After Urs Fischer was fired as coach, Union Berlin became the first club in Bundesliga history to appoint a woman as assistant coach.
Fischer lost his job after a nine-game losing streak that left the Union bottom of the German top flight, a partial collapse for a team that finished fourth last season and subsequently qualified for the Champions League.
Youth coach Marco Grote was appointed interim manager and Marie-Louise Eta made history as his assistant.
Eta played in the women’s Bundesliga at Turbine Potsdam, where she won the championship and the Women’s Champions League three times in a row. She retired in 2018 after also representing Hamburg, Cloppenburg and Werder Bremen.
The 32-year-old, who went by her maiden name Bagehorn for most of her playing career, has previously coached youth teams, including Union’s U19 team, and is expected to be the first female coach to sit on the men’s Bundesliga bench when they and Grote Union will lead against Augsburg on Saturday.
“FC Union Berlin and its head coach Urs Fischer are going their separate ways with immediate effect,” said a club statement. “Union President Dirk Zingler and Fischer made the joint decision personally in a meeting on Monday afternoon.”
Fischer took over the management of Union in 2018 and led them to their first Bundesliga promotion the following year. Under the 57-year-old Swiss, the team qualified for European competitions in each of the last three seasons.
“In the five and a half years of our collaboration, we have developed a respect and trust in each other that allows us to always exchange ideas openly and honestly,” said Zingler. “Together we have now come to the conclusion that it is time to take a different path.”
Union has lost three of its four Champions League group games this season.