2017 has not been too kind to Sunderland fans since the club announced that they would be reverting back to a part-time model. Subsequently, the club have also lost some of their star players, including Beth Mead who left for Arsenal.
However, it is not all doom and gloom on Wearside as The Black Cats announce two brand new signings, adding some strength to the squad.
Midfielder Dominique Bruinenberg joins Sunderland form Seria A side ASGM Verona. While goalkeeper Anke Preuss will fill the boots of Rachael Laws who has signed for WSL 2 side, Durham.
Both players join Sunderland armed with experience from their exciting careers so far, from both domestic achievements and international.
Preuss is a silver medal winner from the U-20 Women's World Cup which took place in 2012. Dutch midfielder Bruinenberg has appeared in the UEFA Women's Champion's League in addition to representing the Netherlands up until U-19 level.
On joining Sunderland Anke Preuss said: “I am really happy and excited to be here. I have watched some FA WSL matches and know some teams from the Champions League. I know that this is a strong league, one of the best in Europe."
“I want to get into the team and have a successful season. I am enjoying the opportunity to travel abroad and do what I love, which is playing football," the keeper continued.
The move to England
Bruinenberg was keen to comment on the switch of country, “Off the field it is my first time living in England and I want to enjoy every moment and make the best of it.”
Talking more specifically about the league she said, “I knew that the FAWSL was a strong league and somewhere that I wanted to play." Expressing excitement, the midfielder elaborated, "I am really excited to be here and I am looking forward to improving as a player at the same time as helping the team to do as well as we can.
“The facilities at the Academy of Light are amazing and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to train here," the midfielder furthered her comments on the move.
Head Coach Carlton Fairweather also weighed in: “We are delighted to be bringing in two good quality players who both have experience of playing some of the top teams in Europe in the UEFA Women’s Champions League,"
“Both girls have been on our radar for a while and they will be excellent additions to our squad ahead of the Spring Series, we welcome them both to the club,” Fairweather added.