2014 saw Tom Hateley move from the comfort of the British Isles to try and carve out a career in Poland.
After four seasons as a regular starter for Scottish Premiership side Motherwell, Hateley, the son of the former England international Mark, made the move south to join League One side Tranmere Rovers on a four month contract.
Despite making eight starts, the midfielder’s move across the border was hampered by injury and he left the Rovers at the of his contract.
Allowing his contract to run down proved to be a smart move for Hateley, as he secured a two-and-a-half-year deal with Polish top tier side Śląsk Wrocław in January 2014.
Last season was a disappointing time for Slask, as having finished third the previous year, they limped to a 12th place finish. This meant they would be in the bottom half of the table as the league split into two.
However, the arrival of the Englishman did boost Slask, as Hateley lost just three of the 12 games he started as the side cruised to topping the relegation round, going unbeaten in seven matches.
This season has seen the side regain their form. After 19 games, Hateley’s team are second in the league, just two points behind Legia Warsaw – meaning they are well on course to make the championship round when the league splits into two this April.
The former Motherwell man has missed just four league games this year, making fifteen appearances in addition to a further two in the cup.
Usually deployed in a defensive midfield role, Hateley has also been used in defence meaning he has yet to score his first goal in Poland.
Interestingly, the English midfielder was actually born in Monaco whilst his dad plied his trade with the French side.
2014 has been a good year for Hateley. The move to Poland was exactly what he needed to prevent his career from stagnating and if 2015 is just as kind, the 25-year-old could achieve something his dad never managed – a Polish League winners’ medal.