Zbigniew Kruszyński

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Zbigniew Kruszyński
Personal information
Full nameZbigniew Kruszyński [1]
Date of birth (1960-10-14) 14 October 1960 (age 60)
Place of birth Tczew, Poland
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in) [2]
Position(s) Midfielder, utility player
Youth career
Unia Tczew
Senior career*
1976–1979 Lechia Gdańsk 56 (12)
1979–1982 Hamburger SV II
1982–1983 SC Concordia von 1907
1983–1987 1. FC Saarbrücken 127 (9)
1987–1988 FC 08 Homburg 33 (2)
1988–1992 Wimbledon 71 (4)
1992Brentford (loan) 8 (0)
1992–1993 Brentford 6 (0)
1993 Coventry City 2 (0)
1993–1994 Peterborough United 3 (0)
1994 Oxford City
1994–1995 St Albans City 9 (0)
1996 Hayes 2 (0)
1996 Chertsey Town
1996–1997 Kingstonian 10 (2)
National team
1977–1978 Poland U18
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Zbigniew Kruszyński (born 14 October 1960 in Tczew), commonly known as Detsi Kruszyński or Detzi Kruszyński, is a retired Polish-German football midfielder, who was also adept in defence and attack. In an 18-year professional career, he played league football in Poland, Germany and England. He is probably best remembered for his three-year spell in Germany with 1. FC Saarbrücken, for whom he made over 130 appearances. He also made over 70 First Division appearances for Wimbledon in England. Kruszyński represented Poland at U18 level and was part of the team which finished third at the 1978 European U18 Championship. Kruszyński currently coaches youth football in Ohio, United States.



Lechia Gdańsk

Kruszyński began his career as a youth at hometown club Unia Tczew, before moving to II Liga club Lechia Gdańsk in 1976. [3] Despite being aged just 16, he made his professional debut in a league match versus Olimpia Poznań on 5 June 1977, coming on as a substitute for Andrzej Głownia after 67 minutes. [4] Kruszyński broke into the team the 1977–78 season, making 23 league appearances and scoring two goals and improving again the following year, scoring 10 goals in 34 appearances. [3] Kruszyński travelled with the club to take part in a friendly tournament in West Germany in the summer of 1979 and refused to return to Poland with the team, which caused the Polish FA to suspend him for a year. [5] He made 61 appearances and scored 13 goals for Gdańsk. [6]

Hamburger SV II

While in West Germany, Kruszyński signed for Hamburger SV II in 1979. [3] In a three-season spell, he failed to make an appearance for the club's first team, [3] but trained with high-profile players Franz Beckenbauer, Kevin Keegan, Manfred Kaltz and Felix Magath. [5]

SC Concordia von 1907

Kruszyński joined Oberliga Nord club SC Concordia von 1907 in 1982 and departed at the end of the 1982–83 season. [3]

1. FC Saarbrücken

Kruszyński moved back up the German pyramid to sign for 2. Bundesliga club 1. FC Saarbrücken in 1983. [3] He quickly established himself in the team, missing just five league games during the 1983–84 season. [7] Kruszyński made 32 appearances to help Saarbrücken to a third-place finish in the 1984–85 season and though he didn't play, the club secured promotion to the Bundesliga after winning a playoff versus Arminia Bielefeld. [2] Now playing in the Bundesliga, Kruszyński was moved from his forward position back into the defence and made 32 appearances in a poor season which saw Saarbrücken relegated straight back to the 2. Bundesliga. [2] Kruszyński departed the club at the end of the 1986–87 season, after disastrous campaign in which Saarbrücken narrowly avoided relegation to the Oberliga. [7] He made 132 appearances and scored 10 goals during three years at the Ludwigsparkstadion. [2]

FC 08 Homburg

Kruszyński remained within Saarland to sign for Bundesliga club FC 08 Homburg in 1987. [7] He made 34 appearances and scored two goals during a disastrous 1987–88 season, [2] which saw Homburg relegated back to the 2. Bundesliga after just two seasons in the top-flight. [8]


