|07 February 2012|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
|"We must do everything to qualify for the EuroBasket Women," says new Poland Head Coach Jacek Winnicki|
When the Polish women's national team players gather on Saturday to compete at the PLKK All-Star Game, they will do so under new coach Jacek Winnicki.
The federation, which put Winnicki in charge of the squad in late January, will be hoping his winning attitude rubs off on the squad.
Poland, after coming up short of the Quarter-Finals at the EuroBasket Women they hosted last summer, must qualify for next year's tournament in France.
Winnicki's track record suggests they have a very good chance of doing so.
The 44-year-old has worked alongside some very good coaches.
Among his colleagues have been Italian Piero Bucchi, Croatian Jasmin Repesa and Israelis Zvi Sherf and Muli Katzurin.
In the women's game, he made his mark as the head coach of Lotos Gdynia, a club he nearly led into the Quarter-Finals of the EuroLeague Women in 2009.
Winnicki's team fell in overtime to Fenerbahce in a deciding third game of the post-season.
His teams won the Polish domestic championships in 2009 and 2010.
The PGE Turow men's team was impressed and snapped Winnicki up.
Winnicki steered Turow to a second-place finish in the 2010-11 PLK regular season and the outfit then fell in a Game 7 decider to Asseco Prokom in the play-off Finals.
The team is 15-7 this season.
Winnicki doesn't anticipate any problems in switching from men's to women's basketball.
"You have to accept some differences," he said.
"There are things that you can tell a man, but not a woman.
"However everyone, regardless of gender, deserves respect if you want the collaboration to be successful."
Paulina Pawlak, Weronika Idczak, Alicja Bednarek, Agnieszka Skobel, Magdalena Zietara, Elzbieta Mowlik, Agnieszka Bibrzycka, Agnieszka Szott, Katarzyna Krezel, Magdalena Leciejewska, Martyna Koc, Aleksandra Chomac, Ewelina Kobryn and Agnieszka Majewska will play for Winnicki this weekend in the All-Star Game.
They will take on the best team of foreigners.
At his unveiling, Winnicki looked ahead to this summer for Poland.
They will play in Qualification Round Group B against Estonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Switzerland.
"I will do everything to make sure the Polish team plays the best athletes. I will not look at how old they are or what clubs they play for.
"It does not interest me.
"I care only about making sure that there is a good atmosphere, that the girls want to play for the national team.
"We must do everything to qualify for the EuroBasket Women."