Poland at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. L to R: Bartosz Bereszynski, head coach Czeslaw Michniewicz, Robert Lewandowski and Kamil Potrykus.
World Cup 2022, Champions League 2023: Potrykus Joins Newcastle Utd
We are happy to announce our former general manager of IPSO Kamil Potrykus, 38, has joined Newcastle United’s Player Recruitment Department, Forbes contributor Marie Schulte-Bockum can reveal exclusively. The former assistant manager of the Polish national team (World Cup 2022) and chief performance analyst at Legia Warsaw (2020-21 season) is already living in the United Kingdom.
“I’m delighted to be here, I have great first impressions,” Potrykus said over email. Continued the Polish manager, scout and analyst: “Newcastle-upon-Tyne is renowned for the warmth of its people, its industrial legacy, and vibrant culture. Yet, for someone like me, Newcastle’s essence is perhaps best encapsulated by its football club. The sheer history, the awe-inspiring St. James’ Park with its 52,000 seats – and the incredible supporters of the club.”
Kamil Potrykus has joined Newcastle United’s recruitment team ahead of the 2023/24 season
Besides past roles as an assistant manager, Potrykus has also worked in scouting, recruitment and performance analysis on the federation and club level.
In 2017, at age 32, he joined Poland’s U21 national team as chief analyst and helped the young squad qualify for the 2019 U21 Euros.
Kamil Potrykus Joins Newcastle United Recruitment Staff ahead of 2023-24 Champions League Season
When U21 head coach Czeslaw Michniewicz, 53, left the youth team in 2020 to coach Poland’s historic club Legia Warsaw, the mentee followed his mentor. In the 2020-21 season, Potrykus was chief analyst at Legia Warsaw, helping Michniewicz and his players win the 2021 league title.
Kamil Potrykus, second from right, during the Poland national team anthem at the FIFA World Cup 2022
At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Michniewicz (head coach) and Michniewicz (assistant manager) sat on the national team bench as Robert Lewandowski captained Poland to the round of 16, a sensational result for the team.
In June 2023, Michniewicz took a job in the Saudi Pro League, where he is head coach of Abha Club. Again, Michniewicz wanted to bring Potrykus along with him, but this time, the 38-year-old picked a different path.
Potrykus speaks exclusively with Forbes contributor Marie Schulte-Bockum about his decision to join Newcastle United, his role at the Premier League club, and his personal goals for the future.
Tell me about your first experience of Newcastle as a child. Did you ever watch the games in the 90s? Maybe you saw the movie “Goal”? Or knew Alan Shearer? What were your impressions of Newcastle growing up?
Kamil Potrykus: Football has been an integral part of my life since my childhood. While my own journey doesn’t mirror the cinematic narrative of “Goal,” there are moments that resonate with that tale.
One of the standout moments from my past is my acquaintance with Kevin Gallacher, a former Newcastle United player, becoming Sir Bobby Robson’s first signing as Newcastle manager. Through Kev, I had the unique honor of attending the 20th Anniversary celebration of Blackburn Rovers’ Premier League triumph in 2015. That event afforded me the unforgettable opportunity to exchange words with footballing stars like Alan Shearer and Kenny Dalglish.
Kamil Potrykus has joined Newcastle United’s recruitment team ahead of the 2023/24 season
Speaking of Alan Shearer, he wasn’t just another player for my generation. He epitomized the hopes and dreams of many: The local boy who scored 206 goals for Newcastle United and became a true legend of the game. Back then, I couldn’t have imagined that someday our paths would one day cross and that I’d become an integral part of the storied club that is Newcastle.
Tell me how you and the club came together. Did you apply, pitch yourself to a contact, have an “in”? Or did someone from the club try to recruit you, perhaps?
Potrykus: After nearly a decade working alongside manager Czesław Michniewicz, and achieving practically everything possible in Poland as an assistant manager and head of analysis, I felt it was the right moment to put my expertise to the test. Despite Michniewicz’ offer of further collaboration and an opportunity from Saudi Arabia, I yearned to challenge myself in one of the most competitive leagues, the Premier League.
For months, I went through an intricate recruitment journey at NUFC. I was meticulously assessed by a diverse group of professionals, including members from the HR department, the Head of Recruitment, and the Sporting Director. Every phase of this process was thorough, reflecting the club’s commitment to excellence.
Kamil Potrykus (left), Czeslaw Michniewicz (center) and Robert Lewandowski (right) at the 2022 World cup
While there was interest from several other Premier League clubs, the professionalism and family atmosphere at Newcastle ultimately influenced my decision to officially join the Club at the start of July, marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter in my career.
