The Borussia Dortmund U23s will experience a major upheaval in personnel ahead of next season. Ingo Preuss bid farewell to Can Özkan, Justin Njinmah, Niklas Lübcke, Aday Ercan, Timo Bornemann, Marco Pasalic and Niklas Dams. All seven players' contracts expired at the end of the season.

"We would like to say thank you to all the boys," said Ingo Preuss, head coach of the U23s. "I am sure that all of them will end up at a good club and find their path."

Niklas Dams, one of the promotion heroes from the 2020/21 season, has played his final game in Black & Yellow. As an experienced defender, Dams proved a valuable presence for BVB in their back-to-back successful seasons in the 3. Liga. The defensive leader made a total of 101 appearances for the club, proving an ever-dependable figure at the back and chipping in with three goals. 

Like Dams, Ercan had also moved to BVB in the summer of 2020 and in his first season made 20 appearances and scored one goal to help the Black & Yellows gain promotion to the 3. Liga.

Bornemann and Pasalic joined BVB in their first year in the third tier and played a major role in the club's two successful battles against relegation. The 22-year-old Bornemann, who came to BVB from Düsseldorf, scored a total of four goals in 25 games. The German-Croatian Pasalic had a lot of bad luck with injuries, but in addition to the 35 appearances for the U23s, he also made two appearances for the first team. He took to the pitch in the Supercup and once in the Bundesliga. He scored a total of six goals for the U23s.

Can Özkan also came from Fortuna Düsseldorf last summer and was originally earmarked to play as a defensive midfielder. Coach Jan Zimmermann then converted the 23-year-old into a right-back. Özkan stepped up to the role, which he previously occupied as a youth player for Arminia Bielefeld, with aplomb. He played in 28 games for BVB, including a run of 14 straight appearances to close out the 22/23 campaign.

Niklas Lübcke joined BVB prior to the past season as the third-choice goalkeeper, moving from Oberliga club Schwarz-Weiss Essen. He was included in the matchday squad nine times but did not make any appearances.

This season, Justin Njinmah's tally of 13 goals saw him equal the BVB U23 record for most goals scored in a season and finish ninth in the goalscoring charts in the 3. Liga. Njinmah's opening goal away to Osnabrück last weekend drew him level with Tammo Harder's eight-year-old record set in the 2014/15 season. Njinmah, who made his Bundesliga debut in the BVB jersey this season, returns to Werder Bremen after a one-and-a-half-year loan spell.

Conversely, Ingo Preuss has already welcomed three newcomers in Franz Roggow, Justin Butler and Felix Irorere.