Poland bosses speak to Bialkowski ahead of World Cup
PUBLISHED: 12:49 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:49 12 February 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
The door is open for Bartosz Bialkowski to realise a World Cup dream after the Ipswich Town keeper met Poland bosses at the weekend.
Town’s two-times Supporters’ Player of the Year was capped six times by his country at Under-20 level, but has never been called up to a senior squad.
Almost 20 months of continued top form in the Championship attracted national team manager Adam Nawalka’s attention though and, along with assistant Tomasz Iwan, he travelled over to Suffolk to watch the Blues’ goalless home draw with Burton on Saturday.
Bialkowski added to his lengthy list of crucial saves with two smart stops in the second half before meeting Nawalka and Iwan afterwards.
Wojceich Szczesny (Juventus) and Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) look certainties to be part of the 23-man squad which travels to Russia this summer, with the third-spot seemingly up for grabs following he international retirement of Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc last year.
Lukasz Skorupski has been the extra custodian in recent times, but has found his game-time limited at Roma this season.
Poland have been drawn in World Cup Group H along with Senegal, Colombia and Japan. They host Nigeria and South Korea in warm-up friendlies on Friday, March 23 and Tuesday, June 12 respectively.
Bialkowski, 30, recently agreed a new two-year contract at Portman Road after being linked to Premier League club Crystal Palace throughout the January transfer window.
Speaking of his international ambitions last year, he said: “Obviously we’ve got a lot of good goalies in various top divisions across Europe, but that has always been my dream, to play for Poland.
“That’s my target, but I’m not thinking about it too much. I have to keep playing well for Ipswich and, if my form stays the same, then who knows?
“It is still my dream to play for my country and it would be great if I could do it in the World Cup.
“But it’s out of my hands, but I have to keep believing it might happen and I’m a big believer.”
Blues boss Mick McCarthy recently said: “I told him ‘get your contract signed and be happy’ because he loves where he lives.
“If it changes in 12 months time then so be it. He is the best keeper in this league for my money.”