1. FC Köln announced the contract extensions of three key players in Peter Stöger's team, club captain Matthias Lehmann, Marcel Risse and Frederik Sörensen all signed extensions with the club.
Stöger's side have had some difficulty in finding their wins of late, but excellent early season form sees them in 7th place having lost just three games so far but drawing 7 as well, however, securing the futures of three of their vital players will be a positive sign for the club as well as the fans.
Captain Lehmann signs one year extension
Club captain Lehmann has been a faithful servant for The Billy Goats' and started the first 11 games of the season before suffering a knee ligament injury that still keeps him out of the starting eleven, as Stöger delves into his squad depth to cover for his prized defensive midfielder.
Lehmann was delighted upon extending his contract with the club and said that it is "something special" for him to be the captain of 1. FC Köln, he loves the "responsibility" he has at the club and believes that the club can "continue their progress" as a team. He also added that he wants to "continue to be a part of that" as soon as he recovers from the injury he sustained early in the season.
Lehmann joined the club in 2012 and has made over 147 appearances for the club. 1. FC Köln head coach Stöger was delighted at Lehmann's decision to extend and said that,"Matze Lehmann is an exemplary captain and has been a pillar of our team with his performances and approach to the game".
Risse provides further joy for Köln fans
Marcel Risse has been a key performer for The Billy Goats since joining the club in 2013, particularly at the start of this season, Risse contributed to much of the club's early success with some stellar performances including a match-winning goal in the Rhein derby against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which was also voted the goal of the month for November.
Risse's extension has been well deserved, the midfielder has worked tirelessly for Stöger's team and his coach believes that the former 1. FSV Mainz 05 man has earned the contract extension, which will keep him at the club up to 2022. Stöger said, "Marcel was putting in top performances until his injury in December and was a massive part in our impressive first half of the season with two goals and four assists".
Risse himself is very delighted to have signed the contract extension with his hometown club and expressed that he feels a "real sense of continuity and reliability" amongst the players and that is exactly what makes the club "stand out" for him, personally. He continued in saying, "The fact we’ve renewed my contract despite being out injured is a real sign appreciation from the club, and I’m really thankful for that."
Sörensen pleased to carry on at Köln
Danish defender Sörensen also extended his contract with the Billy Goats upto 2021, he has featured in every game so far this season and has not missed a single minute of football all term in the Bundesliga for Stöger's side.
The defender was delighted at extending his contract with the club and said that it is "great fun" to play for the club and to "play in the Bundesliga". He shared how his time with Köln has helped him and said that,"It’s definitely helped me progress as a player since arriving from the Italian league. I’m really pleased to be carrying on with Köln, and I’m sure we can be successful for our enthusiastic fans".
Sörensen's manager Stöger was also very pleased at the Dane's decision to extend his contract with the club and hailed the defender's versatility and his approach to the game, he said that 'Freddie' is a "top performer" who has "great flexibility in defence", he continued in saying that Sörensen fits "perfectly" into the system he has instilled at the club. He added that Sörensen has shown in his time at the club already how "valuable" he is at both centre-back as well as full back.