Kruszyński moved to England to sign for First Division club Wimbledon in December 1988 for a £100,000 fee and he became the third Pole to play in the English top-flight. [9] Utilised as a midfielder by manager Bobby Gould, he struggled to adapt to the physicality of the English game. [5] Kruszyński dropped out of contention during the 1991–92 season and departed the club in August 1992. [9] Kruszyński made 71 league appearances and scored four goals during three-and-a-half years with the Dons. [10]

Brentford (loan and permanent signing)

Kruszyński joined Third Division club Brentford on loan for the final eight games of the 1991–92 season. [11] He played in each game in midfield and helped the Bees secure the Third Division championship and promotion to the second tier. [11] [12] Kruszyński signed permanently for a £60,000 fee in August 1992, [9] but managed only eight appearances during the whole of the 1992–93 season, [11] as the Bees suffered relegation straight back to the third tier. [12] Kruszyński failed to see eye-to-eye with manager Phil Holder and was transfer-listed in September 1992, before being fined two weeks' wages for a training ground bust-up with coach Graham Pearce later in the year. [9] His contract was cancelled at the end of the 1992–93 season, [9] after making 16 appearances in just over a year at Griffin Park. [11]

Coventry City

After a deal to move back to Germany fell through, [13] Kruszyński remained in England and signed for Premiership club Coventry City in September 1993. [14] He made just three appearances and departed the club in December 1993. [14]

Peterborough United

After a proposed move to Second Division club Birmingham City failed to materialise, [13] Kruszyński joined First Division club Peterborough United in December 1993. [1] He managed just five appearances before departing London Road. [15]

Non-league football

Kruszyński dropped into non-league football in 1994 and played for Oxford City, St Albans City, [16] Hayes, [17] Chertsey Town and Kingstonian before retiring in 1997. [3]

International career

Kruszyński represented Poland at U18 level and was part of the team which finished third at the 1978 European U18 Championship. [3] Kruszyński's decision to play club football in Germany in 1979 effectively ended his international career, due to citizenship issues. [5]

Coaching career

Since 2001, Kruszyński has coached youth players at his coaching school in Ohio, United States. [5] [18] At one time, the school had links with Spanish giants Barcelona. [19]

Personal life

Kruszyński's brothers Bogdan and Andrzej were also footballers. [20]


1. FC Saarbrücken


Poland U18

Career statistics

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueNational CupLeague CupOtherTotal
Lechia Gdańsk 1976–77 [6] II Liga 410041
1977–78 [6] 23251283
1978–79 [6] 29900299
1. FC Saarbrücken 1983–84 [2] 2. Bundesliga 32240362
1984–85 [2] 2811000291
1985–86 [2] Bundesliga 31010320
1986–87 [2] 2. Bundesliga35621377
FC 08 Homburg 1987–88 [2] Bundesliga33210342
Wimbledon 1988–89 [3] First Division 162000000162
1989–90 [3] 272000000272
1990–91 [3] 270000000270
1991–92 [3] 1000000010
Wimbledon total714000000714
Brentford (loan) 1991–92 [21] Third Division 8080
Brentford 1992–93 [21] First Division6000101 [lower-alpha 1] 080
Brentford total140001010160
Coventry City 1993–94 [14] Premier League 201030
Peterborough United 1993–94 [15] First Division302050
St Albans City 1994–95 [16] Isthmian League Premier Division906 [lower-alpha 2] 0150
Kingstonian 1996–97 [3] Isthmian League Premier Division1020000102
Career total32930162207035432
  1. Appearance in Anglo-Italian Cup
  2. 2 appearances in London Challenge Cup, 1 appearance in FA Trophy, 1 appearance in Isthmian League Cup, 1 appearance in Herts Senior Cup, 1 appearance in Herts Charity Cup

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