Monday, January 25, 2010

The Second Division was divided in two groups in 1972-73, and three teams were promoted: the champions of the two groups plus the winner of play-off between the second placed clubs. Curious promotions, from today’s perspective: the two champions, RC Lens and Troyes, and AS Monaco, after winning the play-off.

Top, left to right: Sowinski – coach, Kalek, Derouck, Hede, Masquart, Tempet, Marie, Lannoy.
Bottom: Grzegorczyck, Lhote, Wolniack, Elie, Mankowski, Zurazeck.
RC Lens were still a club from the ‘limbo’ zone – too strong for Second Division, yet, too weak for First Division, therefore regularly moving up and down. Not exactly consistent club attracting big attention. Lean years, but eventually they established themselves among the better French clubs after the mid-1980s. So far – only trying to survive. The most interesting feature of the team is the distinct Polish presence – some born in France: Sowinski, Wolniack, Mankowski, Zurazeck. Some former Polish national players quietly allowed to play in France – and the only players of some renown here – Ryszard Grzegorczyck (23 caps and 2 goals for Poland) and Eugeniusz Faber (missing from the picture; 36 caps and 11 goals for Poland).