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Poland

Published: Monday 1 April 2013, 10.40CET
Poland have reached their first women's Under-17 finals and did so without their own "Leo Messi" Ewa Pajor, giving coach Zbigniew Witkowski plenty of confidence.
Poland
Poland ©Lindabrunn

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Last updated: 15/04/2013 01:05 CET

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Record in this competition

Recent campaigns
SeasonStagePWDL
2011/12Second qualifying round6204
2010/11Second qualifying round6402
2009/10Second qualifying round6231
2008/09First qualifying round3102
2007/08Second qualifying round6312
Full UEFA competition record
CompetitionPWDL
UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship3518512
Qualifying matches included
Last updated: 29/06/2013 01:05 CET
Published: Monday 1 April 2013, 10.40CET

Poland

Poland have reached their first women's Under-17 finals and did so without their own "Leo Messi" Ewa Pajor, giving coach Zbigniew Witkowski plenty of confidence.

Two years ago Poland were pipped to a UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship debut when, having beaten England and Sweden, they lost 2-0 to Iceland. Now coach Zbigniew Witkowski has led them a step further, seeing off the Republic of Ireland and Norway before a 1-1 draw in a postponed game against second qualifying round hosts Austria clinched their finals place.

"We already had a very good team in the past but this one is the best I have ever coached – not because of the stars but because of the whole squad," Witkowski said. "I strongly believe we will play in the final this year."

Striker Ewa Pajor is the standout player, having already received a senior international call-up, yet Poland managed the decisive stalemate with Austria without her. "We showed that even without our Leo Messi we are still the same strong team," added the coach. "I have been working with women's footballers since 2000 and I have come through all levels of a coaching career. Working with the national team is a great privilege and I love the job."

First qualifying round: Slovakia 4-0, Faroe Islands 3-0, Spain 0-3 (Group 11 runners-up)

Second qualifying round: Republic of Ireland 2-1, Norway 3-0, Austria 1-1 (Group 2 winners)

Key players
Ewa Pajor (forward, Medyk Konin), Katarzyna Gozdek (defender, KS AZS Wrocław), Ewelina Kamczyk (midfielder, RTP Unia Racibórz)

Coach: Zbigniew Witkowski

Date of birth: 7 August 1975
Nationality: Polish
Coaching career: CKS CZeladź (men, assistant), Poland women's U19 (assistant)/U15/U17

Witkowski became involved in the Poland women's youth set-up in 2000 as assistant U19 coach. Four years later he moved to a similar role with the U17s before stepping up to train the U15s in 2009 and the U17s two years later, steering them to the 2012/13 UEFA finals.

In 2003 he earned a PhD in physical culture science from the Moscow Insititute of Children's and Teenagers' Development Physiology, and the following year was employed by the football department of the University School of Physical Education in Krakow, having occupied a similar post in Katowice. He is the author of four books (in Polish and Russian) and over 70 articles on football training.

Team records

Qualifying top scorer
Ewa Pajor: 4

UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship best
Winners: 2013

Last updated: 28/06/13 16.28CET

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http://www.uefa.com/womensunder17/news/newsid=1942311.html#poland

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