Date: 30th June 2016 at 3:50pm
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Birmingham City Ladies have had a rocky last few years to say the least. After winning the FA Cup in 2011, several senior players left the club to pursue full time football at clubs with a lot more money than ourselves such as Manchester City Women or Chelsea in the case of Karen Carney. The experience of the players that left was very high and therefore we had to use youth all of last season resulting in a relegation battle. Like the men’s team a couple of years ago, BCLFC just about survived thanks to gaining points on the last day of the season.

This season, after the slight break that the women’s game offers, Birmingham City were looking to recruit more experience. They needed to replace Becky Spencer, a very good goalkeeper who was one of the reasons that we managed to stay up last season. The woman to replace her was Ann-Katrin Berger. Now her CV speaks for itself. She was a regular feature in PSG’s team last year and they were runners up in the Champions League as well as the French division which is arguably the most competitive in the world. It is quite remarkable that given the finances of our club, that we can capture such a world class player.

She is 25 years old so has plenty of time as a goalkeeper to keep learning but she has played in some massive matches so she will have had coaching on how to handle pressure. As a goalkeeper I must say she commands her box with ease both physically and vocally. She is one of the loudest players I have ever heard which is a good thing considering the relative inexperience of the back four. She also is a decent shot stopper with quick reactions. The only thing she needs to work on is her distribution but we like to play out from the back so this isn’t necessarily a problem.

Parker has captured a real player here and it must give the squad confidence. Her first game was yesterday against Arsenal where she kept a clean sheet so hopefully a sign of things to come.

Another 25 year old that Parker has managed to bring to the club is Isabelle Linden. The German international went one better than her new goalkeeper team mate by winning the Champions League last year with Frankfurt. She has also represented Germany at every level winning the Euro’s in 2013; not bad for someone who is relatively young. Her main attribute is her goal scoring. She can score all kinds of goals with any body part and this will be a real asset considering we have lost Potter and Carney recently.

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