New Sunderland keeper might have damaged German international chances

Anke Preuss
Anke Preuss
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New signing Anke Preuss admits she may have damaged any chances of a return to international football by signing for Sunderland Ladies.

But the 26-year-old can’t wait to play in the English women’s game and will get her first taste this Sunday in the FA Cup fifth round clash with Aston Villa at Hetton.

Preuss was part of a double European capture by the Lady Black Cats, the keeper joining at the same time as Dutch midfielder Dominique Bruinenberg.

The keeper is a Champions League gold medallist with Frankfurt in 2015 and a silver medallist with Germany at the Under 20 World Cup in 2012.

But she fears it will be a case of out of sight, out of mind with Germany now she has chosen to play for Sunderland in WSL1.

“It’s difficult to get in,” said Preuss. “It’s hard when you are not playing in your home country, they will not see me play.

“I’ll try to get in but it will be tough, Germany has a lot of good keepers and we’re all about the same age.

“It’s not as if some are old and you get a chance that way.”

Preuss is not only a top class keeper, she brings a wealth of experience having played in Europe’s top club competition.

“It’s an amazing feeling to go on the pitch in the Champions League,” she said. “A dream come true. To fly to Kazakhstan or wherever to play 90 minutes of football is kind of crazy.

“I really enjoyed it, we won the Champions League in 2015.”

But Preuss says while English football is a different style, the lure of playing in the WSL with Sunderland was too good a chance to miss.

“The league in England is really good, it’s different football, but really good,” she said.

“German is more tactical and more about technique, here is about pressure and strength. It’s a different kind of football and I’m looking forward to it.”

Preuss, who has played in the behind-closed-doors friendlies with Scottish clubs Celtic and Spartans, has replaced Rachael Laws, who has left the Lady Black Cats to sign for neighbours Durham.

And Sunderland fans will get the opportunity to see the German stopper in action this Sunday against in-form Aston Villa at Eppleton CW (kick-off 2pm).

Bruinenberg, formerly with Verona in Serie A, will also make her debut while Norwegian keeper Hilde Olsen and American forward Beverly Leon will also be in the squad after the pair re-signed for the club.

Leon played for the Development team, who put in a fine display at Arsenal on Sunday only to go down 2-0.