And so it begins!

The Lady-Wolves begin with their pre-season preparations.

The VfL ladies during the first training session of the 2ß18/19 season.

Exactly 51 day ago, the VfL women hoisted the championship trophy towards the heavens over Wolfsburg and exuberantly celebrated their double win. After a well-deserved holiday, the Lady-Wolves have now all set their sights on the coming season – new challenges, new targets and new faces! On Monday, the break ended for the Green-Whites with the obligatory lactate-test. The VfL crew then took to the pitch for their first pre-season session on Tuesday. For assistant coach Markus Högner, it was his first assignment on the side-line alongside VfL head coach Stephan Lerch. In Sara Doorsoun, Mary Earps and Pia-Sophie Wolter, the Green-Whites welcomed three new Lady-Wolves, as well as home-grown talent Melina Loeck, who now links up with the first team. One further Under 20 player missed out: Anna-Lena Stolze, also linking up with the double-winners squad this season, joins VfL team mate Meret Wittje with the German national team at the Under 19 European Championships.

Quartet train individually

In the first session ahead of the new season, the Green-Whites certainly worked up a sweat – and not just due to the high temperatures exceeding 33°C. Following a brief warm-up phase, last season’s double-winners then got to work on the ball – with passing practice and a short kick-about on the programme. "The intensity in training was very high, not least due to the weather. I am going to have to get used to such an extreme tempo," explained Doorsoun honestly after the work-out. Absentees on the day included Sara Gunnarsdottir, Ewa Pajor and Kristin Minde. All three are in rehabilitation training, as they recover from injuries picked up last season. Not on the pitch but working away in the weight-room was Earps: The new VfL keeper is recovering from a stress-fracture to the heel.

First friendly against Kiel

Lena Goeßling, Alexandra Popp & Co. face their first pre-season friendly opponent in Holstein Kiel on Sunday, July 29th (16:00 CEST). Between August 17th and 26th, the VfL women will undertake a training-camp in Walchsee, Austria, before the new campaign gets underway in September with the second-round of the DFB-Cup (September 8th/9th), the ‘Round of 32’ first-leg in the UEFA Women´s Champions League (September 12th/13th) and subsequently the first game in the Bundesliga season against 1.FFC Frankfurt (September 16th).