Gwinnett thrilled to see Artur Krysiak answer his critics at Exeter City
When Exeter City were relegated from League One, questions were asked at the capabilities of goalkeeper Artur Krysiak.
The young Pole had endured a torrid, error-strewn campaign leaving many to ask whether he was capable of playing professional football.
Since then though and after a poor start to last season, Krysiak has bounced back in commendable style. His game has improved tremendously to the extent where he is firmly established as the Grecians number one and arguably one of their most gifted players.
“In any adversity you learn and one thing I will praise Artur for is that he has faced a lot of adversity and a lot of difficult situations and he has learnt from them,” said goalkeeper coach Mel Gwinnett of his young protégé.
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“He has managed them well and I think the club, the coaching staff and the manager deserve a lot of credit for helping him through that time and he has repaid them by coming through it strong. With every grey cloud is a silver lining and that silver lining was that it has mentally toughened him up and he is a stronger character for it.”
Confidence obviously plays a large part in it as well. The former Birmingham City youngster could probably not have been at a lower point form a professional sense than he was twelve months ago. Nor could it be much higher than it is right now after three outstanding performances in Exeter’s first three games of the campaign. Yet while Gwinnett is delighted with Krysiak’s form, he is refusing to get carried away.
“He had a good season last year, his decision making improved and the reason that most young goalkeepers struggle is their decision making, which is never instantly great,” Gwinnett said. “That gets better with experience and that has helped him with the more games he has played and I think the back four deserve a lot of credit because they helped him a lot with the way they were around him and worked with him, but I was delighted he did well last season.
“He has had a good start to this season, but I think the danger with any goalkeeper is that you are one mistake away from everyone remembering the mistake. That is always the case with the goalkeeper, unlike most other positions in the team because it can cost you points and that is what people tend to remember.
“But I am one of those people that think teams keep clean sheets, teams win games and teams score goals. I don’t judge Artur or any goalkeeper on how many clean sheets he keeps because without a good back four prepared to do their bit, he can’t keep them.”
One thing Krysiak can’t be questioned is his dedication. It is notable at training on Thursday’s that he is one of the last off the pitch and he gave up much of his summer holiday to partake in extra training under Gwinnett’s guidance.
“Artur gave up his summer with Christy [Pym] and Rhys [Evans], who drove down from Swindon every Monday and Thursday, to train with me,” he said.
“Artur’s kicking has improved and that is because he gave up his summer to become a better player, as did Liam Sercombe, as did Jordan Moore-Taylor, as did Aaron Dawson. A lot of the young players put in a lot of effort in all through June – four weeks of their holidays given up – to come and work on football development, hence why these lads have started the season well.”