The Borussia Dortmund women's handball team met up in SIGNAL IDUNA PARK on Monday to mark the start of their preseason preparations. The BVB players who are in Tokyo on Olympic duty will join the team at a later date.

''It's very special to be here.'' These were the words with which BVB coach André Fuhr opened the Borussia Dortmund women's handball team's preseason preparations. The reigning champions of the women's handball Bundesliga (HBF) marked the start of the new campaign at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK and laid down the first foundations for what promises to be another successful season.

André Fuhr, who led the Germany U19 women's handball team to an eighth-place finish at the European Championships in Slovenia last week, will go into the new season with nine new players in the squad: Madita Kohorst (goalkeeper), Mia Zschocke, Fatos Kücükyildiz, Viktoria Woth, Haruno Sasaki, Frida Nåmo Rønning (backcourt), Jackie Moreno, Amelie Berger (wing) and Mie Sando (pivot). Of the new arrivals, Woth (cruciate ligament tear) and Sasaki (Olympics) missed the start of the new season. This was also true of the Olympians Yara ten Holte, Merel Freriks, Laura van der Heijden (Netherlands) and Jennifer Gutiérrez Bermejo (Spain). Regardless of how far they make it in Tokyo, the Black & Yellows will be given a week's break after their last game at the Olympics before they join the rest of the squad for preseason preparations in Dortmund. 

After a memorable campaign last time round, the coming season looks to be just as special: nine players will have to be integrated into the side, which perhaps explains why Fuhr was reluctant to elaborate on any season goals: ''The team will first have to find their feet, then we'll be able to look ahead.'' Among the newcomers who met up at the club's football stadium on Monday were BVB youth players Merle Albers, Lotte Iker, Jana Nordberg and Lyna Schwarz. ''We want to tie the youth set-up and the Bundesliga squad closer together again. Unfortunately that wasn't possible last year due to the Coronavirus situation, but it's something we're aiming to work intensively on this season,'' said Fuhr. 

After their first meeting on Monday, the BVB women are set to work intensively over the next few weeks on familiarising themselves with some fundamental structures and values before the start of the season in September:  in addition to standard strength and technical sessions, team-building activities, friendly games, a short training camp in Blomberg, a tournament in Kirchhof and a one-week training camp in Denmark are all on the agenda for the Black & Yellows.

BVB handball squad 2021/22:

Goal Yara ten Holte
  Madita Kohorst
Backcourt Alina Grijseels
  Tessa van Zijl
  Delaila Amega
  Laura van der Heijden
  Dana Bleckmann
  Frida Nåmo Rønning
  Mia Zschocke
  Fatos Kücükyildiz
  Viktoria Woth
  Haruno Sasaki
Left wing Jennifer Gutiérrez Bermejo
  Jackie Moreno
Right wing Tina Abdulla
  Amelie Berger
Pivot Merel Freriks
  Mie Sando