OFFICIAL: Shock as Marek Papszun’s future confirmed

(photo: Jakub Ziemianin/

At a press conference on Wednesday, a decision on the future of Raków Częstochowa coach Marek Papszun was confirmed. With a contract valid until June, it was confirmed that the 48-year-old would leave the current Ekstraklasa leaders at the end of it.

In the last seven years, Marek Papszun has cemented his position as not only the greatest coach in the history of Raków Częstochowa, but also as one of the best coaches in the country. In Wednesday’s press conference club owner Michał Świerczewski revealed that, despite negotiations, Papszun did not agree to extend the contract further.

“We have built a very good relationship, even friendly. We have offered Marek Papszun a contract extension for the next season,” Świerczewski told those in attendance. “What I can announce is our cooperation, by the coach’s decision, will not be continued form next season. I’m sad about it, I’m sorry. I used all the arguments; unfortunately, apparently, it was not enough.”

“This is a very difficult moment for me, At the beginning of our cooperation, our goal was promotion to the Ekstraklasa, and my dream was to win the Polish Cup. Today we are fighting for a goal that I never dreamed of at that time.”

Michał Świerczewski, Raków Częstochowa owner

Raków are currently the Ekstraklasa’s runaway leaders, eight points ahead of Legia Warszawa with six games to play. They also play Legia in the Puchar Polski final in two weeks’ time, for a chance to win a historic double which would have been unthinkable when Papszun took charge of the club in the third tier in 2016. Since then, he has won two promotions, two Polish Cups, two Supercups, two Ekstraklasa silver medals; while also racking-up multiple individual awards. With each success, his eventual departure was always going to increase the level of sadness in Częstochowa.

“I have been preparing for this situation for several years… I kind of expected it; but it was a surprise to me – I was in shock. It clipped my wings for a few hours,” said Świerczewski – a man who should be on the verge of ecstasy, given the unparalleled success which his club is on the verge of achieving.

Papszun himself gave very little away with his own words, refusing to give an exact reason for his departure. “I don’t have specific plans,” he told the conference. “There is no [other] club here, no job on the horizon. Maybe it will happen,” he continued, before mentioning that there were “several aspects” which led to his decision to step away from Raków.

“This is a difficult and emotional moment. These seven years were very fruitful for Raków. I would like to thank Michał [Świerczewski, owner] for trusting me and hiring me here, because it was not an obvious choice; and for the path we went through together, because it was not easy at all.”

Marek Papszun, Raków Częstochowa coach

While the thought of their leader jumping ship ahead of what could be a previously unimaginable Champions League qualification campaign may be a kick in the gut, Świerczewski’s attentions have already turned to who could step into such enormous shoes. During the conference, the owner confirmed that terms had already been agreed with an unnamed replacement, and that only the contract needed to be signed. A further announcement will be made on Monday, detailing the date on which the new coach will be confirmed.

Early signs pointed that Dawid Szulczek, coach of Warta Poznań, would be the man to replace Papszun; although comments from within Warta have suggested that Szulczek would continue his impressive work in Grodzisk Wielkopolski next year.


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