The 2019/20 season is drawing to a close, with VfL Bochum 1848 having their last home game next Sunday. Before the match against SpVgg Greuther Fürth, all players whose contracts expire on 30.06.2020 will be bade farewell.
However, this does not have to be a final farewell, as VfL Director of Sport, Sebastian Schindzielorz, said: "The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the consequences it has had for professional football have upset many familiar routines. The financial consequences are still not concretely foreseeable. Moreover, the uncertainty of the transfer market, both in terms of how it will develop and the general deadlines, has prompted us to first bid farewell to all players whose contracts expire this summer. However, this does not mean that a further engagement on Castroper Strasse is definitively ruled out. We will certainly discuss with one or two of the players whether they can imagine their future to be in a VfL jersey. It is a great pity that we have to say goodbye to them without our fans, who would have given the whole send off a setting deserving of the players. Especially with long-serving and deserving players like Patrick Fabian, for example."
Patrick Fabian has worn the VfL jersey for 20 years, 13 of them as a professional player. He made his debut in 2009 against FC Schalke 04, and his first full match was against FC Bayern Munich. "Patti" has survived four torn cruciate ligaments and has fought back again and again. He's been captain, driver and a safe support - and now he is ending his active professional career after 155 competitive matches for VfL. "We will certainly be able to celebrate his departure in style once again when there is no longer any COVID-19 threat and fans are allowed back into the stadium," reveals Schindzielorz. Fabian will remain with the club as assistant to the management/sport department.
After six years, VfL bid farewell to Stefano Celozzi. In 2014, the defender moved to Castroper Straße from Europa League side Eintracht Frankfurt. Over the past six years, he has played 138 competitive matches for the Blau-Weißen. In the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons, he led VfL as captain.
In the summer of 2017, Danilo Soares of Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim moved to Bochum. The Brazilian became a regular at VfL and convinced in his left-back position. He's been able to record 88 appearances for the Bochum side. This season, he scored his first VfL goal against 1. FC Nürnberg.
Simon Lorenz also joined VfL from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, although he arrived some months later in January 2018. In his first half year, the defender was not able to make his mark. In the following 2018/19 season, Lorenz was loaned to TSV 1860 München and gained playing experience there. He became a regular player and was used in almost every matches in the 3. Liga. For the current season he returned to Bochum and played 17 competitive matches, in which he scored a goal.
VfL must also say goodbye to our three loan players
Jordi Osei-Tutu has played his way into the hearts of the fans in his 20 competitive matches, and his speed in particular has caused much excitement around the terraces. The young Englishman has also scored four goals and notched three assists.
Manuel Wintzheimer has contributed three goals and one assist this season. The loanee from Hamburger SV was used in a total of 21 competitive matches for VfL.
Vasileios Lampropoulos proved to be a tremendous support at the back, especially in the final stages of the season. It was not until winter that the Greek player moved from Spanish second-division side Deportivo La Coruna. He has only conceded two goals in his eight matches so far.
VfL will be saying goodbye to three players, among others, who joined the first team from the Academy: Ulrich Bapoh, Jan Wellers and Maxwell Gyamfi.
Ulrich Bapoh is a true Bochumer. Since 2009, the attacker has adorned the blue and white of Bochum and has played at every age group level. In 2017 the vice-captain of the U19 was awarded the Werner-Altegoer-Medal. Bapoh also played five games for the German U18 national team and one game for the U19. In the 2018/19 season, he ventured abroad and switched to the Dutch second division club FC Twente Enschede for a year long loan. There he scored three goals in twelve games. Back with VfL, he played five competitive matches for the Bochum team. He scored one goal and assisted two more. In October, the attacker suffered a torn cruciate ligament in a friendly against KFC Uerdingen 05.
Jan Wellers moved from the youth team of FC Schalke 04 to the Bochum talent factory in summer 2017. The defensive midfielder led VfL's U19s in the 2018/19 season in the A-Junior Bundesliga as captain and also celebrated the Westfalenpokal Cup win against TSC Eintracht Dortmund. In the season that has now come to an end, Wellers was in the professional squad twice, but did not appear in the game.
Maxwell Gyamfi also celebrated the victory of the Westfalenpokal with the U19s of VfL in 2019. In the summer 2017, the central defender moved from the youth team of Hombrucher SV to the Bochum academy. He played 32 games for the VfL U19 team. In the current season, he was in the first team squad five times, but was not substituted on.
VfL Bochum 1848 would like to thank all players for their commitment and wishes them all the best for their future careers.