Franciszek Smuda: Wikis


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Franciszek Smuda
Franciszek Smuda 2008.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth June 2, 1948 (1948-06-02) (age 61)
Place of birth    Lubomia, Poland
Playing position Defender, Stopper
Club information
Current club Poland (manager)
Youth career
Unia Racibórz
Odra Wodzisław Śląski
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Stal Mielec
Piast Gliwice
Vistula Garfield
Hartford Bicentennials
Legia Warszawa
Oakland Stompers
Los Angeles Aztecs
San Jose Earthquakes
SpVgg Furth
VfR Coburg
Teams managed
VfR Coburg
ASV Forth
FC Herzogenaurach
Altay S.K.
FFV Wendelstein
Stal Mielec
Widzew Łódź
Wisła Kraków
Legia Warsaw
Wisła Kraków
Widzew Łódź
Piotrcovia Piotrków Trybunalski
Widzew Łódź
AC Omonia
Odra Wodzisław Śląski
Zagłębie Lubin
Lech Poznań
Zagłębie Lubin
Poland Poland

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Franciszek Smuda (born 22 June 1948 in Lubomia) is a former Polish footballer who played in Poland, the United States, and Germany. In 1983 he turned to coaching, becoming the manager of Widzew Łódź, Wisła Kraków, Legia Warszawa and Lech Poznań, among others. He has won three Polish league titles. As of October 2009, he is the manager of the Poland national football team.[1]


Playing career

As a player, he played as a defender mostly. He began his career at Unia Racibórz. Later, he played for Odra Wodzisław Śląski and Ruch Chorzów. He got his debut in the Ekstraklasa playing for Stal Mielec during the 1970/1971 season. He also played for Piast Gliwice, followed by a short spell at Vistula Garfield in the USA. He also participated in the NASL Hartford Bi-Centennials. In 1975 Smuda returned to Poland to play for Legia Warsaw. In 1978 he returned to the USA again to play for 3 other NASL clubs.[2] He finished his career as a player in Germany soon after becoming a manager.

Coaching career

He began his coaching career successfully in the lower leagues in Germany. During the late 1980s, he was appointed as a manager in Turkey. He coached Altay Izmir and Konyaspor for a total of 4 years. In 1993, Smuda returned to Poland to help save Stal Mielec from relegation. During the seasons in Mielec, he managed to maintain the team in the Ekstraklasa.


Widzew Łódź

In May 1995 he was appointed as the manager of Widzew Łódź and finished in 2nd place behind Legia Warsaw in the 1994/1995 season. The following season Smuda managed to not lose a single league game. The 1995/1996 season was another successful one with Widzew's Marek Koniarek scoring the most goals in the league at 29. Widzew qualified for the Champions League competition for the 1996/1997 season. Smuda managed the team to eliminate the Danish champions, Brøndby IF. Widzew were drawn into a difficult group containing Atlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Steaua Bucharest. Widzew finished the group in 3rd place. The team from Łódź were able to repeat their feat of winning the Ekstraklasa again. The next season was not as promising as Widzew's management sold some of their key players and were eliminated in the qualifying phases of the Champions League. Widzew finished in 4th place that year and were unable to qualify for any European competitions. Shortly thereafter, Smuda moved to Wisła Kraków where he had much success. He returned to Widzew on short spells in 2002, 2003 and 2004 during Widzew's crisis.

Wisła Kraków

After gaining popularity and value, Smuda was appointed as the manager of Wisła Kraków at the end of the 1997-1998 season. His goal was to build a team that would be not only be successful in Poland but also in European cups. Smuda won the Polish League the following season, however, Wisła was ejected from European tournaments due to a fan throwing a knife at Dino Baggio during a UEFA Cup match against Parma F.C.. In September 1999, Smuda was dismissed as manager of Wisła for losing one single game. He was re-hired on June 2001 after Wisła lost to Legia Warsaw. He failed to defeat FC Barcelona in the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League. After losing to Polonia Warsaw and Legia Warsaw in March 2002, he was replaced by Henryk Kasperczak.

Legia Warsaw

After leaving Wisła in September 1999, Smuda was hired as manager of Legia Warsaw replacing Dariusz Kubicki. However, he did not win any trophies, nor qualify for any European competitions. After a 0:4 defeat by Zagłębie Lubin in March 2001, Smuda was sacked.

Lech Poznań

In May 2006, Smuda was hired as the manager of Lech Poznań following the club's merger with Amica Wronki. He led the club to a sixth place finish in the 2006-07 season and fourth the following season. In 2008–09, Lech Poznań managed to reach the top of the league table by the winter break, but a series of draws during the spring round resulted in a 3rd place finish at the end of the season. His contract with the club was not extended.

Other clubs

Smuda also managed Piotrcovia Piotrków Trybunalski in Poland as well as the Cypriot team Omonia. He was also a candidate for the head coach position of the national football team of Gabon. Since 2004 he has been coaching in the Polish Ekstraklasa. He helped Odra Wodzisław stave off relegation. A year later he finished in 3rd place with Zagłębie Lubin earning a spot in the UEFA Cup for the next season. After several seasons with Lech Poznań, he returned to Zagłębie Lubin in August 2009.

Polish national football team

The Polish media has repeatedly suggested Smuda as a candidate for head coach of the Poland national football team. After the resignation of Antoni Piechniczek in 1997 he was linked as the next manager, however, Janusz Wójcik received the position. In the fall of 1999 he was again linked to the position after the resignation of Wójcik. He was unable to take the position at the time because of his binding contract with Legia Warsaw, and in turn Jerzy Engel was hired. His name was brought up again as a replacement for Paweł Janas after the poor results of the national team in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. On October 29, 2009 he was chosen as the new manager of the Poland national team.[3][1]




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