"Not to be reckoned with"
Stephan Lerch spoke at the end of the double-winning year about his first few months in charge of the VfL women.
Year for year, a new calculation must be made as to how many titles the women from VfL Wolfsburg have won since 2013. The change of head-coach in the summer seemed set to mark the end of an era. The transition however passed astoundingly smoothly. In the new constellations, Ralf Kellermann, now as Sporting Director, and Stephan Lerch have kept the Lady-Wolves on track and in a brief interview, the head-coach looked back with satisfaction and ahead with optimism.
Stephan Lerch, you have now completed your first half-year as head-coach. How was it?
Stephan Lerch: No question – my conclusion is a very positive one. With very few exceptions, we achieved great results and, above all, we have implemented just what we set out to do on the pitch. Dominant football with immense commitment was our goal. The team implemented exactly that exceptionally.
What generally remains lodged in the memory from the double-winning year 2017?
Lerch: The two titles speak for themselves. It was very impressive to see with just how much dominance and determination the team strove from win to win with in the latter half of the campaign. The smooth transition following the European Championships, from which our players returned with widely differing impressions, was not self-evident. The fact that the team immediately functioned and made such a good start into league operations was not necessarily to be reckoned with. There we laid the groundwork to now go into the winter break as league-leaders.
In Kristine Minde, Claudia Neto and Ella Masar, you have made three new signings for the latter half of the campaign. Will there be further alterations made to the squad?
Lerch: We are very happy to have convinced those three to join us. Kristine and Claudia have been training with us since December. Considering the major challenges that await us, they provide us with further options. So long as nothing really unexpected happens during the winter-preparations.
What are your objectives for the second half of the season? What intentions do you and the team have?
Lerch: In principle, the same as in summer: We want to secure qualification for the Champions League through our Bundesliga position – which means coming at least second. The fact that we want to progress as far as possible in the cup is self-explanatory, but our focus is on the Bundesliga. There we have put ourselves in an excellent position and we ultimately want to reward ourselves for the invested effort. In other words: We want to win more titles!