A legend is back for Poland: Lijewski takes over the men's national team

30 Mar. 2023

A legend is back for Poland: Lijewski takes over the men's national team

Marcin Lijewski, one of the most decorated players in Poland's history, has accepted a new challenge and has been named as the head coach of Poland's men's senior national team, replacing Patryk Rombel, who led the side at the 2023 IHF Men's World Championship.

"Marcin Lijewski is one of the most important figures in Polish handball:  An excellent competitor, organiser, a handball enthusiast. He has charisma, knowledge and experience. I am convinced that he will be able to achieve the goals set for him. We will do everything to provide the coach and the team with the best working conditions. I believe that his actions and commitment will bring the expected results and that the team will welcome him with enthusiasm," said Henryk Szczepański, the president of the Polish Handball Federation (ZPRP), according to the official website of the ZPRP.

A towering right back in his playing career, Lijewski has plenty of experience at club level, having featured for Wisla Plock, SG Flensburg-Handewitt and HSV Hamburg before returning to Plock at the peak of his career.

As a national team member, Lijewski won two medals at the IHF Men's World Championship, silver at Germany 2007 and bronze at Croatia 2009. He is also the third most-capped player in the history of Poland, with 251 matches played between 1997 and 2013, and has the fifth-highest number of goals (711), being one of the eight players who hit the 700-goal milestone.

In both tournaments, Lijewski was selected for the All-Star team as the best right back in the competition.

Lijewski started his coaching career at Wybrzeże Gdańsk, where he was the head coach between 2015 and 2019, following up with a three-year stint between 2019 and 2022 at Górnik Zabrze, also in the Polish league.

"Handball is my whole life, and I am just starting a new, extremely important stage as a coach of the national team. I thank everybody for entrusting me with this role and trust. It is an honour for me, but also a challenge and a great responsibility. I assure you that I will do everything to achieve the goals set for me, to build a strong team capable of winning in the most difficult matches," says Marcin Lijewski.

Lijewski signed a five-year contract running until February 2028, which will be automatically extended until August 2028 in case Poland qualify for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

Poland disappointed in the last two editions of the IHF Men's World Championship, finishing 13th at Egypt 2021 and 15th at Poland/Sweden 2023, where they failed to secure a good result on their home court when they played in Katowice and Krakow. In January, Poland won three matches and lost three other, failing to make it out of the main round.