Bialkowski Set to Be Named in Poland World Cup Squad
Monday, 4th Jun 2018 11:09
Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski is expected to be confirmed as the second Blues player to be travelling to this summer’s World Cup in Russia when the Poland squad is announced at lunchtime, Lukasz Skorupski, his rival for a place in the 23, having suffered a hip injury in training. Yesterday, Jonas Knudsen was named in the Danish World Cup squad.
According to reports in Poland, Roma keeper Skorupski, 27, picked up the injury at last week’s training camp in Arlamowa and although not a serious problem it has been adjudged enough to rule him out of the finals.
If his selection is confirmed, Bialkowski will be the third-choice keeper in the squad behind Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) and Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus).
The 30-year-old, whose last words to his father were a promise to get a Poland call-up, became Town's first-ever Polish international when he made his debut and currently only international appearance in the 1-0 friendly defeat to Nigeria in March.
“It was my biggest dream come true,” he said after that match. “Now, I need to do everything to stay in the team as long as possible.”
The Poles have been drawn in World Cup Group H along with Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
Prior to travelling to the finals they play Chile in a friendly in Poznań on June 8th and Lithuania in Warsaw on June 12th.
Bialkowski is still to sign the new contract which former manager Mick McCarthy said had been agreed in January but a one-year extension to his current deal, which was up this summer, has been triggered.
Nine Blues players have previously won caps at a World Cup finals. John Wark and Alan Brazil represented Scotland in 1982 when Mick Mills was England’s captain with Paul Mariner and Terry Butcher also in Ron Greenwood’s side.
Bontcho Guentchev featured for Bulgaria in 1994, Matt Holland was in Mick McCarthy’s Republic of Ireland team in 2002, Slovenian defender Amir Karic was still a Town player at the same tournament and most recently Tommy Smith played for New Zealand in 2010.
George Burley was in the Scotland squad in 1982 but didn't play, while John Elsworthy was named in the Wales 22 for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden but the FAW couldn't afford to send a full squad and the left-half remained at home.
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