Today it was announced that both Hofstra alum, Leah Galton and former China number one, Fei Wang have joined Bayern Munich on one-and-a-half-year deals.
Still just 23-years-old, Leah Galton has already made herself known to audiences in England and the US, an early stint with Leeds United followed by a collegiate career with the Hofstra Pride. Opting to stay stateside for the draft, the Harrogate native found herself staying on the East coast after being drafted by Sky Blue as a second-round draft pick.
A smart left winger, Galton did well to impress with Sky Blue when she featured, the Englishwoman striking up a fast partnership with Sam Kerr, the two combining well when Kerr returned from injury in 2016. Her solid form last season prompted a call-up to the senior England team – where previously she had been capped for the U23s – though after an injury forced her to withdraw, the winger remained out of favour as Mark Sampson finalised his squad for the Euros. 2017 saw significantly less chances for Galton with Sky Blue, just six of her sixteen appearances in the league, starts.
Set to make Bayern history as the first ever Englishwoman to play for the former champions, the attacker just the second Englishwoman to play in the Frauen-Bundesliga after Lily Agg made her FFC Frankfurt debut against SC Sand in September.
Speaking about the move, Galton said, “It’s a dream come true,” only looking to grow as a footballer, Galton was impressed with the club and facilities when she first travelled to Munich to meet with Thomas Wörle. The winger, “looking forward” to doing all in her power to “achieve total success” with her new teammates.
Worle was similar pleased with the move, hailing Galton’s technical ability, glad to add a “talented young player with room to continue developing” to his team.
Following the news that Tinja-Riikka Korpela had requested to have the remainder of her contract with Bayern cancelled – the Finn having formally left Munich after their last game of the year five days ago – Munich have found a fast replacement in Fei Wang.
The first ever Chinese woman to play in the Frauen-Bundesliga, Fei signed for Turbine Potsdam in 2015, playing the majority of the second half of the season, though opted to leave when she found herself struggling for minutes the following term. A move to Olympiqe Lyonnais to cover for back-up ‘keeper Méline Gérard followed, the 27-year-old making two league and one Champions League appearance for Les Fenottes. On the move again, Fei returned to China to join Dalian Quanjian, the former international part of the title winning team in 2016.
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A dream come true
The first choice number one for China before an off the pitch feud saw her call early time on her international career, Fei is happy to be at a great club like Bayern Munich. Saying she was “honoured and grateful” for the chance to fulfil a dream of playing for Munich, Fei spoke of the calibre of ‘keepers at Bayern, “her role model” one who wears the shirt for the men’s team. “Convinced” that Munich is the right place to develop, Fei is raring to go in the new year, already looing forward to getting to know her new teammates and helping the team as much as possible.
Wörle was again full of praise for his newest signing, admitting that after Korpela’s departure the team wanted to sign “a seasoned and experienced” shot-stopper, the coach happy that Fei is not just well versed in international football but already familiar to Germany.
Busy winter in Bavaria
In addition to signing Galton, Munich have extended out impressive youngster, Anna Gerhardt’s deal so it runs until 30 June 2019. A “young player with a lot of potential,” Gerhardt has already made herself known to fans of the southern club though she has been side-lined with an ACL injury this term.
Having only signed for Munich in 2016, Gerhardt has already impressed, the teenager “happy” that the club has faith in her, something she remains grateful for as she looks to return from her injury and “get back on the pitch soon” and reintegrate into the team.