WARSAW — Polish second division stragglers Warta Poznan may have found a secret weapon as they battle to avoid the drop: a former Playboy cover star.
Izabela Lukomska-Pyzalska, 33, has been named club chair and is pledging to run a tight ship to try to save Warta from relegation.
Lukomska-Pyzalska told the rolling news channel TVN24 she was unfazed by Poland's macho football scene.
"This isn't a problem for me. It's my meat and drink," she said.
Lukomska-Pyzalska currently runs a real estate and construction firm in the western Polish city.
"That's hardly a woman's world either," she noted.
"I worked as a model a good few years ago. I've been in construction and property development for five years. In those five years we've become one of Poznan's leading developers. I think I can achieve the same in football," she said.
"I don't have a light touch in the construction sector. I'll be looking for the same things in football: order and discipline," she added.
Lukomska-Pyzalska featured on the covers of Playboy, where she was "Playmate of the year" in 2001, and other adult magazines. She also appeared in a Polish soap opera entitled "What are men afraid of?"
Warta are set to celebrate their 100th birthday next year, making them one of Poland's oldest clubs.
But their glory days lie firmly in the past.
They stayed solidly in the top three in the 1920s and 1930s, and won the title in 1929.
During World War II, when the occupying Nazi Germans banned Polish sport, Warta kept going in a secret Poznan league.
They won the league again in 1949, but were relegated the following year. They finally returned to the top flight in 1993, but only stayed up for two seasons.
They are currently third from bottom in the second division, leaving them with an uphill battle when the league resumes in March after the winter break.
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