Bundesliga Preview, Part 3 of 6

by Olaf Goldbecker

SC 07 Bad Neuenahr
The team of the smallest Bundesliga city underwent some changes after a mediocre season, which finished in 7th place. Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh tries her luck in Potsdam, veteran Bianca Rech was not re-signed and landed with 2. Bundesliga site Cologne, Ramona Petzelberger joined her ex-coach in Leverkusen, and Katie Hoyle returned to New Zealand. Four solid players went and some solid players are new in. Aylin Yaren is a proven technical player for the center mid position. Jessica Bade is a hopeful talent for the outside lanes but injured at the season start. For former top striker Shelley Thompson it might be the last chance to prove that she still has her old class, while Portuguese Neide Simoes will serve as backup keeper and Rachel Rinast still has to prove her Bundesliga capability. Overall the roster is on a comparable level to the last season. The star player is Celia Okoyino da Mbabi, Bad Neuenahr’s life insurance also in times in which it isn’t working as expected.

Additions: Aylin Yaren (Hamburger SV), Jessica Bade (SG Essen-Schönebeck), Rachel Rinast (1 FC Köln), Shelley Thompson (Bayer Leverkusen), Neide Simoes (Escola FC/Portugal)

Losses: Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh (Turbine Potsdam), Ramona Petzelberger (Bayer Leverkusen), Bianca Rech (1.FC Köln), Katie Hoyle (New Zealand)

Prediction: another uneventful season will happen in Bad Neuenahr. They are not good enough for the upper third but too good for the bottom third, so the shape will determine where they range between spots 5 and 8 at the end of this campaign.

SC Freiburg
A very interesting and unpredictable team is SC Freiburg. After getting relegated they directly returned to Bundesliga in 2011 and had an astonishing first season half last year – but this only to nearly collapse after winter. Only six points were collected in 2012, merely Leipzig was worse during this time. What is following now is a major change. No less than ten players left the club and nine will be new in. No doubt that the main work of Coach Milorad Pilipovic will be to form a unit. The pre-season delivered some good results, which is raising the optimism in Germany’s southwestern tip.

Additions: Claire Savin (TSG Hoffenheim), Eva Maria Virsinger (VfL Sindelfingen), Jenista Clark, Jobina Lahr (Lokomotive Leipzig), Sylvia Arnold (FF USV Jena), Katherine Reynolds (Western New York Flash), Fiona O’Sullivan (ASJ Soyaux/France)

Losses: Isabella Schmid (Florida State), Marisa Brunner (Assistant Coach, FC Basel), Stephanie Wendlinger, Isabelle Meyer, Julia Zirnstein, Myriam Krüger (SC Sand), Lydia Miraoui, Essi Sainio (unknown), Kerstin Boschert (FC Basel)

Prediction: Tricky job to evaluate Freiburg. The skills are solid, the key question is how quickly the newly formed team will click together. Should the team show starting woes they might find themselves in the relegation battle, but under normal circumstances they will land mid-table just as Bad Neuenahr.