Marie-Louise Eta Makes History As the First Female Bundesliga Coach

Union Berlin have become the first club in Bundesliga history to appoint a woman as its Assistant Coach following the sacking of the former Manager, Urs Fischer. Union Berlin club president confirmed the news of Fischer’s exit, along with his assistant Markus Hoffman, in a statement that read: “I only recently made it clear that Urs Fischer is an excellent coach, and I continue to be absolutely convinced of that. His personality and his successful work have shaped our club in recent years and opened up many new opportunities for us. During these five-and-a-half years of our collaboration, respect and trust developed between us since we were able to exchange ideas openly and honestly at any time. Together we have now come to the conclusion that now is the time to take a different path. For me personally and certainly for the entire Union family, this is a very sad moment. It hurts that we haven’t been able to break the negative trend of the last few weeks. Looking back on the time we spent together and the successes we celebrated together, I am grateful and proud. As painful as this separation is, Urs Fischer leaves as a friend who will be always welcomed by us with open arms.”

After the Exit of Urs Fischer, the youth coach Marco Grote has been appointed as the interim Manager with Marie-Louise Eta making history by becoming his first assistant.

Profile of Marie-Louise Eta

Marie-Louise Eta with Union Berlin head coach Marco Grote

Name: Marie-Louise Eta

Born: 7th July, 1991

Nationality: German

Position as a player: Defensive Midfielder

She announced her retirement as a player in 2018 and stepped into coaching immediately. She started out working with Bremen’s U15 boys’ team before being appointed as the assistant for Bettina Wiegmann for Germany’s women’s U15 team. She completed her pro coaching license at Germany FA Academy in Frankfurt after which she was moved up to work with Germany’s U17s. Union then came calling in the summer of 2023, bringing Eta in as Marco Grote’s assistant for the men’s U19s. The pair had Union’s U19s in third place in both their domestic league and the UEFA Youth League competitions.

Prior to forging a career in coaching, Eta made a name for herself on the pitch, playing for Turbine Potsdam, Hamburg, Cloppenburg and Werder Bremen. Her most successful period as a player came during her time at Potsdam, where she claimed three U17 Bundesliga titles – in 2005, 2006 and 2008 – as a youth team player before being promoted to the senior Bundesliga team as a 17-year-old ahead of the 2008/09 campaign. Eta, then playing under her maiden name of Bagehorn, went on to lift the 2009/10 UEFA Women’s Champions League with Potsdam after beating Lyon on penalties in the final. A substitute in the final, Eta also helped the club win three successive Bundesliga titles from 2009 to 2011.

Fun Fact:

This is not the first time Eta has carved a new path for women in the men’s professional game. When working at Werder Bremen, she was also the only female coaching the boys of a Bundesliga club’s academy. She was also one of the first to take coaching online when the coronavirus pandemic hit, fronting up Werder Bremen’s series of YouTube coaching classes when the world was forced from the fields and into their homes.


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