Union Communications Team | August 2019
As we get ever closer to the first competitive match of the season – a cup fixture away against the semi-professional VfB Eichstätt – the Union staff have indicated that the squad for this season, barring any late changes, is complete. That gives us a perfect opportunity to formally present our fans the squad that will defend Union’s pride in its first-ever Bundesliga season.
After a strong showing last year, Rafal Gikiewicz
has retained kit number 1, and it is likely Urs Fischer will keep the Polish goalkeeper between the sticks this season. However, Gikiewicz has a very strong competitor in the form of 25-year-old Jakob Busk
. This former Danish youth international has been with us since 2015, starting almost 75 games for FCU.
As Urs Fischer has selected the same defence in almost all friendly matches Union have played this pre-season, it is apparent he has a clear vision of who will defend our pride this season. At right-back, a very surprising name has emerged: Julian Ryerson
. The Norwegian youngster seems to have surpassed long-time starter Christopher Trimmel
– who has been with us since 2014 – in the pecking order.
The central duo will likely consist of two new additions. On the right Marvin Friedrich
, who arrived from FC Augsburg. On the left, former Borussia Dortmund and Saint-Etienne veteran Neven Subotić
. With both of these players measuring 1.93 meters, it is a commanding pairing. This would mean Florian Hübner
and Freiburg-loanee Keven Schlotterbeck
will be their stand-ins.
At left-back, a familiar face will likely be first-choice: Ken Reichel
. The experienced left-back – who joined Union last year after a decade-long spell at Braunschweig – has so far been given the nod over Berlin-born Christopher Lenz
. However, Lenz is a good left-back and will likely force Reichel to work very hard to keep his place.
In Fischer’s 4-2-3-1 system, there is room for two physical, defensive midfielders. So far, our trainer has often selected Manuel Schmiedebach
– who has joined us permanently after a successful loan spell last year – and Robert Andrich
– a new signing from 1. FC Heidenheim – in these roles. Both were born in Berlin and played for the youth academy of Hertha BSC. Grischa Prömel
and new signing Christian Gentner
complete the options Fischer has for his central midfield.
Higher up the pitch, Fischer has a number of options. In pre-season though, his preference seemed clear: Yunus Malli
– who joined us on a season-long loan from VfL Wolfsburg – has started as our number 10 almost every friendly. Talented youngster Julius Kade
seems to have cemented his position as a back-up for the Germany-born but Turkish international Malli. 20-year-old Kade joined us this summer from Hertha’s youth academy.
To the left of Malli, Marius Bülter
has often started in pre-season. The loanee from 1. FC Magdeburg is a skilled right-footed winger, who is tasked with both crossing and cutting inside from the left. On the right, Akaki Gogia
has a similar role to Bülter. Fischer also has Joshua Mees
and former Ajax player Sheraldo Becker
at his disposal on the wings.
Although Union paid about 2 million for new striker Anthony Ujah
, it is unlikely the Nigerian will take over the position of Sebastian Andersson
as first striker of FCU. The Swedish international was instrumental in our promotion last year, scoring 12 goals and giving 6 assists in the 2. Bundesliga. However, Andersson knows that a period without goals could see him lose his place to the prolific Ujah.