For the second test of their training camp in Campoamor, the women's team of 1. FC Union Berlin will face Grasshopper Club Zürich. The match against the Swiss first division side kicks off at 14:00 on Friday.
Grasshopper Club’s women’s side was formed in 2009 following a merger with FFC United Schwerzenbach, which had played in Switzerland's top division without interruption since 1988. After the merger, the following years were initially characterised by their battles against relegation, but as time went on, the blue and whites steadily improved and have now finished in 3rd place behind Geneva’s Servette and city rivals FC Zürich in each of the past two seasons. Former top player Lara Dickenmann - eight time Swiss Footballer of the Year with 135 international caps - has been the general manager of women's football since 2021.
In view of their recent results, their season so far has been somewhat disappointing. After eleven games played, Grasshopper Club are only 6th in the ten team Women's Super League. As a result, there have already been two changes of coach this season. Firstly, Anne Pochert was sacked in October 2023 after a disappointing start to the 2023/24 with six points from six games. The 70-year-old Walter Grüter then took over as interim coach and stabilised the team again by the winter break with ten points from five games. Shortly before the turn of the year, the appointment of Gabor Gallai as the new head coach was finally announced. The 44-year-old worked as head coach for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the Women’s Bundesliga from 2020 to 2022. He will have been happy with his start, a 9-1 friendly win against Swiss second division club FC Schlieren a week ago.
The most prominent player in the squad is centre-back Anna Blässe. The 36-year-old played for VfL Wolfsburg from 2007 to 2022, during which time she won the championship seven times and two Champions League titles. She also played 27 international matches for the German national team. Her fellow defender Tamar Dongus also has a considerable Bundesliga past and made 115 appearances for Sindelfingen and Hoffenheim from 2012 to 2018 before moving to Italy. Last summer, the 29-year-old finally moved from US Sassuolo to Zurich.
The coach’s view ahead of the game
"After the test against Elche, we're looking forward to another very demanding game against Grasshoppers Zürich,” said Union’s head coach, Ailien Poese, on Wednesday. “We're expecting an aggressive and strong opponent who will challenge our defensive processes once again, and who will certainly give us new insights that we can then integrate into our individualtraining sessions after the week off
The match will kick off at 14:00 at the Campoamor sports ground and will once again be broadcast live and free of charge on AFTV.