Girl on the soccer field. No one writes anymore that “football players did not regret their hairstyles”
Photo: Mikolaj Barbanell/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
They didn’t have it easy, wanting to do what they loved and still love so much, which is to play football, the kicked one. No one in Poland had heard of teams for girls at that time, their running around the pitch with the boys was considered a quirk and a whim, and we are not talking about distant times. Today, the women’s national team – led by the first female coach in history – is so strong that its players boldly think about advancing to the European and world championships.
Nina Patalon, class of 1986:
– I do not know what the girl could do in the early 1990s in tiny Filice near Działdowo (Warmia-Masuria Province – ed.). I don’t know because I’ve never thought about it. I’ve been playing football since I can remember. My dad used to take me to games, so that love must have started right then. dolls? No, I’ve never had them, never played with them. I spent time with my brothers, running around the field with them, that was what interested me the most.
Paulina Dudek, born in 1997:
– I was born in Gorzów Wielkopolski, because the hospital in Słubice was evacuated by the flood. I am the youngest of the triplets, girls only, apart from me Justyna and Asia. Dad played volleyball at the local level. He was training, and I was playing with this volleyball somewhere on the side, but instead of bouncing it, I was throwing it on the floor and kicking. Why? I absolutely don’t know. There were some attempts to play with dolls, I remember something, but it ended up with the sisters playing with them and me kicking the ball.
Checz Gdynia wins the Polish Championship
The beginnings were not easy.
Women’s football came to Poland at the beginning of the 20th century, having an unofficial and social character at that time – only such. There were no organized games. In 1921, the first women’s football team was formed in Towarzystwo Sportowe Unja Poznań, which was quickly dissolved after a few months. The reason – lack of interest, lack of competition, lack of prospects.
For many years, apart from the social character, nothing happened in this matter, until 1957, when the Katowice Kolejarz created a women’s section, and soon, on September 1, in Katowice, the first women’s football match in Poland took place – ladies from Katowice modestly, because 1:0, they defeated rivals from Kolejarz Szczecin.
- 1975 – the first unofficial Polish women’s championship. Winner – Checz Gdynia.
- 1979/80 – the first official Polish championship, after the Main Committee of Physical Culture and Sport established the Commission for Women’s Football. Winner – Czarni Sosnowiec.
- June 27, 1981 – the first official interstate meeting, the Polish women lost in Catania to the Italians 0:3.
- July 12, 1984, Piotrków Trybunalski – women’s national team debut in front of Polish fans, defeat 1:4 with Czechoslovakia. Report from this event of the “Piłka Nożna” weekly:
When it looked like a pogrom, our best sniper, the center of the attack, Zienkiewicz, scored the first, historic goal for the Polish national team with a beautiful header. And in general, in this match, all football players did not regret their hairstyles. Of the five goals scored, three were scored with headers.
Women competed in the world championships for the first time in 1991 – in a tournament held in China the Americans won. Their achievements include as many as four World Cup golds, including the last one won four years ago in France. It is known that they will not defend the title, because from the event taking place in Australia and New Zealand, the US team has already been eliminated after a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Sweden. Polish women were not there, they did not play in any of the nine World Cups so far.
Why? What do Polish girls who dream of a football career, playing in the best clubs and in the most important tournaments have to face?
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