Matysik: 'Going abroad was a huge experience'

Poland international Sylwia Matysik and the Werkself last week agreed to extend the contract with the 23-year-old that was due to run out in the summer. Sylwia will remain at Bayer 04 for another two years. We met up with the Werkself Women's midfield dynamo for an interview.

Congratulations on the contract extension, Sylwia. We are happy you're staying at Leverkusen beyond the summer. What convinced you to extend your stay at Bayer 04?
Sylwia Matysik:
Bayer 04 are a big club and the facilities here are simply brilliant. I can see there are good conditions for my personal development as well as that of the team. I just feel at home here, I like the city and the quiet area where I live. I'm very much looking forward to the next two years. I'd like to thank the management and the coaching staff for the confidence they've shown in me.

You moved from Poland to Leverkusen in the summer of 2019 – what was the first year like for you?
This is my first club abroad – taking that step was a huge experience. Everything was new to me. But I received a lot of help and the players and the coaches have been very good to me. As a team, we've had a very good season on the pitch so far. It's a pity that I was sidelined with injury for a couple of weeks (back problem, ed.) and I wasn't able to help the team. Now I'm happy to be fit again and able to play a full part in the last few games.

You said it – it's the end of season run-in. What's your assessment of this season as it stands?
We're in fifth place with three games to play and we've got a chance of finishing fourth – and that's what we're fighting for. The team has developed very well from the start. We’ve worked a lot on technique, fitness and tactics. Each individual has made progress. There's a lot of potential in this team.




You've struggled with back problems in recent weeks; you made your comeback in the last game against Essen. How are you now and how do you deal with such long-term injuries?  
Everything is okay again with my back. I don't have any pain any more and I can do full training and play again. Injuries are never easy for players. I'm always hungry and I want to play instead of "just" having to be a fan in the stands. I'm happy when I can be on the pitch.

Your coach Achim Feifel has recently highlighted your strength in challenges and aggression on the pitch – are those your characteristics in games?
I agree with the coach, those are my main strengths. I like to be aggressive in defence and to get stuck into one-on-one situations.

When you came here you didn't speak or understand a word of German – how are you getting on with communication now?
I'm doing a German language course and have lessons twice a week. First I learned all the football terminology and I picked that up quickly. I can speak and understand German more and more but I'm still continuing to learn to be able to communicate better.

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