Sattelmaier departs Stuttgarter Kickers, becomes Bradford City's first German player

The Bantams were recently bought by new German owners, and their latest signing will be the first German footballer to represent the club.

Sattelmaier departs Stuttgarter Kickers, becomes Bradford City's first German player
Rouven Sattelmaier will compete for the berth in between the sticks at Valley Parade this season. (Photo: Bradford City AFC)

After being taken over by German owners, Bradford City have now signed their first ever German player - Rouven Sattelmaier from Stuttgarter Kickers.

Sattelmaier has been on trial with the Bantams for the past few weeks, completing 90 minutes in their pre-season opener away at local non-league side Guiseley.

The goalkeeper impressed new manager Stuart McCall, with him composed on the ball, vocal and making a particularly splendid save from a free-kick despite not having a thing to do all game beforehand - though he would pick the ball out of his net late on through no fault of his own.

With last season's first choice stopper Ben Williams having joined Bury, Bradford signed Colin Doyle from Blackpool last week. However, the only other 'keeper on the books is Joe Cracknell; a young and inexperienced 22-year-old whose dislocated finger urged McCall to rush to sign Sattelmaier.

After Doyle was slated for his performance in City's 2-0 loss to St Johnstone in midweek, Sattelmaier will have his eyes on that first choice berth too, McCall telling local paper the Telegraph and Argus: "He will fight for the starting place."

Sattelmaier has an impressive CV, which features the illustrious name of Bayern Munich. (Photo: alchetron.com)
Sattelmaier has an impressive CV, which features the illustrious name of Bayern Munich. (Photo: alchetron.com)

German links begin to grow

Sattelmaier, who featured 21 times for Stuttgarter Kickers last term as they were cruelly relegated from the 3. Liga on goals scored, returns to the third division with this move, albeit abroad.

It could have been the second division had City gone all the way in last year's League One play-offs, but they were defeated over two-legs by Millwall, who were in turn denied promotion by Barnsley at Wembley.

Now, it's a new era for Bradford. Manager Phil Parkinson has left after five years at the club, replaced by McCall, and German duo Edin Rahic and Stefan Rupp have taken over the reins as owners, making Sattelmaier their sixth signing of the window and the first ever player from their homeland to represent the club.

A German-speaking stopper by the name of Mark Schwarzer did once grace the space in between the sticks at Valley Parade some time ago, but the man who signed from 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1997 was born in Australia after his German parents emigrated to the land down under.

City fans could hear English with a Deutsch twang from one of their own for the first time as early as tomorrow too. As Bradford continue their pre-season preparations against Premier League side Burnley, Sattelmaier could well make his bow as an official Bantam, and in front of the home fans as well.