Newcastle United is an incredible football club and I’m delighted to be joining at this very exciting time. I would like to sincerely thank the Club for their trust in making me part of a team that is helping the club grow and achieve long-term success. We are embarking on an exciting Premier League and Champions League season ahead.
At 38 years old, you already have a lot of experience at the international top level of football coaching, scouting and game analytics. What are your personal goals? Do you hope to be a first team coach one day? Or maybe a sporting director?
Potrykus: Throughout my career, I have accumulated a diverse range of experiences, covering everything from under-21 football to a senior national team, as well as collaborations with various clubs in the Ekstraklasa. Each of these undertakings was driven by distinct values, needs, challenges, and valuable learning opportunities.
Legia Warsaw won the Polish league title in the 2020-21 season when Kamil Potrykus worked at the club.
With Legia Warsaw, we won the Ekstraklasa league title and qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stage.
The Polish national team is also a type of “club,” except it encompasses the whole country and unites fans and subjecting you to work under immense pressure.
Taking care of the best players in the country was a significant responsibility, a real privilege and fabulous experience, especially qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and helping Poland to the Round of 16 stage for the first time since 1986.
Kamil Potrykus with the Polish national team.
Team management is not only tactics and on-field matters; players recruitment is an equally important process. Making the right player choices is key to success.
While in club football, players are recruited to fit a preferred system, at the international level, you have to find a system that fits the players available.
The way I look at my own career is to simply hone my skills every day, because you never stop learning.
I don’t think many people dream of being an assistant manager when they are older. Most want to coach their own team. However, from the very outset, my goal has been to eventually become a sporting director at the right time, and I want to continue along this path. NUFC is a perfect place with experienced individuals who can guide me to reach new levels.
Share some of your ideas and innovations for Newcastle… any scouting software you want them to implement, maybe? And which players and executives at the club are you most excited to work with?
Potrykus: Working with world-class footballers whose expectations, as well as tactical and technical understanding are at an extremely high level, demands the same from us. We must ensure we operate at the utmost level as well. Therefore, I consistently employ top-notch work tools, including advanced technology, and I’m always on the lookout for new, innovative approaches. You can’t stand still.
My favorite tool is the advanced video analysis software Piero from Ross, which enables me to deliver high-quality content. Graphics play a crucial role in video analysis, as they closely involve the players in the analysis process.
In the 2022-23 Premier League season, Newcastle placed fourth, qualifying for participation in the champions league.
In my previous role with the Poland senior team, I dedicated a significant amount of my time to scouting and player selection, focusing on selecting players who are suited to the optimal level of competition and possess the right mentality.
At present, my primary responsibility at Newcastle United involves actively supporting the recruitment department in the selection of players for the first-team level.
Understanding and fully committing to my role, I will utilize my experience and versatility of skills to efficiently fulfill my assigned tasks and meet the expectations of the club leadership. This will be my daily focus.
Throughout my professional journey, I’ve always prioritized aligning myself with places and individuals that resonate with my values and vision. The right individuals and choices have played a significant role in shaping who I am today and have greatly contributed to my success in subsequent roles. I hold these values and consistently ensure that they guide my decisions.
Newcastle United is a remarkable football club managed on the basis of incredible values. It’s not just the rich history and passionate fans that make it special; it’s also the culture and the wonderful people behind the scenes that make it an enviable place to work.
Kamil Potrykus joins Newcastle United’s coaching staff for the 2023-24 season
For a while now, I have been following the career of the sporting director Dan Ashworth, and the head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, who, along with Eddie Howe at the helm, are doing excellent work for the club. While the club owes its success to the collective effort of numerous other dedicated professionals, it is primarily due to their contributions that I made the decision to join NUFC. I believe that collaborating with them will not only provide a chance for my development but will also pave the way for collective triumphs.
You took some time off after the 2022 World Cup. How did you spend the months leading up to your Newcastle United appointment?
Potrykus: Football is characterized by constant pressure, stress, and relentless competition; finding balance within it is crucial, which I achieve through my passion for painting—instilled in me by the late, remarkable artist Stefan Lewiński, who imparted one of the most valuable lessons by teaching me “how to watch” and see the bigger picture with attention to details.
I spent two months on the Greece island of Santorini, where I had the opportunity to visit two prominent painters and at the same time avid football fans, Christoforos Asimis and Dimitri Kolioussis, and indulge in the art of painting.