Lena Petermann relishes helping Leicester City reach new heights in the WSL after last season's relegation battle | The Sun10/21/2023
LENA PETERMANN may have been reaching heights of a different kind rather than fuelling Leicester’s rise had her football career not taken off.
The forward, 29, admits becoming a pilot could have been on the cards had she not followed her sporting dreams during her childhood in Germany.
Petermann, whose Leicester side are second in the league, said: "I always wanted to be a pilot but that's changed completely!
"I also played table tennis and I was quite good at it.
"If football hadn’t worked out (for me) I probably would have stuck to table tennis and maybe become a pilot.
"It was about the age of 14 that I was also playing table tennis, but I couldn’t do both (table tennis and football) anymore.
"I then had to make a decision and it was quite easy for me that I would stick to football.
"That's because by then I also started to play for a regional team so I was one hundred per cent sure that I am going follow football."
It was a decision that paid off for Petermann who began her senior playing career with German side Hamburg at the age of 15.
Following three seasons there she would spend 2013 playing US women’s college football netting eight goals in 21 appearances for Florida University’s UCF Nights team.
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Spells at SC Freiburg, Turbine Potsdam and Montpellier, preceded a July Foxes move for the forward who scored 25 goals in 48 appearances for the French side.
Two goals in three WSL games – including a bullet header against Bristol – has seen her become the top scorer so far this term for Willie Kirk’s side.
His team will face one of their toughestside who host league leaders Man City at the King Power this evening
Petermann added: "I really enjoy this club and the feeling of it.
"It was really easy for me to get into (being with) the team.
"After a couple of weeks, it felt like I've been in this team for quite a long time.
"My teammates made it so easy for me and the staff too. How they’ve treated me made it really easy for me to settle in.
"I think you can see it now with my first performances that I feel good here.”
Since its inception in 2011 the WSL has seen scores of top talents from Germany make moves to the division including Chelsea trio Ann-Katrin Berger, Melanie Leupolz and Sjoeke Nusken.
Aside from Petermann, Foxes goalkeeper Janina Leitzig and Brighton forward Pauline Bremer are among those who sealed permanent switches
This summer saw the duo transfer from Bayern Munich and two-time Champions League winners Wolfsburg.
Petermann said: "This is one of the best. It is the best I think. It has a lot of qualities and that’s why it’s so interesting for foreigners as well.
"I think the German league is also at a good level but at some point it didn’t develop so much more than here in England.
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"This is why I think some German players want to do this move.
"They want to perform at the best levels and this is definitely here in this league."
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