April 15, 2024
Carina Wenninger in action (AUT)

In 2023/24, the women’s league, dominated by SKN St. Pölten for years, will still be played with the first and second half of the season and thus only 18 games of the season. The following year, a reform will come into force which will be decided by the ÖFB. Plans call for a division into upper and lower play-offs, similar to the men’s format, after the basic round.

“It looks good that things are heading in that direction,” Wenninger said. More season games would be one benefit, more exciting constellations at either end of the table probably another. “The general wishful thinking is that competition will become even tighter and therefore more attractive.”

Carina Wenninger in action (AUT)


Wenninger played 127 games for the Austrian national team

Financially, an improvement has already been achieved with the establishment of Admiral as name sponsor of the league. “It’s an interesting thing because it’s a partner who really wants to do something and develop. It can be said that there really is a concern and also financial strength behind it, ”said the Styrian.

Increase attractiveness and visibility

The clear objective is to increase the attractiveness and visibility of the league. Advancing professionalisation is an important piece of the puzzle. “More professionalism automatically gives you more quality, and that’s how you hope to get more viewers,” said Wenninger.

Well-known clubs from the men’s Bundesliga in the women’s upper house are of great help. There is still a lot of development potential, as major clubs like Salzburg and Rapid are currently starting their women’s initiatives with only women’s teams. Wenninger’s day job is also fresh. Isabel Hochstöger, ÖFB manager for women’s and women’s football, and former team player Jasmin Eder, who was with the ÖFB for a long time, are at her side with advice and action.

“Full Throttle into a New Business”

“In every match you learn new things that you as an active player don’t even know about. The area is so big that I have to learn very quickly,” said Wenninger. She has no problem with that. “I’m the type of person who likes it when I start a new task at full throttle. She always has high expectations of herself. ‘But there are worse things than this positive pressure,’ said the former defender, who moved center of his life in Vienna.

Football boots have made the journey with them. “I still want to play, I’d be lying if I said, ‘The feeling is completely gone,'” Wenninger said. Days without training are still unusual. “But that’s okay, I don’t regret my resignation at all.” Previously it was enough to end his career in the league and Super Cup with Roma for two championships, in the cup final there was a defeat for the Champions League quarter-finals. “A very successful year for Roma and an almost perfect season for me,” Wenninger recalled.

Wenninger mourns the missed World Cup

This was not the case at national team level. In October, a ticket to the World Cup was wagered at the start of the play-offs in Scotland. That still hurts the 127-time ÖFB squad player. “Now that many national teams are in the final days of preparation before leaving for the World Cup, we are once again faced with the question. He’s very bitter,” he said. Due to the early kick-off, he won’t be able to see much of the tournament live. He’s keeping his fingers crossed for Germany, Italy and Sweden, where former teammates work.

Like the United States, Germany sees them as favourites. With the European champions England we will see if the injured champions can be adequately replaced. “At the European Championships they also had incredibly good players in the back row,” said Wenninger, who doesn’t expect any surprises from an outsider. In this role, Austria will participate in the Nations League in the autumn. With France, Norway and Portugal, they await the “right calibres”.

Wenninger isn’t worried about the future. “You can’t expect young players to play every match with the utmost consistency, but in terms of their grassroots level and how they are coached, the great players follow.” the age of 18. July at the EM.

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