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Sunday, April 2, 2023

“Football is my job for the first time”

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Annabel Schasching has been playing for SC Freiburg since January
Image: SC Freiburg
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Under contract with a German Bundesliga club, in the senior national team squad, player of the 2021/22 season and also top scorer with 15 goals. “If someone had predicted that to me a few years ago, I would have been very happy,” says Annabel Schasching. The 20-year-old is now living her dream. However, it took a while for her to “really check it out”. “It only became really real for me when I was on the pitch for the first time in Freiburg in January. That’s when I got it: I’m really there,” says the footballer from St. Aegidi.

The right time

Her debut for SC Freiburg could have taken place earlier, because the German Bundesliga side already expressed their interest in the midfielder in the summer of 2022. Too early for Annabel, but despite the cancellation, we stayed in touch. When Freiburg knocked on the door again in winter, the right time had come for the Innviertlerin. “I was torn, really conflicted. I had a great time at Sturm Graz, for which I’m very grateful. I’ve also made many good friends, but I wasn’t that challenged anymore in terms of sport. In the end, I found myself decided to try it in Freiburg. It felt right in the winter. And now I’m extremely happy that it happened like this,” said Schasching, who made her debut in the German Bundesliga against Wolfsburg on February 4.

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She discussed her decision with her advisor (“He’s always honest, whether it’s positive or negative – that’s a blessing”), a friend, her family and especially her brother. “He says freely what he thinks. I really appreciate that.” Even if personal contact has become more difficult due to her move to Freiburg, the 20-year-old’s family means a lot. “My loved ones have given me unconditional support over the years and they still do. And they have come to terms with the fact that I no longer live at home. Because they know what football means to me and that this is my path,” says Annabel. Nevertheless, the 20-year-old looks forward to every visit to St. Aegidi. Like recently after the game against Frankfurt. “We had two days off, so I got on the FlixBus and drove to Passau, where my mom picked me up.” A visit to her beloved grandmother is a must when visiting her home country. “There is always a pastry for me there. This time it was potato noodles.”

Concentration on the essentials

Annabel Schasching often doesn’t have to take care of the food herself at SC Freiburg either. In the old stadium of their male club colleagues, the female soccer players have everything their hearts desire: perfect training conditions, an ice pool, sauna, physiotherapists, gym and a laundry service. “I didn’t know that until now. At least not in this professional way. Here I have the feeling for the first time that playing football is my job,” says the Innviertlerin, who feels completely at home in the new city and her team. “I don’t find it difficult to find friends and the other girls made it really easy for me. The city is also cozy and I like the dialect that is spoken here,” says Schasching. Speaking of the dialect: she doesn’t want to and won’t discard her own dialect. “I don’t want that. But I try to pronounce some words more clearly. And if a colleague doesn’t understand me at all, I simply paraphrase it. Instead of ‘kry it for the body’, I say ‘Give me the body, please’. That works well .”

take chances

It doesn’t matter who speaks which dialect – the SC Freiburg players, who are currently fifth in the table, understand each other on the pitch without using words. Step by step, Annabel Schasching wants to become part of this team. “I’m not stressing, but I’m happy for every minute I’m on the pitch. And of course I’ll take every opportunity to find my role in this team, on and off the pitch.”

Source: Nachrichten

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