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Danner: 'We want to be back on the balcony again'

December 1 marks exactly one-and-a-half years since the FC Bayern women last suffered a defeat in the Bundesliga, on June 1, 2014 against Hoffenheim (2-3). Since then, the team has gone on to win 32 consecutive Bundesliga games, the result of which is reflected in last season’s German Championship title and current table position.

Only the current international break has put a halt to the Bayern women’s streak, that is until the Bavarians return to Bundesliga action against SGS Essen on December 6 for the final spurt of the year. In an interview with Bayern-Magazin, FCB Women’s Manager Karin Danner talks about the current wave of success, the bitter exit from the Champions League, as well as changes to be made over the winter break.

Interview with Karin Danner

Ms. Danner, 32 consecutive league games without a single loss – is this run starting to get a little weird?

It is a little weird, but also impressive. To not lose for a year and a half, in the strongest league in the world and even in all competitions is something that has never happened to us before.

How do you explain this run?

This doesn’t happen by chance. Huge credit goes to Thomas Wörle, the entire coaching staff, and the team. They build a homogenous team to which all staff count. So the current run is an accolade for our whole department. The good job done over the last few years is paying off now.

How often do you look at the table at the moment?

The table is always just a snapshot. Other teams this season have already been through a bit and were not left unscathed – that can happen to us as well. But because of the cushion we created, we can head into games a little more relaxed. Even if we slip up once or twice we’ll still be up at the top.

Thomas Wörle doesn’t want to utter the word ‘championship’. How would you describe the goal of this season?

As a coach, you’re a lot more careful. But I can say pretty clearly: we are the German champions, we want to defend our title, and we want to celebrate together with the men’s team on the city hall balcony again. That experience in May was impressive for all of us and we want to live that again. That gives us an extra motivational boost. And in the DFB Cup we want to progress to the semifinals in Bremen (December 9). Then it’ll only be one game left until the final in Cologne.

The team didn’t even lose in the Champions League, though they didn’t make it past the first round. How painful is it still looking back on the encounter with Twente Enschede?

The early exit was hard for us. It was a very bitter experience, but one that will help us mature. We definitely want to qualify for the Champions League again. That’s why everyone is working so hard. I’m thoroughly convinced that should we make it to the Champions League again next season, we’ll look very different.

The team moved on from the exit surprisingly quickly…

It took us a few days to process it. Then the team pulled themselves together and said: “we’re determined now more than ever!” They just went on. Even with injuries, like in the previous season, they never dwelled.

Speaking of which, will some of the injured players return before the winter break?

Veronica Boquete just made her comeback in Leverkusen. The others will return next year. I have to say, I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season when players like Lotzen, Iwabuchi and Baunach can strengthen the team.

Apart from the injuries, will the squad change over the winter break?

Katie Stengel and Kristie Mewis will return to the U.S. in the winter, so it might be the case that we’ll have to look for someone for our offense, also since we’ll be looking  ahead to the new season – but only if we find someone that fits. We’re not under pressure to add reinforcements.