Attention: Please take a moment to consider our terms and conditions before posting.

New Article- Football in Poland - An Evening with Lechia Gdansk

Some of you who know me will no doubt be aware that I spent the last weekend drinking heavily in Gdansk. The Poles seem to favour binge drinking 50% vodka and strong beer as their national past-time. Anyway, during a moment of clarity myself and my travelling companions decided to take in a football match. I thought some might be interested in the experience.

The day started with a trip to a shooting range and almost ended in disaster after the M40 machine gun which our instructor told us was "clear" turned out to have a stray round in the chamber and went off when it was picked up! Enough of that and on to the football.

When we booked to go to Gdansk a few months back, I immediately checked the football situation and was quite excited to find that Lechia Gdansk were indeed at home on the Saturday. Knowing nothing about the team I Googled and expected to find a crumbling stadium completely open to the elements.....how wrong I was. What I got was a brand new (built in 2012) 50,000 capacity stadium which on the outside was modelled on Bayern Munich. I did a fair bit of investigating before deciding to go as I have heard horror stories about footie violence in Poland (we were still asking questions the night before in the local bars!!). The consensus was we'd be ok if we didn't go in with the Ultras so we headed to the ground in the afternoon to pick up tickets. 50PLN each (About £9.00) for Directors Box seats. At the time we bought tickets it was about 1 degree, the wind was blowing a gale and the frozen rain coming down in sheets! That did nothing to prepare for the frozen onslaught come the 8.30pm kick-off time.

After a few liveners in town we headed up to the ground around 7pm and for the first time in ages I had a real buzz about attending a match. The stadium hoves into view as you approach and it was lit up in Lechia Green - a really spectacular sight. By this time snow was falling and the outside temp in the cab said -2 so a scarf was procured to try and keep the cold out.....it didn't work. The next two hours were the coldest I have ever been at football - given that I was wearing a substantial beer jacket that is no mean feat.

Before getting in the ground we committed our first "foul" when we asked the the terrifying looking riot police if we could have a photo with them and their scary riot van affixed with double barrel water cannons. They didn't appreciate the request. With tails between legs we scuttled off to the ground for another few pre-match beers (you can drink in your seat). The ground was empty until 20mins before kick off when all of sudden the roar went up from the Ultras behind the goal. They basically then did not shut up for the next 2 hours. I have never seen support like it, it was nothing short of a choreographed masterpiece. Led by 2 drummers, 2 guys with microphones and 10-15 at the back of the stand they went through a vast array of chants, belting them out like their lives depended on it. I've added a short video but it doesn't really capture the noise.

The game itself was a really scrappy affair littered with cheap bookings and was won 1-0 by Gdansk. They scored after around 10 mins and missed 2-3 other gilt edged chances. But the real entertainment was the crowd. There were around 500-600 Gornik Zabrze fans there and I'd say everyone was an Ultra. They made a massive noise as well. We also got to see them lobbing flares on the pitch and trying to smash the away end up when The Gdansk ultras unveiled a banner they had nicked from them during pre-match "shenanigans".

If anyone is considering taking in a match in an outpost I'd thoroughly recommend it. Just make sure you find a safe zone in the ground and don't spout off. All the fans around us were welcoming. It even felt like being in the North Upper when I went to the toilet at half time and was met by a massive cloud of cigarette smoke!

Edit - cant attach the video clip....no error message, so if anyone knows how I can get it on here let me know.
Gdansk.jpg
960 x 402 - 63K
Ultras.gif
1 x 1 - 43B
Ultras.gif
1 x 1 - 43B
Ultras.gif
1 x 1 - 43B
Ultras.gif
1 x 1 - 43B

Comments

  • Polish fans are among the louded and best in Europe, Legia Warsaw regularly come up with some of the coolest displays on the continent.

    I went to Wisla Krakow v Lech Poznan in 2011. Sadly away fans were banned and for some reason's Wisla's ultras were silent protesting... That was until the 80th minute when they all went bat-sheet mental for the rest of the game.

    I would like to get back but it's hard to do two games in a weekend and despite Legia's reputation, Warsaw looks too much of a dump to stay in.
  • Forgot to add. The Gornik fans also treated us to genuine Polish Poznan.
  • Great stuff. Lovely looking stadium. A Euro 2012 job. What was the attendance?
  • Great stuff. Lovely looking stadium. A Euro 2012 job. What was the attendance?

    12,900. I'm told it was down on their average because it was live on TV and lots were put off by the weather. They average around 15-16k.

  • Couple of extra photo's. Will link the video on Vimeo later.
    image.jpg
    2448 x 2448 - 2M
    image.jpg
    1536 x 2048 - 812K
  • Good account Clem, enjoyed reading that.

    Feel safe around the bars in the evenings ?
  • Great stuff. Lovely looking stadium. A Euro 2012 job. What was the attendance?

    12,900. I'm told it was down on their average because it was live on TV and lots were put off by the weather. They average around 15-16k.

    Decent, then.



  • Only a 30 second clip and doesn't really convey the full atmosphere, but as good as I can get on a mobile.

    Good account Clem, enjoyed reading that.

    Feel safe around the bars in the evenings ?

    Yes, its not an aggro town in any way shape or form. It is out of season at the moment so the locals were a bit surprised to see English tourists.

    Most footie people drink in the fan bar at the ground so hardly any colours around town.
  • Some of you who know me will no doubt be aware that I spend every weekend drinking heavily

    Fixed it for you ;-)
Sign In or Register to comment.