Poland coach Adam Nawalka stated that he has picked the “players he believes in” after he announced a 28-man provisional squad for Euro 2016.
The 58-year-old, who made 34 appearances as a player for Poland between 1977 and 1980, guided the national side to their third successive European Championship with a successful qualification campaign from a group that also included Germany and Republic of Ireland.
With a strong core based around the likes of Jakub Blaszczykowski, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Robert Lewandowski, Nawalka is hopeful of bettering their efforts in the last two tournaments, with Poland failing to progress from the group stages on both occasions.
“I looked at the players closely, both in terms of their club and national-team performances, and I am sure I have made a good choice,” said Nawalka, who has not selected qualification mainstays Sebastian Mila or Lukasz Szukala due to their poor club form.
“I picked players I know very well, players I believe in. There is a big challenge ahead of us and I’m sure we’ll be prepared for it.”
Spearheading the Poland attack will be Bayern Munich forward Lewandowski, who has enjoyed another fantastic season.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker, who scored 13 times in qualifying, has netted 29 Bundesliga goals for Pep Guardiola’s side as they secured their fourth successive league title with a game to spare.
Joining the 27-year-old in Nawalka’s squad are the likes of Lukasz Piszczek, Kamil Glik and Ajax forward Arkadiusz Milik, along with the somewhat surprising inclusion of Benfica youngster Pawel Dawidowicz, who has sealed a place in the preliminary squad despite not yet making a single first-team appearance for the Portuguese giants.
Nawalka will have to trim his squad down to the mandatory 23 at the end of May, before two friendlies against Netherlands and Lithuania.
Poland kick-off their Group C fixtures against Northern Ireland on June 12 in Nice, taking on Germany four days later before facing Ukraine on June 21.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Artur Boruc (AFC Bournemouth), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Roma), Przemyslaw Tyton (Stuttgart)
Defenders: Thiago Cionek (Palermo), Pawel Dawidowicz (Benfica), Kamil Glik (Torino), Artur Jędrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund), Maciej Rybus (Terek Grozny), Bartosz Salamon (Cagliari), Jakub Wawrzyniak (Lechia Gdansk)
Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (Fiorentina), Kamil Grosicki (Rennes), Tomasz Jodlowiec (Legia Warsaw), Bartosz Kapustka (Cracovia), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla), Karol Linetty (Lech Poznan), Krzysztof Mączynski (Wisła Krakow), Sławomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Filip Starzynski (Zaglębie Lubin), Pawel Wszolek (Verona), Piotr Zielinski (Empoli)
Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax), Artur Sobiech (Hannover), Mariusz Stępinski (Ruch Chorzow)
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