Warsaw, July 11 (IANS) The Polish Football Association (PFA) Tuesday named Waldemar Fornalik as new national team manager, tasking him with restoring national pride following Poland's first-round exit from Euro 2012.
Fornalik's first task will be rebuilding the Polish team for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. He replaces Franciszek Smuda, who quit after his squad crashed out of the Euro 2012, which Poland co-hosted with Ukraine, Xinhua reports.
"Of course it's a big honour to be in charge of the national team," Fornalik told at press conference. "It is a big challenge and a big responsibility because I know how big the expectations of Poland fans are."
Fornalik was named the coach after a vote by the PFA board. He received 11 votes, beating two other contenders. Jerzy Engel, who coached the national team in the 2002 World Cup, received three votes, while Jacek Zielinski, Smuda's assistant, received none.
PFA chief Grzegorz Lato said: "I think Fornalik is one of the most talented Polish coaches and I hope he will do a great job for the national team."
Fornalik has coached Ruch Chorzow for the past three years, leading it to second place in the Polish Cup last season.
In the 1980s and early 1990s he played for Ruch in the Polish league as a defender. He has also coached other Polish clubs including Gornik Zabrze, Amica Wronki and Widzew Lodz.
In the World Cup qualifiers, Poland face England, Ukraine, Moldova and San Marino in European Group H.