by Olaf Goldbecker
A déjà vu happens, for Frankfurt you can write the same article as a year ago. This time Frankfurt did not even qualify for the Champions League. The reaction is the same after every season: the team goes shopping, particularly for big names. The defense was having very prominent names before and gets even stronger with Bianca Schmidt and Babett Peter who will easily replace the leaving players. Simone Laudehr is another key addition, while the hopes in the offense rely on Sandrine Bretigny. The team was made stronger again but the main question will be if the right consequences were drawn since the focal weakness, the offense lineup, was not significantly improved.
Additions: Simone Laudehr (FCR Duisburg), Sandrine Bretigny (Olympique Lyonnais), Babett Peter, Bianca Schmidt (Turbine Potsdam), Jessica Wich (Hamburger SV)
Losses: Jessica Landström (Djurgarden/Sweden), Gina Lewandowski (Bayern München), Ria Percival (FF USV Jena)
Predicted Finish: Doubtlessly Frankfurt is a top team but the offense line still does not fully convince, and it appears that not the right consequences were drawn from last year’s failure. The qualification for the Champions League should be realized and of course they are competing for the title but there is one team left that seems to have done better homework.
FCR 2001 Duisburg
When we talk about big changes in Potsdam this still is nothing compared to Duisburg. The club was financially struggling and had to let many players go. Laudehr, Popp, Krahn, Wensing, Bresonik – this practically were the reasons why Duisburg was able to finish fourth last year. On the goalkeeping position they improved with Ashlyn Harris but other quality additions only are Elli Reed as left back, and Nicole Banecki who was sorted out by Bayern Munich. The financial struggles will have an effect on the former powerhouse and Duisburg will have to accept a minor role in the league in the future.
Additions: Ashlyn Harris (unattached), Elli Reed (Boston Breakers), Nicole Banecki (Bayern München)
Losses: Simone Laudehr (1.FFC Frankfurt), Petra Hogewoning (Ajax Amsterdam), Christina Bellinghoven (retired), Annike Krahn, Linda Bresonik (Paris St Germain), Alexandra Popp, Luisa Wensing (VfL Wolfsburg), Anke Preuss (TSG Hoffenheim)
Prediction: Duisburg will finish in the middle of the standings. With some luck they challenge Bayern Munich for the fourth spot but more realistic is a battle with Bad Neuenahr for 5th.