West Ham’s Baunach announces retirement
PUBLISHED: 16:12 01 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:17 02 June 2020
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West Ham United Women’s Katharina Baunach has announced her retirement from football.
The Hammers signed Baunach from Bundesliga champions VFL Wolfsburg in 2019 and she went on to make 17 appearances in all competitions for the east London club in 2019/20.
The defender made her debut in the opening day 2-1 defeat to defending champions Arsenal, who saw Beth Mead and Jill Roord score before a Martha Thomas header halved the deficit.
Baunach went on to score three goals for the club, including two in a remarkable comeback against Manchester United as she netted free-kicks in the 83rd and 90th minute in a 3-2 victory.
But after 15 years in a highly successful career Baunach has decided to retire, having won four Bundesliga titles in her native Germany, two with Bayern and two with Wolfsburg, and three DFB-Pokals and a Bundesliga Cup.
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Baunach was also a UEFA Women’s Champions League runner-up with Wolfsburg in 2018 and told whufc.com: “The big thing for me is that I have been able to take this decision for myself and that it isn’t a choice that an injury has made for me. I am glad to be retiring on my terms after a fantastic career.
“I have considered my decision long and hard and, having talked about it with family and close friends, I will be retiring from football this summer.
“I’m really grateful to West Ham United for my time with the club. This has been a huge experience for me, and I am thankful for this opportunity to have played in the Barclays FA WSL.
“My teammates and the behind-the-scenes staff have been wonderful to work with and I will never forget this time in my career.
“I am also really grateful to Matt [Beard], who gave me the opportunity to make my childhood wish of playing abroad in a different league come true, and thank him for his belief in me as both a person and a player.
“I would also like to say a big thank you to the West Ham fans. It was really special for me to play in front of you every single week. The atmosphere you generate for us is crazy and I really loved playing in front of you.
“I am only sorry that I don’t have the chance to say goodbye in person.”
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