Matches South Poland Stadiums

Rekord Bielsko-Biala v Carina Gubin

Date: 16 September 2023 / League: Polish 4th tier

Final Score: 3-2 / Attendance: approx. 150


What’s that distant echo you can hear ringing in your ear? Oh, that’ll be me, preaching on about how I hate modern football and its shitty plastic grounds. Ain’t I cool?

Problem is, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m hardly consistent when it comes to my beliefs. Exceptions, whilst rare, exist – exceptions like Rekord Bielsko-Biala. Founded as recently as 1994, this club blew my guiding football ethos into several million pieces.

The second match of a three-gamer, I visited this place as an afterthought – a stop-gap between Game One of my day and Game Three. Leading up, I guessed it would be nothing more than a palate cleanser, a little refresher that would keep me from misbehaving in the wonderful bars found in Bielsko-Biala (there’d be time for that later, I reasoned).

But as always when expectations are primed at zero, I found myself surprised in the very best of manners. Passing a thin strip of woodland to reach the ground, visitors are met by a smart stadium featuring a 600-seater grandstand and, opposite, a unique 52-seater away pen that’s been built around a glass media tower – when one away fan took his place inside it, I knew I was in for a bit of a treat.

To the chagrin of the sole home ultra, Rekord fell two behind in the first five minutes, and I assumed this would be a cricket score running against their favour. But, perhaps buoyed by the drunken backing of their single vocal fan, the home side fought back from behind to claim an epic 3-2 win.

Supremely enjoyable, there were at times this felt like watching cricket – with quite some frequency I found myself retreating to the modern clubhouse bar to order ice cold beer to keep me from melting under the bright, cloudless skies. In this, I was not alone. Around me, a diverse crowd sipped fizzy lagers whilst trophy dogs romped around in the patches of shade.

Modern as this ground might be, the club must be saluted for doing something different – full of character and unusual design flourishes, this European-class facility is a joy to absorb and explore. Who funded it I have no idea, but they deserve credit for thinking outside the box to create a place filled with personality.

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