Women: Farewell to departing players

At the final training session in the 2020/21 season, there was a farewell on Thursday afternoon to the players who are leaving Bayer 04. In addition to the already confirmed departures (Isabel Kerschowski, Frederike Kempe, Henrietta Csiszár, Pauline Machtens, Viktoria Pinther and Selina Garofalo) six more players are leaving the club: Barbara Reger, Pauline Wimmer, Gianna Rackow, Sandra Maria Jessen, Nicole Banecki and Mina Tanaka are also saying goodbye.

Gianna Rackow leaves after eight years at Leverkusen. She joined the Bayer 04 junior section in 2013 and three years later made her debut in the FLYERALARM Women's Bundesliga before going on to make 71 appearances in eight years in a black and red shirt. She has also played for number of Germany junior teams. It remains to be seen who the 20-year-old will join next.

The Japan international Mina Tanaka ends a loan spell at Bayer 04. The striker joined Leverkusen in the winter on a six-month loan deal from the Japanese top-flight club INAC Kobe Leonessa. The 27-year-old played in all ten games after the winter break and she scored four goals in the Bundesliga.

Barbara Reger and Pauline Wimmer, whose contracts run out in the summer of 2021, are initially focusing on recovery. Reger suffered a torn cruciate at the beginning of May and has since undergone a successful operation. The 21-year-old is now in rehab. She also made the step up from the youth section – the midfielder has played for Bayer 04 since 2011 and has been in the Women's first-team since 2017. Reger has made 48 appearances.

Pauline Wimmer has been sidelined for a longer period: The 19-year-old also suffered a torn cruciate at the beginning of 2020. As it was the second within three years (the first was at the start of the 2017/18 season), there first had to be a stabilisation procedure on the bone affected and that was followed by another operation on the cruciate and a long time for recovery.

Sandra Maria Jessen's contract also runs out at the end of the month. The Iceland international will not be involved in any football in the coming months as the 26-year-old is expecting her first child in the summer. Jessen played for the Werkself Women from 2015 to 2017; she returned in the winter of 2019 and has made a total of 46 appearances for Bayer 04. Nicole Banecki's contract also runs out at the end of the month.

Linda Schöttler, general manager of women's football at Bayer 04, wishes the players, "all the best for the future. We thank everybody for their commitment, in particular Gianna and Barbara for their many years at Bayer 04. Both of them matured into Bundesliga players at Leverkusen. We wish Barbara and Pauline a speedy recovery and Sandra Maria all the best for the rest of her pregnancy and the birth of her child."


V.l..: Gianna Rackow, Selina Garofalo, Isabel Kerschowski, Frederike Kempe, Pauline Machtens, Barbara Reger, Pauline Wimmer, Sandra Maria Jessen

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