Lechia Gdańsk

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For the rugby section of the club, see RC Lechia Gdańsk.
Lechia Gdańsk
Logo
Full name Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk Spółka Akcyjna[1]
Nickname(s) Gdańskie Lwy (Gedanian Lions)
Pasiaki (The stripes)
Biało-Zieloni (White-Greens)
Lechiści (Lechistas)
Founded 1945
Ground PGE Arena Gdańsk, ul. Pokoleń Lechii Gdańsk 1,
Gdańsk, Poland
Ground Capacity 43,615[2]
Chairman Adam Mandziara
Manager Jerzy Brzęczek
League Ekstraklasa
2014–15 5th
Website Club home page
Current season

Lechia Gdańsk (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɛxja ˈɡdaɲsk]) is a Polish football club based in Gdańsk. The club's name comes from Lechia, a poetic name for Poland. The club was founded by people expelled from Lwów, who were supporters of the oldest Polish football team Lechia Lwów, founded in 1903.[3] Founded in 1945, Lechia was a powerhouse in Polish football during the mid-1950s. Next decades were lean, the team returned to form in the early 1980s, winning a Cup of Poland, a Super Cup, and playing in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, where it lost in 1st round to Juventus. In May 2008 the club was promoted again to the Polish top division.

History[edit]

The club was founded in 1945 in Gdańsk named at the time "BOP Baltia Gdańsk". In 1946 the club name was changed to "Lechia". The first historic promotion to the Polish Ekstraklasa occurred in 1948.

  • Debut Match in Ekstraklasa: March 20, 1949, Cracovia - Lechia Gdańsk 5–1
  • 1st Win in Ekstraklasa: March 27, 1949, Lechia Gdańsk - Ruch Chorzów 5–3

After a season in the Polish Ekstraklasa, Lechia was relegated in 1949 to the Second Division. The club again changed its name to "Budowlani", advancing to the Polish Ekstraklasa in 1951 and being relegated again in 1953 for a season. In the 1956 season, Lechia finished 3rd in the Polish Ekstraklasa, which is the greatest achievement in the club's history so far. Lechia was relegated for the third time after the 1962–63 season of the Polish Ekstraklasa, and then was relegatged from the Second Division in the 1966–67 season. They returned to the Second Division in the 1972–73 season, but was short lived as they were relegated after the 1981–82 season.

In spite of that the 1980s have been regarded as the rebirth of the club. Lechia was promoted to the Polish 2nd Division in the 1982-1983 season. In 1983 the club achieved his biggest successes so far: first by winning the Polish Cup with a 2–1 victory over Piast Gliwice in the final and later by winning the Polish Supercup. In 1984 Lechia finally managed to get promoted to Ekstraklasa after 21 years of absence. The club played in the top league 4 years but in 1988 suffered a decline in form which resulted in another relegation to second division. Lechia normally relegated from West (Zachodnia) Group of second division bu merged with Olimpia Poznań, was Ekstraklasa club, and became Lechia/Olimpia Gdańsk in 1995 summer. Lechia/Olimpia Gdańsk relegated to second division in 1995–96 season and third division in 1996–97 one. After relegation to second division Olimpia left from the merger in 1996 but Lechia kept Lechia/Olimpia name. After end of 1997–98 season Lechia merged with Polonia Gdańsk, was second division club, and became Lechia/Polonia Gdańsk in 1998 summer. Lechia/Polonia merger was broken up after relegation to third division. Lechia began from Gdansk 4 Group of Klasa A, which was sixth level of Polish league in 2001–02. Lechia promoted to second division in 2005 after successive four promotions as champions: To Group Gdansk 2 of Klasa okręgowa in 2002, Pomerania (Pomorska) Group of fourth league in 2003, Second Group (Grupa II) of Third League in 2004. Lechia finished second division (now First League) as 10th in 2005–06 season and 5th in 2006–07 one.

At the end of the 2007–08 season Lechia managed to get promoted to extraklasa again as champions.

On 28 January 2009 the members of OSP Lechia Gdańsk signed a document that formed the new Lechia Gdańsk S.A.

Road to the Ekstraklasa

Historic Club Names[edit]

  • 1945: Baltia Gdańsk
  • 1946: Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
  • 1950: Budowlani Gdańsk
  • 1955: Budowlany Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
  • 1992: FC Lechia (S.A.)
  • 1995: Lechia/Olimpia Gdańsk
  • 1996: Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
  • 1998: Lechia/Polonia Gdańsk
  • 2001: Ośrodek Szkolenia Piłkarskiego Lechia Gdańsk
  • 2009: Lechia Gdańsk (S.A.)

The Fans[edit]

Lechia's fans

In the 1980s many of the club's fans were active in the Solidarity movement which was fighting the communist regime in Poland. It is therefore not unusual to see anticommunist slogans or phrases like "we make history" on the stands.

