Football is an art and a culture. It’s more than a 90 minute match. These are days out encapsulating emotion and sentiment. This latest football story is as equally random, brilliant and obscure as my previous trips. Despite having now attended over 500 real life football matches (I cracked the golden moment at the Legia Warszawa 2-1 Zagłębie Lubin match in August 2017), this blog is the first time I’ve really focused on football on any of my blogs in this series, Śmieszne Historie o Piłce Nożnej w Polsce. I have written for many football fanzines, magazines, programmes and weblogs down the years. Finally I have some cool stories to catch up with and post on here, all from Poland to accompany my Northern Ireland v. Poland report (1991), my Polish Cup debut at Kartofliska match and my Deyna tribute.
Śmieszne Historie o Piłce Nożnej w Polsce: Watching SKS Polonia Gdańsk 2-1 Orlęta Reda by Gdańsk Shipyard
Getting to SKS Polonia Gdańsk, Poland
Today we are heading to the old school stadium that houses the local team SKS Polonia Gdańsk. The address is Marynarki Polskiej 177, 80-001 Gdańsk and I get here via a train from Warszawa Centralna with my friend Rafał Kowalczyk. The trip from Warszawa to Gdańsk is easy and obvious. After alighting at Gdańsk Głowny, we check the tram route to the stadium, but first head to Gdańsk Old Town for some touring, breakfast and for me a sentimental reminiscing. I spent 5 months here, visiting tourist spots, checking out the war history, trying the local food and drinking in the best bars in Gdańsk. To get from Gdańsk Old Town to the stadium, we take the number 8 tram. We could also get the number 10 tram, but the 8 comes first. It was 4 stops from Gdańsk Old Town (and 3 stops from Gdańsk Głowny) to the station Stocznia Połnocna. Tickets can be bought from kiosks or machines and cost 3.20 złotych each.
Touring Gdańsk’s Stare Miasto (Old Town)
Gdańsk Old Town needs no introduction to my followers and readers as I was based here for about 5 months in 2016. I actually rented a flat in the Stare Miasto for a while, and also spent time renting a flat near the beach at Brzezno. It’s a beautiful city to tour and because we have some time to kill in the morning (the match was a 12 noon kick off), we eat here in the local Neptune Bar Mleczny, tour the town before getting the number 8 tram to the stadium. If you are staying overnight in Gdansk, I recommend these options:
In Polish, a guide to their stadium – Lokalizacja: Stadion usytuowany jest przy ul. Marynarki Polskiej 177 w dzielnicy „Młyniska” obok węzła komunikacyjnego „ Kliniczna” i w sąsiedztwie budynku Stoczni Północnej.
Today’s Match – SKS Polonia Gdańsk 2-1 Orlęta Reda by Gdańsk Shipyard
The backdrop and background setting for this game is quite magnificent. It is Gdańsk Shipyard in the background, an area notorious for the Solidarnosc campaign of the 1980s and Lech Wąłesa’s legacy. We head through the club’s main building and entrance and decide to sit in the stand on the left hand side from here. It is where most of the fans are sitting. I think there are around 50 spectators in attendance. One of these is the video camera guy from the home club (see YouTube highlights of the match at the bottom of this clip). The home team, SKS Polonia are in black today, though their website does state they originally played in red and white.
We brought some beers with us and crank them open in the main stand. There is no bar here, no shop, no club programme, no match ticket, no entrance fee. There are turnstiles on the other side, a reminder of how big this club once was and how they could have been the main club in the city. An honour which now belongs to nearby Lechia Gdańsk. I have watched Lechia Gdańsk play twice now too (once in Gdańsk in Brzezno where they beat Lech Poznan 2-1), and another time in Warszawa (where they drew 0-0 with Legia Warszawa).
The match is in the District Classes in Gdańsk Group I League and is competitive and lively. SKS Polonia take the initiative and look to be in control of the match. After a few early chances, it is an impressive run down the right side by winger Damian Belecki that breaks the deadlock. It is a superb solo goal, fit for any match. Damian takes a few players out of the game, ensuring the home side lead 1-0 at the interval. After the break, there is more impressive play from SKS Polonia as they try and finish the match. Eventually the second goal comes and Orlęta Reda also grab a consolation. As a ground hopper, often when I leave stadiums like this, I know I won’t be back. But it’s a great match.
So Congratulations to Polonia Gdansk and good luck for the rest of the season. The current District Classes in Gdańsk Group I League Table looks like this:
|2||Czarni Pruszcz Gdański||5||4||1||0||13|
|5||Bałtyk II Gdynia||5||3||2||0||11|
|8||SKS Polonia Gdańsk||5||2||2||1||8|
|10||KS Kamienica Królewska||5||1||1||3||4|
|12||Gedania II Gdańsk||5||1||1||3||4|
|13||SPK Kamionka Sopot||5||1||0||4||3|
|15||Orzeł Trąbki Wielkie||5||0||1||4||1|
Here is a video of the match highlights:
Here are my videos of the day out: