As a follow up to the recent ‘Wanderers Junior Foreign Legion’ piece, we managed to secure an interview with a former Wanderers prospect, Błażej Augustyn. Augustyn has had one of the most successful careers of the players in that piece since leaving Wanderers as a teenager; playing in Serie A, Serie B, The SPL and Poland. We had a chat about his time at Bolton Wanderers, his career and his thought on football.
LOVS - Thank you for speaking to The Lion of Vienna Suite. First of all, how did your move to Bolton as a teenager come about?
Augustyn - No problem. Think that some scout saw me in the youth national team and then they got me for a week to have a trail. Trail went more then good so I signed a contract.
LOVS - How would you describe your time at Bolton? Where there any notable positives or negatives?
Augustyn - Of course I was young and so far away from home. I couldn’t speak any English but I was so postive and all my time at Bolton was so good. I met great players I learnt a lot from great coaches and met some lovely people.
LOVS - Was there any advice from one of the senior players that stuck in your head throughout your career?
Augustyn - Yes of course. I spoke a lot with Ivan Campo. Kevin Nolan also gave us advice on the pitch, as many of that team did. They were really open to us and so helpful.
LOVS - That's good to hear. What made you turn down the contract Sammy Lee offered you in 2007? Do you still think it was the best decision for you?
Augustyn - I had offer from Legia Warsov, the big club in Poland and I knew I would have more chances to play ...but it wasn’t a good decision. I didn't play a lot and then had few injuries. The only positive I think was that after one year I went to Italy and managed to reach Serie A, making 20 appearances. Thought that it could be many more but I had bad injuries during that period. Any way who knows if I stayed at Bolton?
LOVS - Where there any other of the foreign youth players that really stood out for you as bring talented when you were there?
Augustyn - I think Jarek (Fojut) and Scott (Jamieson) were great players and good characters. We had very good youth players at that time but only a few of us playing football at the high level. Don’t know why. I mean I don’t know why the others stopped playing or changed their mind because they were good and had everything to go as a high a level as they could.
LOVS - You've had a good career in Serie A, Serie B and the SPL. What has been the highlight for you and would you ever consider a return to England or even Bolton if the opportunity came up?
Augustyn - Highlight... I think that I could have made much more (of my career). I mean my career was stop-start too often due to my injuries, but I still fight and keep in shape with lots of fitness to stay on top. Of course! I would like to return if the opportunity came about.
LOVS - Who was your best friend/team mate whilst at Bolton?
Augustyn - My best friends were Jarek (Fojut) and Przemek (Kazimierczak). They were Polish and so I spent most of my time with them. I did have good relations with all the boys though.
LOVS - Would you recommend younger players move abroad as you have done in your career?
Augustyn - Yes of course. You can build your character, you learn a lot everything: Life, language and football. I’m saying always. If someone has a chance to try, do it because it can be the first and last one.
LOVS - Was there anyone you looked up to on the senior team at Bolton?
Augustyn - Yes i liked Tal Ben Haim as a player. He was aggressive, good at defending and a great man.
LOVS - And finally Do you think clubs to do more to support young players moving abroad given how difficult you said you found it?
Augustyn I was really thankful to Bolton. I found a big family there and great people that did everything to make me feel at home. IF every single club did as they did, that would be more than enough.
LOVS - Thank you so much for answering our questions. Hope you have a good season!
Augustyn - Thank you. Have a good day.