They have a friendship with Śląsk Wrocław and Wisła Kraków fans (Three Kings of Great Cities, Polish: Trzej Królowie Wielkich Miast). Their biggest rival is Arka Gdynia, and the games between the two are known as the "Tricity Derby" (Derby Trójmiasta) as are games with the other local rival Bałtyk Gdynia.

Stadium[edit]

Main article: PGE Arena Gdańsk

PGE Arena Gdańsk is the home stadium of Lechia Gdańsk. The PGE Arena Gdańsk, previously called the Baltic Arena, is a football stadium in Gdańsk, Poland. It is used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Lechia Gdańsk. The Stadium is located on ul. Pokoleń Lechii Gdańsk ("Generations of Lechia Gdańsk street") in the northern part of the city (Letnica district). The capacity of the stands is 43,615 spectators, all seated and roofed. PGE Arena Gdańsk is the largest arena in Ekstraklasa and the third largest in the country (after National Stadium and Silesia Stadium).

Construction of the stadium started in 2008 and was completed mid-2011.[2] The opening match was between Lechia Gdańsk and Cracovia and ended with 1–1 draw. The first international match, Poland - Germany, took place on 6 September 2011 and ended 2–2. The match was relocated from Warsaw because the National Stadium was not ready. PGE Arena is used by Lechia Gdańsk since 'the White-and-Green' relocated there form MOSiR Stadium.

The stadium was also one of the designated venues for the finals of Euro 2012. It hosted four matches during the tournament. Three matches in Group C and one quarterfinal were played here. Since 2010 the official name of the stadium is PGE Arena Gdańsk on the basis of a sponsorship agreement with Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE Group).

Full interior of the PGE Arena Gdańsk
Ekstraklasa match between Lechia Gdańsk - Cracovia Kraków (Aug 14, 2011) ended in (1–1) draw. 

Achievements[edit]

Lechia in Europe[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Score
1983–84 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R Italy Juventus 0–7, 2–3

Ownership[edit]

In 2014 it became known that 72% of the club shares are controlled by an investment company named Wroclawskie Centrum finansowo (WCF). This company again is owned by Swiss investor W+C Vermögensverwaltungs AG in which Philipp Wernze, the son of German business man Franz-Josef Wernze, is involved. Franz-Josef Wernze is officially only a consultant to Lechia.[4] In summer 2014 this German control over Lechia became more and more obivious, when several players from Germany joined the club. Under Wernze's wings are also the German clubs Viktoria Köln and Lok Leipzig.[5]

Current squad[edit]

As of 6 August 2015.[6]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Poland GK Łukasz Budziłek
2 Poland DF Rafał Janicki
3 Poland DF Jakub Wawrzyniak
5 Guinea-Bissau DF Rudinilson
6 Poland MF Sebastian Mila (captain)
8 Poland MF Daniel Łukasik
9 Poland MF Michał Mak
10 Brazil MF Bruno Nazário (on loan from Hoffenheim)
11 Poland MF Maciej Makuszewski
14 Poland MF Piotr Wiśniewski
15 Poland MF Adam Dźwigała
16 Poland MF Ariel Borysiuk
17 Slovakia MF Lukáš Haraslín
No. Position Player
18 Poland FW Adam Buksa
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Stojan Vranješ
22 Croatia DF Mario Maloča
23 Poland DF Grzegorz Wojtkowiak
24 Poland GK Mateusz Bąk
25 Poland DF Adam Chrzanowski
27 Poland FW Przemysław Macierzyński
29 Serbia DF Neven Marković
30 Poland FW Grzegorz Kuświk
35 Brazil DF Gerson
41 Poland DF Paweł Stolarski
44 Poland FW Michał Żebrakowski
50 Croatia GK Marko Marić (on loan from Hoffenheim)

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
4 Poland DF Damian Garbacik (on loan at Chojniczanka Chojnice)
28 Poland FW Hieronim Gierszewski (on loan at GKS Bełchatów)
Lithuania MF Donatas Kazlauskas (on loan at Olimpia Grudziądz)
No. Position Player
Japan MF Tsubasa Nishi (on loan at Stomil Olsztyn)
Poland GK Dariusz Trela (on loan at Korona Kielce)

Notable players[edit]

Had international caps for their respective countries.

Managers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spółka Akcyjna = Stock Corporation
  2. ^ "Arena Gdansk". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tableso/oekrfound.html
  4. ^ "Wernze-Filius steigt bei Lechia Danzig ein" [Wernze son invests in Lechia Gdańsk] (in German). RevierSport. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "„Lok gehört in die 3. Liga!“" ["Lok belongs in the 3. Liga!"] (in German). Bild. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Pierwsza drużyna" (in Polish). Lechia Gdańsk. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°22′4.59″N 18°37′15.79″E / 54.3679417°N 18.6210528°E / 54.3679417; 18.6210528