Bartłomiej Pawłowski, one of the most promising players in Poland, believes he can use his Spanish experience to help KS Lechia Gdańsk shine in the 2014/15 Ekstraklasa.
Lechia, under new ownership since last season, have big ambitions – most notably, breaking the Legia Warszawa and KKS Lech Poznań duopoly. They have been suitably busy in the transfer market during recent windows, bringing in not only Pawłowski – on loan at Málaga CF from RTS Widzew Łódź last term – but also the likes of senior international Ariel Borysiuk.
"Although I didn't not play a lot for Málaga, I will never forget the priceless experience," Pawłowski, who scored once in eight Liga appearances, told UEFA.com. "I matured as a person and a player and will use what I have learnt with Gdansk. I chose Lechia because I like their vision. They want to be the new power in Polish football and have all the means to achieve this goal.
"Of course, scoring in the Spanish league is one of my best memories from last year, as well as playing twice against Barcelona, but the thing I will remember the most is the way I was treated there. The players and Málaga officials were so open and so helpful that I would really love to go one day to a place with a similar atmosphere."
As well as making the most of what he picked up on the pitch while in Andalusia, Pawłowski can also use one particular skill he acquired off the field, for Lechia last month appointed Portuguese coach Joaquim Machado. "I speak Spanish to him and he understands me with no problem," added the 21-year-old. "What kind of coach is he? More father than punisher. He prefers to look at the bright side of things."
The Polish top-flight season begins on Friday, with Lechia opening their campaign at Jagiellonia Białystok on Saturday. Their first home fixture is against TS Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biala on 25 July and Pawłowski is relishing the prospect of playing at the Arena Gdansk, a UEFA EURO 2012 venue. "When I entered the stadium for the first time some weeks ago, I was shocked," he said. "It is so beautiful! In Spain only two stadiums can match our ones built for EURO 2012 – Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
"I could have gone east and earnt much more money than here, but it does not matter right now. I don't have to earn millions so quickly. I want to fight for the title and become a top player. Lechia offers me the possibility to achieve this, so I grabbed the chance with two hands."
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