|Full name||WKS Zawisza Bydgoszcz SA|
|Nickname(s)||Wojskowi ("The Army"), Niebiesko-Czarni ("Blue-Black"),
Rycerze Pomorza ("Knights of Pomerania")
|Ground||Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak Stadium|
|2014–15||15 th (relegated to I liga)|
|Website||Club home page|
Zawisza Bydgoszcz (Polish pronunciation: [zaˈviʂa bɨˈdɡɔʂt͡ʂ]) is a sports club from Bydgoszcz, Poland, founded in 1946. Its name commemorates a legendary Polish 15th-century knight, Zawisza Czarny (Zawisza the Black). The club holds many sections: football, track and field athletics, boxing, rowing, canoeing, weightlifting, gymnastics, shooting, and parachuting ones.
The team was founded in 1946, as an military-sponsored club in Koszalin, although they only played friendly matches initially. When the army headquarters moved to Bydgoszcz a year later in 1947 the club followed.
The football team has achieved some successes, playing for several years in the Polish First Division. For the first time, Zawisza won promotion in 1961. After relegation in the 1993/1994 season, the team had not managed to get back to the First Division till 2013. They reached the semi-finals of the Polish Cup in 1991 and competed in 1993 Intertoto Cup.
Zawisza was relegated from Second Level to Fourth Level in the 1997-98 season. In 2001 they controversially merged with Chemik Bydgoszcz, and played as Chemik-Zawisza, whist the reserve team was initially meant to be called Zawisza-Chemik, although ultimately the reserved team remained as simply "Zawisza". The merger turned out to be very unsuccessful, and the senior side started anew from the bottom of the league pyramid reverting to "Chemik", leaving the reserve team in the fifth division, which subsequently became Zawisza's senior team.
Aside from the ongoing Hydrobudowa scandal between 2006 and 2008, the original team were promoted to Third Level after finishing 1st in their regional Group of 3rd liga in the 2007-2008 season. On 12 June 2011, after a 13-year absence, Zawisza was promoted to the Second Division after finishing second 5 points behind Olimpia Grudziądz in the Third Division West in the 2010-11 season. In 2013 Zawisza got promoted to the Ekstraklasa after 19 years of playing in lower leagues. Finally Zawisza won Polish Cup in 2013-14 season, winning 6-5 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes against Zagłębie Lubin, and qualified to UEFA Europe League second qualifying round.
Zawisza's youth teams have also won several medals during the national championships - gold (1981), silver (1958, 1986, 2013) and bronze (1967, 1979).
Zawisza Bydgoszcz SA was a club that was created when Kujawiak Włocławek were moved to Bydgoszcz and renamed by Hydrobudowa, their owners. The original Zawisza Bydgoszcz continued playing in the fourth division, however the new club had a very similar logo and an identical name. As a result Kujawiak, Zawisza and supporters all over the country boycotted the relocated team. The reserve team continued to play under the name Kujawiak Włocławek in the Fourth Polish league. Many considered this club to be a continuation of Zawisza.
Honours and achievements
- Polish SuperCup
- Winner: 2014
- National Youth Championships
- Gold medal: 1981
- Silver medal: 1958, 1986, 2013
- Bronze medal: 1967, 1979
The fan movement at Zawisza started in the 1970s, one of the first clubs with organised support in the country. Since then club has always attracted a large support considering its relative lack of success. The club enjoys support from around Cuiavia, with fan-clubs in several other major towns, most notably in Inowrocław, Janikowo, Nakło and Mogilno, among several others.
The fans have good relations with fans of ŁKS Łódź, GKS Tychy, Zagłębie Lubin and Górnik Wałbrzych. Their arch-rivals are fellow locals Polonia Bydgoszcz, with whom they contest the Bydgoszcz Derby, and regional rivals Elana Toruń, with whom they play the Cuiavian Derby, with the Toruń and Bydgoszcz rivalry between the two cities one which goes even beyond sport.
In the 21st Century, the Zawisza fans have encountered numerous challenges from owners, city council, politicians and the media, frequently battling against them for public support.
First they opposed the controversial merger with Chemik Bydgoszcz in 2001, choosing to boycott the new merged club (which turned out to be hugely unsuccessful) and support the reserve team which still played under the Zawisza name.
In 2006 the fans opposed the new relocated Zawisza, again opting to continue to support the original team made up of the reserve squad. When the "new Zawisza" failed to win any trophies and was embroiled in a match-fixing scandal, subsequently folding, the fans triumphantly announced victory against the media and politicians who supported it.
In 2008 the fans protested against the city council which was insistent on renaming the newly rebuilt stadium as the "Municipal Stadium", with the fans claiming that to omit any link to Zawisza was unfair.
In 2014, the fans began to boycott matches after a match against Widzew Łódź. The fans claim that the police brutally assaulted fans, when preventing Zawisza and ŁKS Łódź fans from entering the stadium, including women, the elderly and children, causing one fan to lose their eye. Following the incident, the fans asked to see the security footage, however, the footage was claimed to be lost due to an alleged "technical fault". The club chairman, Radosław Osuch, and a large portion of the media and public opinion, attributed the incident to football hooliganism. The football players currently at the club, decided to openly support the chairman, sparking fury from the fans. Meanwhile Osuch has even threatened to relocate the club, and has openly declared war against the fans He changed the club crest to the similar but despised crest used by the relocated Zawisza in 2006, further angering the fans. Since 2014 the boycott has been upheld, meaning that there has been minimal attendance and almost no vocal support during matches, including the historic Polish Cup win. In January 2015, a group of fans broke into the stadium and placed 15 coffins on the pitch, depicting 14 players and the chairman, and a banner with the words "Osuch's whore spares, you are morally dead", as a protest against the chairman and the players. The club issued a criminal investigation into the incident. In May 2015, after Górnik Łęczna keeper Sergiusz Prusak displayed a t-shirt showing his support to the Zawisza fans, the Zawisza fans decided to break their boycott for one match only to come and thank him in a match against Górnik. In order to prevent the fans from coming to Zawisza, Osuch subsequently raised the match ticket price to a very high 200zł in order to stop the fans attending.
|2014–15||UEFA Europa League||2Q||Zulte Waregem||1–3||1–2||2–5|
- Coach: Mariusz Rumak
- Second Coach: Czesław Owczarek
- Assistants Coach: Hermes
- Goalkeeping Coach: Przemysław Norko
- Team Doctor: Marcin Andrzejewski
- Internationally capped players
- Zbigniew Boniek
- Paweł Kryszałowicz
- Wojciech Łobodziński
- Stefan Majewski
- Piotr Nowak
- Sławomir Wojciechowski
- Vuk Sotirović
- "WKS Zawisza Bydgoszcz". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- To My Kibice no.3(162), March 2015, pp.28-39
- To My Kibice no.3(162), March 2015, pp.28-39
- "Fans of Polish side Zawisza Bydgoszcz broke into club's stadium and left coffins on the pitch for each player". Early Doors. Eurosport. 31 January 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Zawisza Bydgoszcz Profile: Matches". UEFA. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- "Zawisza Bydgoszcz current squad". 90minut.pl. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
- "Zawisza Bydgoszcz current squad". wkszawisza.pl. Retrieved 2014-07-14.