Men Team’s First Round Summary
The winter break in league competition is a great opportunity to sum up this historical for AKS ZŁY Warsaw first half of the season in the Polish 8th tier. Our male team nicknamed The Bad Boys (Złe Chłopaki) began on 21st August 2016 with a match against Amigos Warsaw.
(1) 1:5 (a).
Our debut was also the first league defeat for us. ZŁY lost to Amigos but the good news was, among other things, the historical first league goal scored by our youngster, Michał Kurowski. As it turned out, it occurred to be our highest defeat during the whole round. No problem for nearly 100 fans that came to the city of Sulejówek, quite a few miles from our capital city (some of them came from Płock, some 100 miles further!). The first pancake is always spoiled. Our Israeli-Palestinian coach, Antonio Shehadee, could see clearly in that match how all the boys were coping with league pressure which is not the same as during the pre-season friendlies.
(2) 2:1 (h).
After that early defeat we quickly and clearly got back on track. One week later we won at home against Burza Pilawa team. Yes we did it! That was the first time when 8th-tier public (ca. 250 people on the stands, probably a new domestic record in Polish B-klasa championships!) could see our Israeli goal machine in action, Elias Shehadee, scoring a double in this game. Also the ZŁY defence played much better than a week earlier and this time we lost only one goal during the 90 minutes. The coach draw conclusions from the first match very quickly, and that is why ZŁY could note the historical first victory which took place on 27th August 2016 on our home stadium, 44, Kawęczyńska Street, Warsaw. This was also our great hype success, with feeding frenzy and media covering by many Polish internet and TV stations. The main reason for that was our philosophy of running the club: 1) fully fan-owned, democratic and established from the grassroots by football fans, 2) multicultural, with gender equality of rights (two teams, a male one and a female one), 3) colourful, dynamic and with cultural events during the home matches. That day during the break fans could hear old ladies from Warsaw association declaiming (in Warsaw jargon of Polish language) some short parts of great book called “Zły”, just like our club is named after it. Football and fine art can like each other – that is the philosophy of our club!
(3) 2:3 (a).
From the sports perspective, unfortunately, we lost again in our third match (a second away match) against Inter Warsaw, the leader of the table, but this time the defeat was not an effect of poor performance nor big stress of our players. It was a really peculiar game, the most fierce and violent during the whole round, and a close touch during all 90 minutes. Players from both teams received 9 yellow cards and a red one. Five of them were shown to The Bad Boys. Struggling for three points was taking place till the last minute of the added time when ZŁY lost their crucial goal. This match showed us (and to 300 people on the stands!) that playing on the league level, although it is the last one in Poland, would not be easy for anyone, and nobody would bow to us without hard struggle. At the end we lost 2:3, with goals for our team scored by our foreign stars, Elias Shehadee once again and Ben Ernesto from Germany.
(4) 5:0 (h).
Next home match (but not on the Kawęczyńska stadium unfortunately) was also a historical moment, as on 10th September 2016 AKS ZŁY ended up with a clean sheet for the first time, and what is more, scored as much as 5 goals. Lots of fans who came even from the furthest cities of Poland, like Koszalin, to support our very special fan-owned club, probably were satisfied with the performance. That day we played against Orzeł Parysów, and a happy goalie in our team was Jan Tomaszewski, namesake of a much more famous Polish goalkeeper, The Man Who Stopped England in 1971, but to be honest, during this match our goalkeeper seemed to be the better one of the Tomaszewskis. Two goals were scored by Elias Shehadee, another two by our junior Mateusz Ositek, and the last one by experienced vice-captain Kuba Socha.
(5) 2:3 (a).
On 17th September 2016 there was another match that seemed more like a missed opportunity. Till the 89th minute of the game it was all square against Legion II Warsaw (team B of the strong Legion Warsaw club) but at the end it was 2:3 and our opponent team gained three points. It was a great experience for all our players and loyal supporters, with a bit of bitter frustration in the end.
(6) 1:0 (h).
Still, ZŁY turned the tables one week later, and also in the last minutes of the game. The stadium clock was striking 89th minute of the game (and let us say that we do not have any stadium owned so far, and so we do not have any stadium clock…) when Elias Shehadee scored a three-pointer from the penalty kick against Jedność Warsaw. A great news for hundreds of fans on the stands. That meant the AKS ZŁY surely would not finish the first season at the bottom of the table and still had some opportunity to catch up with the top teams.
After the Unity (in Polish: Jedność) the time has come for Joy (in Polish: Radość). And The Bad Boys really enJOYed the game against Radość II Warsaw team, winning this match by a wide margin, 5:1 after final whistle. Elias Shehadee became the first player to score a hat-trick for AKS ZŁY, and at the end he also became the first ‘four-trick’ scorer. It was the second win in a row, which means we could even announce a first real winning streak.
(8) 0:2 (h).
