Five Union Women to Leave
A Fond Farewell
The women's team of 1. FC Union Berlin will wave goodbye to four players at the end of the 2022/23 season with the departure of Pauline Gericke, Luise Wildner, Anouk Westphal, and Lena Bucher, alongside that of sports psychologist, Mona Utler, from the back-room team.
Gericke had been promoted from Union's own youth department to the first women's team in the summer of 2021. There the 18-year-old quickly established herself in the centre of defence and made a total of 27 appearances for 1. FC Union Berlin, however, she will now move on to the next step in her life in the USA, where she will study and play football at California State University.
That step is one already well known by Luise Wildner, who came to Union following her own adventure in the States last year. The 20-year-old, who was an immovable presence at right-back this season, and who played all 24 league games (scoring a creditable six goals), will leave the club due to continue with her studies.
Lena Bucher is also leaving. The midfielder had come to Köpenick from SV Werder Bremen II in January 2022. After one and a half years and 19 competitive games in which she scored one goal, her chapter at Union is now coming to an end.
The final player to leave is Anouk Westphal, who only joined Union last summer from the youth team of SV Empor Berlin. The 16-year-old, who also played in the B-youth team this season, played three games in the Regionalliga Nordost.
Finally, 1. FC Union Berlin will also say goodbye to sports psychologist Mona Utler. The 26-year-old joined the club in October 2021 as part of a nine-month internship before officially taking on the post of sports psychologist for the first women's team last summer. In this role, Utler was primarily involved in the areas of motivation, team cohesion as well as dealing with pressure, and supported the team in both larger workshops and individual discussions.
"The professional path we have taken naturally brings challenges for every player that don't always fit into their current plans," said Union's director of womens' and girls' football. "There are professional and personal goals to be reconciled. In addition to these aspects, the sporting perspective is also important for the players. We had honest talks, so we give our thanks to the players and Mona for their commitment and wish them all the best for the future."