Today it was announced by Birmingham City that goalkeeper, Ann-Katrin Berger has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and is set to have surgery next month.
Berger staying positive
Since the news broke this morning, there has been a large outpour of well wishes on social media, clubs, players and fans alike tweeting their support of and solidarity with Berger.
The club themselves have stated that the goalkeeper is “in a positive frame of mind,” with Skinner saying that Berger is “one of the strongest people” he has ever been fortunate to meet, going on to say, “the way she conducts herself daily is a true inspiration.” Everyone associated with the club are ready and will ensure they do all they can to support the German and her family through her recovery.
Skinner went on to add, “I have total belief that Ann will beat this illness,” looking to the future to, her coach is sure she’ll “be back playing again” and that in itself will be a “huge motivating factor for the group.”
Birmingham City FC Director and CEO, Xuandong Ren has expressed his desire to ensure that Berger get the best help from the club saying, “Ann is part of our Blues family and we will help her in every possible."
Born in Göppingen, Berger started playing football at the age of four, slowly making her way up through the regional divisions in Germany as she progressed, playing in the Oberliga and 2. Frauen-Bundesliga in her teens.
After playing with local VfL Sindelfingen, Berger made the switch to Turbine Potsdam in 2011, the back-up to first-choice Alyssa Naeher, 2013-14 her breakthrough season with the Turbines. 2014 saw a change of scenery as Berger switched the Bundesliga for Division 1 Féminine when she joined France’s second-best team, Paris Saint-Germain. Again, preferred as the back-up to the starting goalkeeper, Katarzyna Kiedrzynek through much like in Potsdam, the 27-year-old found herself called upon a healthy number of times during her stint as a Parisien.
2016 saw another move for Berger as she moved to WSL side, Birmingham City, the rangy shot-stopper initially rotated with Sophie Baggaley over the 2016 season and 2017 Spring Series before Baggaley was sent out on loan with Berger left to take up the reins.
A Frauen-Bundesliga winner with Potsdam, Berger has been a runner-up almost everywhere she’s played whether in the UEFA Women’s Champions League or D1F with PSG, the DFB Pokal and FBL with Potsdam or FA and WSL cups with Birmingham.
Everyone at VAVEL wishes Ann a full and quick recovery.