Training begins for the ladies from VfL Wolfsburg: With head-coach Stephan Lerch having gathered his players together on Wednesday for the obligatory lactate test, on Thursday it was then time to take to the pitch for the first time this year. Lerch had a broad squad at his disposal for the first training session in 2018, with only the injured Katharina Baunach (partial inner-ligament rupture) and Merle Frohms (working individually) missing from the afternoon work-out.
Whilst Claudia Neto and Kristine Minde, who both signed to the Green-Whites in winter, have been training with the team since the beginning of December, Ella Masar was amongst her new team mates for the first time since making the move to the Lady-Wolves from Swedish first division side FC Rosengard. The new number 30 had already taken the opportunity to get a look around her new home city and was positively surprised by what she saw: "I am in my tenth year as a professional footballer and have seen a lot of the world, but a club as professional as VfL is something I am experiencing for the first time. I am very thankful for the opportunity to play here."
In spite of the frost temperatures, the Lady-Wolves were highly motivated going into their first session of the year. Coach Lerch had an initial warm-up, some passing practice and a training kick-about on the plan, with the entire squad completely committed to the tasks at hand. "We are delighted that things are getting going again and I think that was very clear to see from the players during the first session. They all worked very well and consistently during the winter break and put their individual training schedules into action," praised the coach, adding: "You can also really see that our new signings are extremely eager about their new tasks. They are making a determined effort, are very positive and full of smiles. That’s very encouraging for our future collaboration." Winter-signing Kristine Minde was extremely impressed by the start to the New Year and the training sessions she was involved in during December: "The training is really good and very intensive. I had hoped that in coming here, I would have the opportunity to train and play at this level – that has now been confirmed."
Until the end of January, the Lady-Wolves will remain in Wolfsburg, as they prepare for the latter half of the Allianz Frauen-Bundesliga season, before the crew head to Portugal on January 24th, to undertake a training camp in Faro, where they will put the finishing touches to their plans for a successful second half to their campaign.