Oledzki ready to make his dreams come true on Friday night
Whether the city of Gdansk is all too aware of the history being made in LS6 on Friday night remains to be seen: but for the Oledzki family, it will be a very special occasion indeed.
When Mikolaj Oledzki steps out during Leeds’ Challenge Cup tie with Doncaster tonight, it will be only the second time a Polish-born player has appeared for a Super League club (PSG’s Gregorz Kacala being the first). As milestones go, it is not a bad one to tick off on your debut.
The prop is one of Leeds’ most highly-rated products in years. Already an England Academy international, Oledzki has been tipped for a bright future before he has even played for the Rhinos’ first-team: and for him, Friday night will be a special occasion.
“It’s gone pretty quick. It feels like I started playing last year but it’s all gone fast and I couldn’t be happier. This is what lads dream of; playing first grade, and for me it’s a dream come true.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while since last year. I got a few opportunities to be 18th man last year, and I’ve had a little taster but Friday is the real deal and I get a debut, which is a dream come true really.”
Oledzki has had to bide his time for his chance. He came close to a debut last year and has since spent time in the Championship with Bradford and Featherstone this year in preparation for his first-team debut: something he thinks has stood him in good stead.
He said: “Playing with Bradford and Featherstone this year has given me loads of experience and it’s helped me to develop, playing against teams in the Championship. I feel like I’m in the right place and form to play first-team though, and I’ll have a good performance on Friday.”
And like his coach, Oledzki is refusing to underestimate the League 1 side on Friday night as Leeds look to progress to the last 16 of the Challenge Cup.
He said: “You need to respect teams, it doesn’t matter what division they’re in.
“For them it’s a big game, and they’ll want to put in a big performance and get a win, so it’s important we respect them and try to put in the best performance we can.”Comment on this and other stories on the Total Rugby League Fans Forum