But, sadly enough, the winning streak ended with two straight wins as just one week later at our Don Pedro Arena home stadium KS Glinianka team arrived and defeated our ZŁY by two goals to nil. It was also the match that ended off our uncompromising attitude with league match results (at that moment we had 4 wins and 4 losses), next time we would draw. The defeat in that match was quite disappointing also because it was a day of our great local event called “Saigon Feast in Shmoolki District, Warsaw. A Vietnamese Day during AKS ZŁY Two Games”. We had prepared lots of amusements, cultural and food propositions for our lovely fans who came in shoals to support our event dedicated to our two Polish players of Vietnamese origin: Minh Duc Pham and Henryk Ngyuen. Apart from the match result, the whole day was a great success and gave us a lot of power to create such events in the future.
(9) 1:1 (h).
Next match ended up with a one-goal draw against GKP II Targówek which was a fairly good result against a team from the sheer top. This game seemed to be difficult due to many injuries, yellow cards and business trips of our players who have fully amateur status at the moment and play football only after work or school. This time of course we have also prepared a new club fanzine for all the supporters and this time it was dedicated to Polish edition of Jim Keoghan’s book ‘Punk Football! The Rise of Fan Ownership in English Football’. The publishing company is strictly connected to the club so that we can say the book was made available to Polish readers thanks to the AKS ZŁY club. Football and fine art can like each other:-)
(10) 6:1 (a).
The last match of the first round took place on 29th October 2017 and ended up with the highest ZŁY victory. The Bad Boys won 6:1 in their away game against Mazowsze Warsaw. That was a great gift for all ZŁY supporters that came to this away match to see their pupils in black & white shirts even so far from their home district. It was a great experience to organise the club and support it during the whole season!
(16 points, 25–15, 7th place with good prospects to ascend in the league)
The truth is that AKS ZŁY could not maintain a good stable performances during the whole round, and the victories were interspersed with lost games. Fair enough, but the results and team level give us a good prospect for the future. The Bad Boys know very well how to score a goal, and how to pave way to the victory even when loosing after the first half. They know what it means to stand up for big stakes and not get overwhelmed by a much more experienced league teams.
After this first round in club’s history AKS ZŁY finally has a balance sheet of 5-1-4: five wins, four defeats and a draw. On the Don Pedro Arena, where The Bad Boys play home matches, we lost only once, and got there three wins and one matched tied. It is quite accurate to suggest that our home stadium at 44, Kawęczyńska Street, Warsaw, is a fortress very difficult to seize by the others. As I suggested before, our Warsaw bianco-neri are a real goal machine that scored 25 goals in only 10 matches. Among these Elias Shehadee, our Nr 9, scored 16 goals. Second best scorer in our team was Kuba Socha with 4 goals, while two of them were scored directly from free kicks. Hubert Olewiński and Giorgi Komoshvili got 3 goals each, and Mateusz Ositek ended first round with a double. Ben Ernesto, Michał Kurowski and Bartek Łukasiak were also on the scoring sheet with 1 goal.
We have lost 15 goals in 10 matches, and there were 3 goalkeepers trying to prevent it: Mariusz Szymański, Jan Tomaszewski and – once, by necessity, Kamil Niemyjski, a formal central defender. Our style of play is not the fiercest one; The Bad Boys got 16 yellow cards, four of them for the top scorer Elias and another three for our vice-captain Kuba Socha. When a defensive midfielder and a central forward get so many cards, that means all the teamplayers work hard while defending. Even the most offensive player presses the enemy in an attempt to get the ball back to mama. Łukasz Sękulski was the only player to receive a red card. In the fair play tables we look quite well which is the best evidence of respect for the opponent, a rule that is being taught by our coach all the time.
There was no strict first eleven during the whole first round. None of the players appeared in all matches and spent on the pitch a maximum 900 minutes of the season. Elias Shehadee played the most (750 minutes), and then we have Kuba Gaicki and Bartek Łukasiak (673 minutes each). They were players that the coach had best confidence in, and they had the strongest stamina. Four players began 7 matches in the first squad: Ben Ernesto, Michał Kurowski, Kuba Socha and Elias Shehadee. During the matchdays we saw 25 men wearing AKS ZŁY playing shirts, and that is an evidence that the coach tried many tactical and personal options, and he wanted to give a chance to play for as many players as possible. Obviously some players needed more time to convince the coach about their football skills. There were three players that gained the place during the season: Duc Minh Nam, Hubert Olewiński and Łukasz Świderski. It was especially nice to see how Duc was improving during the whole round. He started as a first-to-come-off-the pitch, or as a back-up for the others; that was his situation in the first six season matches. Last four league games, however, Duc played from the first to the last minute, and Łukasz is the same story here. Hubert was a real ace up Antonio Shehadee’s sleeve: even though he played full-time only once, in the last match before the winter break, he scored three goals during the first round. Pretty well, Mr. Joker!
Varied results, but good performances which prove that was a very profitable six months of training and playing together. That was how we see the first half of the first football season for The Bad Boys. A big advantage of them is that now they know how to score many goals; during the whole round we scored quite a few, didn’t we? So, without any exaggeration nor arrogance, we can look forward to the second round of this season, hoping that AKS ZŁY would show some good football, not only at Don Pedro Arena but also during the away matches.
Come on you Zły!