Bundesliga Preview, Part 2 of 6

by Olaf Goldbecker

Jena only finished three points ahead of the dotted line and made no advertising for themselves with continuous woes behind the scenery. Only two new additions were made. Safi Nyembo is a proven 2. Bundesliga striker who still has to prove her value in the top league, while Ria Percival has to change from being an average player with a top team to a key performer to a lesser talented team. With Tessa Rinkes and Mirte Roelvink two players were lost to a direct competitor, and with Sylvia Arnold one of the key faces of the team left as well. The times are not getting easier for Jena.

Additions: Ria Percival (1.FFC Frankfurt), Safi Nyembo (Lokomotive Leizig)
Losses: Tessa Rinkes, Mirte Roelvink (FSV Gütersloh), Sylvia Arnold (SC Freiburg), Stephanie Milde (unknown)

Prediction: Jena is not a lot stronger than the newly promoted teams but has more experience which might keep them in the league. A season without relegation worries would be a surprise though. For the promoted teams Gütersloh and Sindelfingen, Jena will be the first target out of the established clubs.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen
If Hamburg hadn’t withdrawn their team from the top league, Bayer Leverkusen would not be in the upper house anymore. A disastrous first half season was not possible to be repaired, too many inexperienced talents did not have their nerves under control. Thomas Obliers is a new coach on the sideline and he brought three new players in while he had to suffer a bunch of leaving players. Isabel Kerschowski, the new team captain, was signed from Potsdam, certainly a spectacular move. Ramona Petzelberger and Marisa Ewers bring quality in but the line of leaving players is long and full of quality players. Coach Obliers proved to be able to work with such a young roster in the past though.

Additions: Isabel Kerschowski (Turbine Potsdam), Marisa Ewers (Hamburger SV), Ramona Petzelberger (SC Bad Neuenahr)

Losses: Johanna Elsig (Turbine Potsdam), Sally Shipard (Canberra United), Teresa Tüllmann (retired), Shelley Thompson (SC Bad Neuenahr), Natalie Moik (VCU), Katie Bethke (graduation), Stephanie Mpalaskas (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Prediction: Bayer is one of the most interesting teams in the league. On paper the team is worse than in the previous season despite the three quality signings. Yet last season they performed incredibly below their real level, so that it would not be a miracle if they finished on a good midfield position despite a weaker team. Still, if things don’t work out as expected they are also capable of repeating a nightmare season since the club missed to add veteran leadership and experience, which already was their problem in the previous season.