Hello there, Glad to have you back!
After being promoted to the Bundesliga, it meant that we needed to improve the team in several areas and prep for a difficult season ahead. We will take a look at our summer arrivals/departures and pre-season.
Transfers – Out
Not much happened in terms outgoing transfer. We were able recoup 625k in player sales. Frederik Lach & Lars Ritzka were released as their contracts had ran out. We’ve also seen a few of our favorites demoted to our B team such as Justin Eilers, Nico Hecker, Robin Brüseke, Zlatko Janjic and Lasse Jürgensen.
Transfers – In
- Christian Früchtl: Früchtl joins us from Bayern München and will be our new no1. Basel did not want to renew Gebhart’s loan and Tobias Leclerc is not ready to be our no1.
- Jonathan Meier: Another pick up from Bayern, Meier will come in as our backup left back.
- Roberto Massimo: A product of the Stuttgart, Roberto will help cover in multiple positions when needed.
- Matthew Hoppe: I have to admit, the only reason I signed him is because of his display IRL. Although his in-game stats are not bad. He will provide cover as our third striker.
- Mika Schroers: He joins us from Borussia Mönchengladbach, he will provide cover in different positions with the intention of becoming a starter.
- Sidi Sane, Luca Netz, and Angelo Brückner are all back for another season. Joe Hodge, Paul Glatzel are also back, with both of their contracts ending at the of the season I will be making moves for them come January.
- Jens Castrop: Jens joins us from Koln and will be staying us for the next season. His contract ends in 2023, depending on how he does this year then we’ll try and get him on a free.
- André Franca: He joins us from Portuguese side Aves 1930. He will be train as a CWB-A and spent time with the first team but will play with Verl II as he is not quite ready.
Not to my surprise, the pattern continues this year as the bookies have us destined to be relegated. I find it interesting the way the AI calculates the odds, given that we dominated the Bundesliga 2 yet Wolfsburg and Bochum ahead of us. I guess the team reputation has a lot to do with that and maybe the summer signings are not as good as I believe to help us stay in the Bundesliga.
As per the last two years; we’ve had the lowest wage – £95k p/w, transfer spending – £0, commercial income – £37k and match-day income – £2m.
The board put together a preseason tour in Austria where we faced some fairly decent competition to prep us for the upcoming Bundesliga season. We were able to heavily rotate the squad to gain familiarity with the tactics and to one another.
Squad – 2022/2023
Florian Krüger and Paul Glatzel will lead the team up front with Matthew Hoppe serving as their backup, Mika Schroers can also cover up front if needed. Sidi Sané will transition to be our IW out on the right, with Roberto Massimo providing cover, although not his best position we won’t have a natural right wing. Mika will take over Sidi’s role on the left and provide width, our young Irish Billy Jones will provide cover on both wings.
In the middle of the park, Cristian Frydek & Joe Hodge will be our go to midfielders for the rest of the season with Jens Castrop, Samuel Lengle and Patrick Finger providing cover. Cristian & Joe played a lot of games last season and have already bonded well.
If I have one worry in the team, it would be our young defense. Our oldest players being Mamadou Doucoure – 24 y/o, Kilian Senkbeil – 23 y/o and Jonathan Meier – 22 y/o. Luca Netz & Brückner are under 19. Our backups are only 17 y/o. Our youngsters are developing well but they are nowhere near Bundesliga standards.
With two seasons full of changes to the squad, I’m hoping to find some balance and not bring in too many new players in future seasons. I’m still lacking a natural 4th CB, 4th striker and a proper right winger. There are a lot of young players that may not have the proper ability to play at this level but we will give it a go.
The next post will recap the full 22/23 season with the hopes of not being relegated. Cheers!