Alexandra Pope has been wearing the Wolves shirt for ten years now. The national player has celebrated seven German championships, two Champions League victories and now nine DFB Cup victories this decade with Lower Saxony. Triumphs are now a routine for the multi-level athlete, who “on the side” won Olympic gold with the DFB pick in 2016 – at least that’s what you might think when looking at her collection of titles. Because anyone watching Bob after Saturday’s cup final in Cologne against Turbine Potsdam (4-0) must have had the impression that this win was very special for them.
The amazing multiplier has tremendous value
The 31-year-old was everywhere after the winner’s party. If a photographer was about to take a picture of some of her teammates, Bob jumped in the frame. When Ranger Almuth Shoulth gave an interview, the captain joined them, chanted “VfL, VfL” and then disappeared into the locker room with two bottles of watermelon liqueur to set the tone for the festivities.
Popp’s exuberant delight showed that this duo mattered so much to her and VfL, as it came as a complete surprise.
The rookie student in the German Bundesliga immediately
“I wasn’t expecting us to achieve so much in a turbulent year,” said coach Tommy Strutt. The 33-year-old succeeded Stefan Lerch at Werksclub last summer, who took over from TSG Hoffenheim U17. Nordhorn’s citizen commitment can certainly be described as risky. Although Stroot had previously worked successfully for FC Twente in the Netherlands, the Bundesliga was a new territory for him. In addition, Stroot is no longer capable of being relegated to a strong and experienced team like its predecessor.
Longtime top performers such as Lara Dickenman and Zanet Jakab either ended their careers or did not get a new contract (Lena Gosling). The other players (Ingrid Serstad Engin and Fridolina Rulfo) followed the money lure and traveled abroad. And with VfL already losing such indispensable players as Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, Noelle Maritz, Pernille Harder, Nilla Fischer and Caroline Graham Hansen in previous years, it was difficult to assess before the start of the season whether Werksclub would still have the quality to win titles after such a fundamental loss. .
Its own category in the German League
Of course, titles are “always the goal,” said Strutt and sporting director Ralph Kellerman before the new series began. However, the managerial duo did not frame winning the championship and/or cup as an unconditional claim due to the unrest. At least not publicly. In this way, the formed and rejuvenated team did not come under pressure and were able to grow together in peace. This process was surprisingly fast. Because after the expected surprise start to the season with a draw and defeat in the first six Bundesliga matches, Lower Saxony won 15 of the 16 remaining first division matches and replaced Bayern Munich as German champions once again.
“We had a challenge that we were incredibly able to manage as a team.”
Also in the cup, the French Football Federation defeated the biggest national opponent 3-1 in the semi-finals and won the title for the eighth time in a row.
“I am so proud of the whole group.”
The fact that they lost to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals did not detract from a great season at Wolfsburg. “I am very proud of the whole group,” said Strutt. “What has happened over the past few months makes the coaching staff very proud.” His team celebrated on stage at the City Hall reception on Sunday, showing fans a bowl and a bowl and carrying themselves around. In the Golden City book.
Wolfsburg depends on German players
Stroot’s first season as a VFL coach undoubtedly deserves the “excellent” rating, even if the “first division” win is not achieved. At the concert of the most fulfilling international clubs, Wolfsburg was only playing the favorite, not the top candidate. This should remain the case next season. Because unlike clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal or Barcelona, the Factory Club cannot afford the best European stars. Instead, Stroot and Kellermann mainly rely on Bundesliga players who are still able to develop or are experienced.
In Marina Hegering and Kristin Demann, two experienced defenders were brought in for the upcoming series. Additionally, there are 21-year-old Potsdam captain Sarah Agro, Jules Brand of TSG Hoffenheim, who is two years younger than her, and goalkeeper Merle Froms.
The core of the team stays together almost
The 27-year-old will replace Almoth Schulte, who will move to Angel City FC in the US after 15 titles with VfL. The national goalkeeper is the only regular player to have announced her departure so far. So the young Wolfsburg team should do better in the new season after the process of growing together in this series. ARD expert Nia Konzer praised Wolfsburg’s trajectory: “Wolfsburg always manage to put together a very broad team. It’s hard to get into that position and then stay there. And they do it really well.”
“Wolves” are capable of triple
It doesn’t have to be “just” double at the end. The VfL trilogy cannot be considered perfect if the administrators continue to act with insight, precision and calm and the team summons its full potential. But as Weyerbest said before Saturday’s final: “You always start from scratch.” And so it is important to confirm the “wolves” this season.