2020/21 season review of Polish players abroad

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Now that we’re at the start of July, we can officially declare the 2020/21 season finished. Naturally, most Polish footballers play for Polish clubs. Yet, there are also several of them making a career abroad.

Let’s see how well the players abroad have done this past season.

Germany

The Frauen-Bundesliga is the league where we have the most Polish athletes playing abroad. Let’s start with VfL Wolfsburg.

Ewa Pajor – one of the best strikers in Europe – was joined by national team captain, Katarzyna Kiedrzynek, who left Paris Saint-Germain to develop in Germany. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a lot of opportunities to play together due to Pajor’s long-lasting injury.

When Pajor finally came back onto the pitch, she scored a few important goals for Wolfsburg, especially the one during extra time of the DFB-Pokal final, securing the trophy for her side.

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That was the game in which Kiedrzynek was absent. Due to a broken finger, she had to finish the season prematurely. In the league, Wolfsburg fell just short of the mark, finishing second behind Bayern Munich.

The podium was missed by Turbine Potsdam, featuring Małgorzata Mesjasz. The centre-back of the national team plays as a defensive midfielder in the Bundesliga.

In the middle of the season, Mesjasz lost her place in the starting roster. She usually entered the pitch from the bench, finishing the season with two goals. One of them came against Bayer Leverkusen, where Poland is represented by Sylwia Matysik – another defensive midfielder, although tested as a right wing-back during the recent national team’s window.

That was also the case for Tanja Pawollek. The captain of Eintracht Frankfurt played in the German junior teams so far, but was called to Poland’s senior national team for the June matches. Unfortunately, she finished the DFB-Pokal final with a torn cruciate ligament and thus a debut in her parent’s homeland team had to be postponed.

The league season itself was, however, successful for Pawollek. Wearing the captain’s armband for Eintracht, she scored six league goals. The team ended the season in sixth place and were runners up in the national cup.

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An ACL injury also lead to a long pause for an experienced Agata Tarczyńska. With five goals in autumn, she was quite a strong component for Werder Bremen. But, since March, the 33-year-old striker hasn’t entered the pitch. All the games were played by even more experienced Agnieszka Winczo in Meppen. Although, in the final part of the season, most appearances came as a substitute and with not a good form for the 36-year-old national team veteran. SV Meppen fell to 2. Bundesliga.

The battle for keeping a place in the top-tier league of Germany was between Meppen and SC Sand, featuring Patrycja Balcerzak. Also having a health problems, the midfielder lost quite a big part of the season. Yet, after the last games of the season, she can be quite sure of her future in Sand.

France

The departure of Katarzyna Kiedrzynek from PSG to Wolfsburg might have been a surprise, but Poland still had a representative in the capital of France. Paulina Dudek, the leading centre back, was an important part of the team that took over the throne in Division 1 after a long domination of Olympique Lyonnais.

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While Dudek witnessed her third season abroad, 2020/21 also saw the France league debut for Dominika Grabowska, a left-wing for Fleury 91. The team ended in ninth with quite a strong lead over the relegation zone. Grabowska showed her skills, scoring five goals and assisting a few others.

The bad luck was in the Division 2, which couldn’t play due to Covid-19 restrictions. That meant no chance for Kinga Szemik. Being out of play for the entire season, the Nantes goalkeeper temporarily lost her place in the national team.

Switzerland

The 2020/21 season was the first season that Polish fans followed the Swiss Women’s Super League more closely. The reason for this was because of Natalia Padilla-Bidas, a leading U19 national team player, who left Málaga and joined Servette FC.

With 66 points, the team from Geneva took their first championship title, which was also the first title for Padilla-Bidas. The 18-year-old also debuted in the senior national team, hitting the headlines after facing Sweden.

Norway

The adventure of Aleksandra Rompa (née Sikora) in Norway was a short one at Klepp IL. Just half a year after her transfer from Juventus, she returned to Poland and joined AP Lotos Gdańsk in winter.

Even during that half of a year spell in Norway, Rompa had to follow her teammates from out of the pitch, fighting with a muscle injury. Klepp IL eventually finished in seventh, keeping a place in Toppserien.

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Russia

The season also saw a Polish debut in the Russian Women’s Football Championship. Gabriela Grzywińska left Medyk Konin in the winter and joined Zenit Saint Petersburg.

As the Russian league plays along with the calendar year, Grzywińska is still in the middle of her debut season at Zenit. Her side are currently fighting for the title with Lokomotiv Moscow, who they play on Sunday in matchday 14.

As the Zenit’s main centre midfielder, Grzywińska has so far played 12 of 13 games. Having earned four yellow cards, she missed out on the seventh leg fixture against Rostov. She already scored a league goal and also one in the Russian Cup two weeks ago against Khimki. The cup game ended 6-0 for Zenit, which saw them progress to the quarterfinal.

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