Union’s Women Face FC Köln II

Winter Preparations Draw to an End

Thu, 22. February 2024
Union’s Women Face FC Köln II

1. FC Union Berlin’s women’s team will play their final friendly of their winter programme at 1. FC Köln II next Sunday, 25.02.2024. Kick off in the clash between the Regionalliga Nord Ost and West sides is at 12:00 at the RheinEnergieSportpark.

The opponents

The U20 team of 1. FC Köln were relegated to the Regionalliga West last season after a single year in the 2. Bundesliga, having amassed just 18 points from 26 games. This was followed by a number of changes to the squad. Numerous key players left the club to continue playing in the second tier or were promoted to the club’s Bundesliga squad. The team was re-strengthened primarily with players from the club's own U17’s. As a result, the average age of the team fell massively, meaning that there are now only four players in the squad who are older than 20.  

There was also a change on the bench in the summer. Verena Hagedorn, who most recently spent three and a half years as assistant coach of the German U19 national team, took over from Sebastian Middeke. Hagedorn has a wealth of experience as a coach and also served as assistant coach of the senior national team under Steffi Jones from 2016 to 2017. Her record with 1. FC Köln II in the Regionalliga West has been solid so far. After the first half of the season, they are 6th in the table with 20 points from 13 games. While, with 23 goals, the team from the cathedral city can certainly keep pace with the top teams behind the undisputed leaders VfL Bochum, they have been undermined by a defence that has conceded 29 goals, the third-highest figure in the league. 

The reunion

Charleen Niesler returned to Köpenick after four years away from home, including one year in Cologne. She played eleven 2. Liga games for Köln II last season. 

The head to head

The two teams met last year as part of the Women's Football Day on May 1, 2023. In front of a record crowd of 3,200 spectators at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, Union took an early lead with a dream goal from Katja Orschmann. However, Köln equalized just two minutes later and managed to turn the game around in the 24th minute, even though Union were the dominant team, especially in the first half. Despite the loud support from the stands and numerous great chances, the hosts were unable to score again, and the game lost some of its momentum in the second half due to numerous changes for both teams. Shortly before the final whistle, the clinical visitors finally made it 3-1. However, the result was only a side note after the final whistle due to the outstanding crowd and the strong performance of the Union team.

The coach’s view ahead of the match

"We're looking forward to the last friendly before the start of the competitive season,” said Union’s head coach, Ailien Poese during midweek. “We'll be facing another Regionalliga team in Köln II, where we want to make a few more adjustments based on the findings of our last analysis so that we can prepare optimally for the cup match against Hertha BSC."

Service information

The match will kick off at 12:00 at the RheinEnergieSportpark in Cologne.