Last season was a success for this young Verl side as they reached 9th place and well above the bottom three. Although the team is tipped for a relegation battle, I’m hoping that the squad can look to push for another mid-table finish or a Europa Conference spot.
Transfers – Out
- Patrick Finger rejected a contract extension and joins Hamburger SV for free after playing 41 games (mainly off the bench) in the last three years.
Transfers – In
- Paul Glatzel, Nicolas Kühn, Jens Castrop, and Joe Hodge have come back to Verl after their contracts had expired with their respective clubs.
- Jakov Suver joins for free from VfB Stuttgart. He will provide cover at Center Back.
- Tjas Begic joins for £375k (compensation fee) from Slovenian side Gorica. He is an extremely versatile player who will be able to cover multiple positions.
- Sidi Sané, Luca Netz, and Angelo Brückner have extended their loans for one more year.
- Gabriel Sanclemente will join the U19 team. He was a free agent and never joined a club. He has dual Colombian and German Citizenship.
- Emil Hansen joins for free from FC København. He will train with first team and be available to play for the youth team.
Upfront, Florian Kruger and now permanent signing, Paul Glatzel will continue to lead the line with the help of Matthew Hoppe. Nicolas Kühn and Mika Schroers will provide cover if needed.
On the wings, Sidi Sané will split his time with fellow left wingers Mika Schroers and youngster Billy Jones. On the right, Nicolas Kühn will serve as out starter with Roberto Massimo and Tjas Begic providing cover.
The midfield is where the team has the most cover. Joe Hodge and Christian Frydek will continue to be our main midfield pairing. Jens Castrop and Samuel Lengle will step in when needed. Players such as Paul Glatzel, Nicolas Kühn and Tjas Begic can cover if any emergencies arise.
In defense, Luca Netz will continue to be our main left back with Jonathan Meier as backup. Angelo Brücker will start on the right. He will be helped by Bahaa Abdelhaim and Andre Franca. At center back Mamadou Doucouré and Kilian Senbeil will be our starters. Ian Robinson (who is now Irish once again, make up your mind up kid) and Jakov Suver are their designated backups. Joshua Embers is still too young but he will be able to be registered for the first team during the winter break.
Lastly, on goal. Christian Früchtl will be our first-choice keeper. Tobias Leclerc and Emil Hansen will battle it out to be the cup and backup keeper. One of them will be sent out on loan to gain more playing time.
The team looks a bit more complete compared to last season. The additions of Jakov Süver and Tjas Begic will give depth to our small squad. The scouting team and myself will be doing a lot of scouting to get ready for the winter break. I want to add another striker and possibly a young midfielder for the future.
The team begins preseason with £44m in the bank, this is almost three times more than where we started last season. Matchday & season tickets accumulated to £4.2m with 9.1k season tickets sold. Another £1.3m came from commercial revenue which is 198 times more than what Bayern Munich was able to generate (I’m not sure I will ever catch up to them, sighhh). In terms of wages, Verl’s dead last at £175k p/w.
Italy was the setting for this year’s preseason. The range of competition was quite wide to say the least. Aside from the two blowout wins, the team faced some decent competition to prep us for the coming season. One of the highlights of pre-season was seeing a 33 y/o Mario Balotelli score two penalties in the 14-2 win against Serie C/A side Pro Vercelli, he has not aged well.
Last season was a nightmare when it came to injuries. One of the areas that was affected the most by these injuries was the defense. Although I was happy to see Ian Robinson get a ton of minutes, I was not so excited for all the goals that we were letting in. I’m hoping that the FM gods can help the physios prevent injuries.
The next post will recap the full 23/24 season.
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