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Puszcza Niepołomice in PKO Ekstraklasa will play on the pitch of Wisła Kraków. The plans to expand the stadium, the joy of the fans after the promotion

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This is the greatest dream that could come true, Cinderella’s dream – assessed on Monday Roman Koroza, director of the MKS Puszcza Niepołomice club, which for the first time in history was promoted to PKO Ekstraklasa. After winning against Wisła Kraków and Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza, the fans of the team from a small town near Kraków do not hide their joy. – The Forest deserved a promotion, the coach showed class – they comment in an interview with us, not Połomice. However, the team will have to go to Krakow for their matches, because their own pitch does not meet the requirements of the Ekstraklasa.

The fans of Puszcza Niepołomice couldn’t imagine a better gift for the club’s centenary. A team from this town of 16,000 near Krakow from the next season he will play in PKO Ekstraklasa.

To the surprise of the fans, the Forest managed to break out of the first league after winning matches with clubs that have already played in the most prestigious Polish competitions – Wisła Kraków (4:1) and Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza (3:2) – in addition, in both outbound cases. Puszcza won against the team from Nieciecza on Sunday after extra time in the final of the play-offs – the decisive goal was scored in the 99th minute of the game, and Konrad Stępień sent it into the net after a header.

MKS Puszcza Niepolomice will be promoted to the EkstraklasaPAP/Łukasz Gągulski

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“The coach has made more of these players than anyone could possibly squeeze”

– This is the greatest success we have recorded. The club is constantly developing, but promotion to the top league is the greatest dream that could come true, Cinderella’s dream, assessed the director of the Forest, Roman Koroza, in an interview with journalists on Monday.

Read also: Puszcza Niepołomice advanced to the Ekstraklasa

He is accompanied by satisfied residents of Niepołomice – even those who have not been interested in football so far admit that the success of the local team will attract them to the stands. – I wish them the Polish championship – we hear from one of the inhabitants of Niepołomice. – Puszcza deserved a promotion, because they were able to approach these very important away matches very well. The coach showed class. He made more of these players than anyone could squeeze – adds one of the fans encountered on the Market Square.

The trainer of the yellow-green team is Tomasz Tułacz, who has been working in the Forest since August 13, 2015. At the central level, there is no coach with longer experience in one club. “Our Napoleon” – this is how the mayor of Niepołomice, Roman Ptak, writes about the coach.

Celebrating residents of Niepołomice can be heard at one of the restaurant gardens. There is a toast: “Bartoszek!”. It is about Marek Bartoszek, president of the management board of Niepołomicki Sport, which is responsible for the football team.

– I’ve been a fan for a long time, but I’ve been supporting Puszcza for a short time. It was always the case that in Niepołomice either Cracovia or Wisła were supported. And now maybe more people will go to these matches (Puszcza – ed.), more people will be with their own team – one of the fans tells us.

Read also: Fate’s irony. The trainer laughed at the Forest, now he can envy her

We meet a fan of Wisła Kraków from Niepołomice, which was eliminated from the fight to return to the Ekstraklasa. – It’s very good that Puszcza got into the Ekstraklasa. I support both Wisła and our boys from Niepołomice – he says.

– My dad worked in the Forest for 27 years, I have been a Wisła fan for 45 years. On the other hand, I wish the Forest well, especially since my dad would probably be very happy with this promotion – we hear from another of the residents of Niepołomice, with whom we spoke on Monday.

Changes in the Niepołomice Forest. There will be an expansion of the stadium

The problem is that Puszcza will not be able to host other Ekstraklasa teams on its own pitch in the coming season. The stadium in Niepołomice does not meet the licensing requirements of the top Polish league.

– The biggest problem is the lack of an access road to the stadium, which could be used by trucks of television signal producers. The city authorities will focus on the implementation of this investment in the first place. It will also be necessary to add additional stands to increase the capacity – explained the president of the Forest, Marek Bartoszek. The Puszcza Stadium can accommodate two thousand people, and according to the license requirements of the Ekstraklasa, it should be four and a half thousand.

For now, the players of the Forest will play at the Municipal Stadium in Krakow, associated primarily with Wisła Kraków. Puszcza will use only part of the stands, which can accommodate 33,000 fans – twice as much as the entire city of Niepołomice.

MKS Puszcza Niepołomice Stadiumtvn24.pl

However, Puszcza gets to work to have its own stadium ready in the coming season. – The first works are already underway, related to adapting elements, for example masts, to the cameras. Then we will take care of the access road to the stadium, and in the meantime the designers are working on putting stands behind the goals – the president of the Forest tells us. According to Bartoszek, the whole thing may cost several million zlotys. This is money that will be partly put on the table by the city, and partly would be obtained from the football infrastructure program – if it is continued. – This would give between PLN 7 and 10 million – estimates Marek Bartoszek. And he adds that in the near future a contract will be signed with the Sports Infrastructure Board for the provision of the stadium at Reymonta Street.

Over the last few years, the locker room of the Forest has been heavily aired – a lot of new players have appeared and, as club director Roman Koroza now argues, no further major changes are planned for the time being, because a solid rebuilding of the team took place quite recently.

– A lot of players were mentioned, probably 15. It is very difficult to harmonize it, and the coach was able to sort it all out, and despite these hard times, it consolidated and created a team that was resistant to pressure, which was very important in these play-offs – emphasizes Koroza . – The team that exists has shown that it can afford to keep playing and fight for something more – added the director.

Main photo source: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

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