Tomasz Hajto

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Tomasz Hajto is a former Polish defender who was born in Makow, Podhalanski on 16th October 1972. Hajto began his professional career with Hutnik Krakow, having previously been on the books of Goral Zywiec. In 1993 Hajto joined Gornik Zabrze, where he made his name for himself in a four year spell. He won his first Polish international cap in 1996.

In 1997 Hajto moved to Duisburg, and helped the German club to two mid-table finishes, before departing in 2000 following relegation. The Polish international had represented Duisburg in the Cup Winners Cup. In 2000 Hajto joined Schalke, and helped the Gelsenkirchen side to a 2nd place Bundesliga finish in his first campaign. He remained a Schalke regular in 2001/02, as the club competed in the Champions League. Hajto scored in a 4-0 hammering of Mallorca on 16th October 2001. He was part of Poland's 2002 World Cup squad, lining up against South Korea and Portugal. Hajto lost his place as a starter during 2003/04, but still featured in just over half of Schalke's Bundesliga matches. He spent the 2004/05 season at Nurembeg, where he played on a semi-regular basis.

On 28th July 2005 Hajto signed for Harry Redknapp's Southampton after a successful trial. He made his debut for the club on August 6th 2005 in a 0-0 draw with Wolves. Hajto provided a great physical presence from right back with his huge 6ft 3 inch frame, and also offered a threat going forward with his pin point diagonal balls. The former Schalke man performed well in his first few weeks at St Marys. He received his first red card in a 2-2 draw with Derby on September 18th 2005. A terrible display in a clash with Leeds on November 19th 2005 saw Saints blow a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3, partly due to errors from Hajto. That was the beginning of the end for the Pole. He appeared sporadically for the club the following two months, but failed to recapture his early season form. In January 2006 Hajto had his Southampton contract cancelled. He joined Derby immediately following his release, playing six times for the Pride Park outfit before being released at the end of the campaign.

In May 2006 Hajto returned to Poland when he signed for LKS Lodz. A year later he rejoined Gornik Zabrze for a second spell. Hajto was caught up in legal troubles during 2007/08, when in January he was found guilty of manslaughter after killing a girl in his car at a zebra crossing in Lodz. After pleading guilty he received a two year suspended prison sentence, and was forced to pay a fine of 7,000 Polish Zlotys. Hajto closed out his career with LKS Lodz, who he returned to in 2009. He hung up his boots in 2010.