Quite a lot of people around here!

Union's Women Travel to Jena

Chance for Regionalliga Revenge

Fri, 05. May 2023
Union's Women Travel to Jena

The women's team of 1. FC Union Berlin are facing FC Carl Zeiss Jena II this coming Sunday in the 23rd match of the Regionalliga Nordost season. After a furious 3-3 draw in the first leg in front of over 1000 spectators at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, Union will be looking for revenge in the return match in Thuringia. Kick-off is at 14:00 on the artificial pitch of the Uni-Sportzentrum in Jena.

The opponents

Although the U21 team of FC Carl Zeiss Jena are currently 6th in the table with 37 points, the threat of relegation to the Verbandsliga this season still looms over them. And it's not to do with their mid-table position. The problem is that their first team, who played in the Bundesliga last year, are currently 12th in the 2.Liga, the relegation places. Should they go down to the Regionalliga, the knock on effect would be the U21 team having to give up their spot, as they cannot both compete in the same division.

And the trubulence caused by the first team doesn't stop there, there has already been a change of coach at FC Carl Zeiss Jena II this season. After Steffen Beck was dismissed as head coach of the first team in February, Christian Kucharz (who had been responsible for the U21 team in Jena since 2009) took over as coach.

Despite all this, Jena II have had a superb season under Kucharz's replacement, Christopher Heck, and could well repeat their 6th place from last year. Last Sunday, they won 3:1 against last-placed Rostocker FC.

The head to head

The last time Union played Carl Zeiss Jena II will be remembered by many of the Union players. Not necessarily because of the result (they drew, 3-3), but rather because the match was played in front of 1,300 spectators in the Alte Försterei. For many of them, it was the first time they had played in front of such a crowd.

The game itself started disappointingly. Jena were already two up after only 12 minutes, but Union fought back with goals from Elisa Spolaczyk and Lisa Heiseler, before ex-Union player Josephine Bonsu put the visitors from Jena back in the lead before the break. In the second half, Naika Reissner managed to equalise to make things 3-3. Union had numerous chances to score, including hitting the bar, but could not make the final break-through.

Apart from the result, the injury to Pauline Wimmer, who tore her cruciate ligament, and has been out of action ever since, was also a bitter blow.

Their record against FC Carl Zeiss Jena II, who only came into being in 2020 as a result of a merger with FF USV Jena II, is still decent. They've played twice, drawn twice. But against their predecessor club Union have won seven times in 14 encounters. Jena have won five and two games ended in a draw.

The coach's view ahead of the game

"Jena are a young, dynamic team that can always be dangerous with quick moments on the break, said Union head coach Ailien Poese ahead of the game on Sunday. "We are prepared for that and want to make up for dropping points in the last game." 

The personnel

In addition to the loss of Luca Scheel and Pauline Wimmer to injury, the team has been hit by a wave of illness, meaning both Dina and Katja Orschmann, as well as Lisa Heiseler, Lina Krauss and Zita Rurack have question marks over their readiness for the game. Hannah Kratz and Elisa Spolaczyk, who also had to sit out the last few competitive matches, however returned to the pitch last weekend in the friendly against 1. FC Köln II and are an option for the squad in Jena.