source of inspiration.
"There was one match [in 1993] I would like to repeat," Kosecki said. "Dad was at Atlético Madrid and they were trailing Barcelona 3-0 at half-time; they came back to win 4-3, with my father scoring two, setting up another and earning a free-kick which resulted in the other goal. I have watched it several times and it would be fantastic to play at the same level."
If Kosecki is happy to follow in his father's footsteps on the pitch, there seems little chance of Jakub emulating him when he finishes playing. "One politician in the family is quite enough – I may still be very young but I am already sure of that. I will stay in football, but I have plenty to do before I finish.
"First I want to win the Ekstraklasa this season. My father was great and won a lot, but never this. When I do, I will go to him and say: 'Dad, this is my Polish title – where's yours?'"
The Ekstraklasa season starts tonight, with Legia kicking off at home to Korona Kielce on Sunday.
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