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Ingolstadt install female head-coach through the end of the season

Written by on May 2, 2024

By Peter Weis@PeterVicey
German third division side FC Ingolstadt 04 confirmed that they will be parting company with trainer Michael Köllner on Thursday morning.

Köllner’s replacement until the end of the season – Ingolstadt U19 head-coach Sabrina Wittmann – will be the second female trainer to direct a German men’s professional football team on an interim basis this year.

Thirty-two-year-old trainer Sabina Wittmann is set to follow in the footsteps of the trailblazing Marie-Louise Eta of German top division side 1. FC Union Berlin, becoming the second female coach to direct a German men professional football club this season.

The 32-year-old Eta served as a sideline assistant in the Union Berlin interim trainer regime of Marco Grote for one league match in late November between the firing of Urs Fischer and the installment of current FCU trainer Nenad Bjelica. 

She remained on the sidelines during Bjelica’s first match in charge, a Champions’ League tie with Napoli after the league match. After Bjelica was handed a three-match-ban for slapping Bayern’s Leroy Sané, she returned to the sidelines under replacement trainer Daniel Jumic for three league fixtures. 

Although Eta was technically classified as an assistant coach, she was assigned many duties ordinarily reserved for a head-coach. Eta conducted post-match interviews and presided over pressers in Bjelica’s absence. 

Wittmann will be the first female to officially be recognized as a German “Cheftrainerin” of a men’s professional team. The appointment will place Wittmann – who, like Eta, coached the club’s U19s – in charge for three league fixtures and a regional cup Final. 
 

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