How we transformed this struggling club into title contenders
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Success Stories
How we transformed this struggling club into title contenders
by Jack Hyom

Sporting Director David Balda, 32, explains how he led Śląsk Wrocław from narrowly avoiding relegation to battling for the Polish Ekstraklasa title, and how TransferRoom's been key.

The day after I signed, the President left. Many people left after my arrival, which I didn't expect. There were, like, 30 staff without a contract, 20-30 players across senior and youth football without a contract in the summer. I had 20 days to sort out everything.
David Balda
Sporting Director, Śląsk Wrocław

When 32-year-old David Balda was named Sporting Director of Śląsk Wrocław in June 2023, he inherited a club that had avoided relegation from Poland’s top league by one point.

The President had also left. And he had no Academy Director.

Added to that, 20-30 players were out of contract and he had to sign nearly 10 players within a few weeks before the Ekstraklasa season kicked off.

 

But he was able to count on the vastly experienced Head Coach Jacek Magiera, who returned to the club in April 2023 after previously being at Śląsk from March 2021 to March 2022.

They started the season with one point from three matches, but what followed is one of the most remarkable success stories in the 2023-24 campaign. 

In a year where Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Girona FC and Aston Villa have competed with the very best at the top of the Bundesliga, La Liga and Premier League, Śląsk added another underdog story.

A 16-match unbeaten run earned Śląsk top spot at Christmas, and with the run-in approaching they’re still fighting for the title.

 

And the club have done this while making a profit of €3.5m, through player sales, loans and the end of player contracts.

Balda tells us the story of how he made that transformation happen while managing the Academy and the Women’s team.

 

“The day after I signed, the President left," Balda said in the video below. “Many people left after my arrival, which I didn't expect. There were, like, 30 staff without a contract, 20-30 players across senior and youth football without a contract in the summer. When I came, I had 20 days to sort out everything. We did eight or nine transfers in the summer.

Watch David Balda explain Śląsk’s remarkable rise

 



He also reveals how TransferRoom, world football’s transfer marketplace, played a pivotal role in his transfer strategy and three key signings for the first team: Mateusz Żukowski, Burak İnce and Aleksander Paluszek.

Direct access to the decision-makers at over 750 clubs worldwide, and a community of more than 450 Trusted Agents, verified as the representatives of their players, was crucial in making contact with the right people and getting reliable and accurate information on their availability.

And it's a platform that every club in Poland's Ekstraklasa gain access to, as part of a league-wide agreement with TransferRoom.

 

“TransferRoom, in my opinion, is an amazing platform," Balda said. "I'm using it in many ways. I'm getting in touch with the clubs. I'm pitching an interest for players.

 

“If you want to shorten the gap between the top clubs and the top leagues, you need a platform like TransferRoom, in my opinion. It's very simple to use. It's very quick to use, and you can do a lot of work. Now the train is going so fast, if you don't jump on, the train will be too far away.”

 

See the Expected Transfer Value career history, resale value and Player Ratings of Żukowski, İnce, Paluszek and thousands of other players through our new Player Profiles, plus much more.

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