Not Robert Weber, not Uwe Gensheimer, not Anders Eggert – Tess Wester. The goalkeeper who played for VfL Oldenburg last season, scored DKB HBLs “Goal of the Season” 2014/15. In her match against HC Leipzig she scored from her own goal circle, the fans first of all voted her goal as “goal of the month” for May and then topped that by this vote. For the young Dutch international it was a spectacular present at the end of her time with VfL Oldenburg – now she has high aims with SG BBM Bietigheim.
The news came in the morning, when Tess Wester was still in bed. My phone rang and it was a number I did not know”, the goalkeeper describes the moment. “It took a little while before I realised what this was about.” On the line was a representative of HBL, who congratulated Wester to having won the “goal of the season” vote: “That was a good start to my day of course”; Wester jokes, who “never, really never” thought, that her goal would win the vote.
The 22 year old remembers the goal well, because it was the first of her professional career. She used to score more frequently, she was a field player up to the age of twelve. “It was good fun and sometimes I preferred to play in the field”, the Dutch player remembers. But she does not regret having chosen to become a goalkeeper: “You do not give up easily on something you are good at.”
Now she is the goalkeeper who scored the goal of the season – and that as the only female player in the vote. “Even when it was voted goal of the month, I just thought: You what??”, Wester remembers her surprise at the news. “Of course this kind of throw does go off target quite frequently, but it still was a relatively simple goal – and the vote did include such nice trick shots.”
“It is a pity, that some people say I do not deserve it.”
The vote surprised the handball scene, some apparently voiced their discontent – which the goalkeeper does not understand. “I read a few negative comments”, she recalls. “It is a pity, that some people say I do not deserve it. All I did was score that goal, others voted for it. I am not the one to blame.”
And of course, she adds with a smile, she “simply never has the chance” to score trick shots. But the majority of fans is of course happy with Wester:”I got plenty of congratulations from my new club and also got many messages from Oldenburg.”
That is unsurprising, because even though she is just 22 years old, Wester is already well known in Germany. In 2011 she debuted in Bundesliga for VfL Oldenburg, winning the DHB Cup in her first season. “That was a huge highlight”, she is still emotional today. “We played, reached the final through penalties and won the cup – and all that in my first season abroad. That was simply wicked.”
After four years Wester ended the chapter in Oldenburg. “I wanted to try something new”, the goalkeeper argues. “We had some talks and they could not offer me what I wanted in order to stay.” It is important to underlign, that her transfer was not simply for financial reasons, but also included other factors: “When the offer from Bietigheim arrived, I knew what they were trying to build up here, what calibre of team was going to play here and what the aims are. That was a good match, because my aims are the same. That is why I chose to transfer here.”
The Dutch player has high aims with BIetigheim: “We want to be in the top set of the league this season” Wester is ready to attack. “We want to develop into a top team and achieve something – such as the Final Four for example.” But the goalkeeper does of course know, that the development in Bietigheim will take some time. “There are many new players”, Wester states, “but the team is quite cool, I think this could work.”
Westers big aim is the European stage. In 2010 she came third at the youth world championships, a year later she was vice European Champion with the Dutch juniors, these days she is part of the A national team – now she wants to reach the European stage on club level. “It is of course a pity that I never played a European stage with VfL and they play their now that I have left”, she regrets that development, but now her focus is on Bietigheim: “It is definitely my aim to play on European level – Champions League or whereever.”
Picture: Foto Duda