It’s late and as Larry Fredericks considers finishing the remnants of his whiskey bottle there is a knock at his office door. As far as he knew the players had left hours ago so when Sebastien Dudek stuck his head around the corner Larry was more than a little surprised.
Dudek was Fredericks first signing, Himself and Larry had played together for 3 years in Germany and they became good friends. The 37-Year-old midfielder had started the season in central midfield but recently found himself not making match day squads and at his age, he wanted to play football.
After a drink and a long conversation which eventually had them reminiscing about nights out in Dresden, Fredericks against his better nature made Dudek a promise.
Sosnowiec sat second in the table and were a tough side to beat on their own patch. Larry made good on his promise and Dudek, formally of Sosnowiec found himself back in the starting eleven.
Once again GKS conceded first, it had come slightly against the run of play and as the players trudged in at halftime they had the right to feel a little hard done to. Fredericks, once again not in the matchday squad did his best to motivate the team into carrying on with their endeavours, he was sure a breakthrough would come.
And come it did when Lubomir Tupta slid in at the far post to level in the 56th minute. The game became a lot more of a cautious affair after this and looked for all the world to be running down into a draw. Then, deep into stoppage time substitute Michal Fidziukiewicz watched his header bounce off the post and onto the Sosnowiec left backs arm, PENALTY!!
With just minutes of stoppage time remaining the game hinged on Fidziukiewicz’s next kick. The big target man was taking over from Larry on penalty duties and he made no mistake, GKS became the first side to win at the Ludowy Stadium.
Another tough away game followed 3 days later as GKS Tychy travelled to Podbeskidzie. After a great performance, Larry made only one change and that was to rest on loan centre-half Mateusz Zyro and bring himself back into the heart of the defence.
From a personal performance, he was happy, a clean sheet is all you can ask for but going forward they hadn’t troubled Podbeskidzie enough, a goalless draw wasn’t the worst result in the world and they moved on to the next game.
Ruch are GKS Tychy’s biggest rivals. They are perceived to be a lot bigger club but over the past three years due to off-field problems they had found themselves relegated from the top flight, and now staring at a second relegation in three years.
Away fans would not be welcome in Tychy due to past events so in a bizarre atmosphere GKS would host their fierce rivals in front of the TV cameras. Tactically they would set up the same but Zyro and Tupta were both exhausted following international games so Fredericks kept his place and Orhan Vojic would slip in up front alongside Zapolnik.
In a commanding first half it was Vojic who opened the scoring with a clinical finish from 14 yards. By half time it should have been over as a contest and by the sixty-minute mark, it was. Vojic saw his deflected shot find the net then Zapolnik headed home the young Bosnians cross before Fredericks finished from the spot late on to wrap up a comfortable 4-1 victory.
The three points not only meant every GKS fan would hold the bragging rights over their neighbours, but it moved Fredericks team into top spot, something even Larry didn’t think would happen so soon in his new job.
Rakow were having a torrid season and found themselves second bottom of the league. Having already changed manager once this season the current incumbent was already beginning to feel the pressure. Fredericks stuck with the same eleven that had destroyed Ruch and was hoping that they could recreate a similar level of performance.
They didn’t. It wasn’t a bad performance just bad finishing and after 90 minutes and 19 attempts at goal it finished 0-0.
It was now six without defeat for Fredericks men. With just four games left until the winter break, he couldn’t grumble too much at how things were going.
Were Tychy playing attractive attacking football? No, But they were becoming incredibly hard to beat and that was a good foundation to build from.