After their double success in 1956 by winning both the National Soccer League regular season championship and the playoff championship, the White Eagles had seen their fortunes take a downward turn. They finished the 1957 season in second place in the final standings. This was followed up by a fourth place finish in the 1958 season.
The Polish White Eagles then had a near-catastrophic 1959 season. The once proud red and white team finished second from bottom in the final standings and before the 1960 season all powers were set in to reclaim their pride as one of Toronto’s major clubs. This led to the White Eagles taking an unusual step in looking to Poland for reinforcements.
With the help of the Polish government four top-class players were recruited. The four players arrived in Toronto in April 1960.
Stanisław Domański – 25 years old. Started his career with Klub Sportowy Borek in Krakow. In 1954 he signed for Wisła Kraków. Represented the Polish National Youth Team.
Zbigniew Kotaba – 28 years old. Formerly of Wisła Kraków. Represented the Polish “B” National team.
Włodzimierz Kościelny – 27 years old. His profession was a mechanical engineer. Formerly of Wisła Kraków.
Edward Szymeczko – 26 years old. Formerly of Wisła Kraków.
Despite the quality the four players brought to the team, White Eagles failed to see the success they expected. The club’s mid-table finish was way below of their ambitions.
The heavy cost of carrying these players led to the Toronto White Eagles loaning out their four star players to Chicago Eagles for the 1960-61 indoor season in Chicago. The four also represented Chicago Eagles in the 1960-61 United States National Open Cup.
In a response to his departure from the White Eagles Włodzimierz Kościelny sent a letter to the Polish immigrant paper Zwilazkowiec Alliancer:
"In connection with my departure to the USA and the possibility that I can not play in Canada anymore. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Board of the White Eagles, to Polish organizations and the entire Canadian Polish community for bringing me here and the assistance provided during my almost 11-month stay. By the way, thank you also The editorial office of "Zwilązkowiec" for posting factual press reviews about my walks in the colors of the White Eagle. Włodzimierz Kościelny"
1960 NSL Final standings
*After the season Ulster United changed places with Montreal Ukraina due to Ukraina’s use of ineligible players.
Edward Szymeczko returned to Poland from Chicago after the 1961 season. He was denied permission to return to the United States and lived in Poland until he passed away in Krakow in 2006.
On November 30, 1964, Ziggy Kotaba was found slain in his apartment in Chicago. Two youths were later found guilty of murdering him when they robbed him of $55. It was said that Ziggy had been unlawfully in the United States for more than a year as his immigration visa had expired.
Ziggy’s death caused an outcry of sympathy and affection by the soccer followers in Chicago.
Włodzimierz Kościelny remained with the Chicago Eagles throughout the 1960’s. He passed away in Chicago in 2004.