Reports: Peter Nowak Front Runner To Take Over As Polish Football Association (PZPN) Sporting Director?

Drew Hallowell

Former Philadelphia Union head coach Peter Nowak appears to be the front runner to replace Jerzy Engel as the Sporting Director of the Polish Football Association.

(All translations by @barciur)

If Peter Nowak is used as an example, one does not need to participate in failed hostile venture capitalism endeavors to rise out of failure.

The former Philadelphia Union head coach left Major League Soccer controversially after leading his third year club into ruin after a surprising run of form in 2011 that ended with a short playoff experience. Nowak was later the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Union over his dismissal, a court case that has cast a cloud of even larger controversy concerning his time in charge of Philadelphia.

Despite the ongoing situation with the Union, which was caused by Nowak's belief that he's owed the remainder of his contract that was supposed to run through 2015, the Polish Football Association (PZPN) has considered him for Sporting Director.

Reports out of Poland have declared Nowak one of the lead candidates to replace Jerzy Engel, who coached Poland in the 2002 World Cup.

"For the time being, everybody is refusing comment on the matter, citing negotiations, discussions and business confidentiality as reasons," said Polish news outlet Interia, in an article by Roman Kołtoń. "But it looks like the most likely to happen plan right now is that the new sporting director of the Polish Football Association (PZPN) will be Peter Nowak, who will replace Jerzy Engel."

"Nowak is set to come to Poland to give a lecture on 30th of November at a managers' conference. On the 5th of December he is scheduled to meet with the current PZPN boss, Zbigniew Boniek."

Nowak's role as Sporting Director would be to undertake a project to improve the youth national team system, along with fixing the country's coaching programs.

"In [Roman] Kosecki's plan, the role that Nowak would get is extremely vital," Kołtoń said. "He would be responsible for the quality of work with the youth national teams, he'd have to solve problems of the Coaching School of PZPN, and he would supposed to be an inspiration for coaching education throughout the whole country."

Kosecki "is a big fan of Nowak," Kołtoń said, which may be due to his time playing alongside Nowak with the Chicago Fire in 1998-99 and with the Polish National Team from 1990-95.

While Nowak applied for the managerial role at Hearts, a club in the Scottish Premier League, during the summer and was said to have wanted to coach the Polish National Team, his current goal is to quit coaching to take up a different role with Poland.

"48-year old Nowak after all wanted to be the manager of the Polish national team just a few months ago," Kołtoń said, "but currently he has his mind set on a different task. His experience is invaluable."

The main hang up for Nowak joining the Polish National Team hierarchy would be his salary, according to Kołtoń, but the former MLS Cup winner apparently would lower his demands if he was to take the job.

"Would Nowak be willing to work for that kind of a wage [less than $10,000 per month]?" Kołtoń said. "The unofficial word from his environment seems to suggest that he is. If that's the case, it seems that his determination to return to Poland is big."

The other candidate expected to compete for Sporting Director is Stefan Majewski, but his current position as coach of Poland's under-21 youth National Team puts him in a bad place, according to Kołtoń, leaving Nowak as the front runner.

"The other candidate is Stefan Majewski, who is currently in charge of a youth national team and is a trusted friend of Boniek," said Kołtoń. "But would Majewski be too much "more of the same", considering his past in the federation?"

"Nowak - somebody from outside - wouldn't look at those things, whereas Majewski most likely would."

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