19-year-old coaches Brandenburg men’s football team
American football is predominantly perceived as a men’s sport in this country. In Havelland, a young woman trains a men’s team – Rathenow Raccoons. She is already a fixture in the newly formed team.
Alina Schubert does not like to be asked what it is like as a woman to lead a football team with big guys around 100 kilos. Nevertheless, of course, she is asked exactly that by many – by media representatives, acquaintances, family.
For the 19-year-old, it’s quite simple: American football is her biggest passion. She discovered this herself as a teenager, “acquired knowledge” and will now “promote” the sport.
When the request came, she immediately said yes
Despite all attempts to put things in perspective: Schubert’s position as defensive coach for the newly formed Rathenow Raccoons team is something special in the male-dominated sport. “I can well assert myself,” she says laconic. “I have a certain status, I would call it that. And the men respect that.”
She also has something in front of her players: she has already won the German championship. In 2019, she won the title with the Berlin Kobra Ladies. Her current Raccoons coaching colleague Ronny Kraatz was once her youth coach and had guided her from the youth department of the Brandenburg Patriots to the capital, where she had direct success. However, she was thrown back by an injured cervical vertebra and then wanted to “take more out of active football”, as she says.
When Kraatz then told her he was building a new team in Rathenow and wanted her to be part of the coaching staff, she immediately said yes.
The players appreciate the coach
In Rathenow, meanwhile, there is only training outside the game. The team currently has about 25 players. It consists of some inexperienced football newcomers who have noticed that a new football team must be placed in Havelland. But there are also more experienced players who have already played for other clubs in Brandenburg and would like to help build the new team. We are still looking for more football fans to be able to start playing in the 5th league next year.
Kraatz believes that the team is benefiting from the football boom in Germany – but it is not only being pressured by the American NFL. “The German football league will be broadcast on free television,” he stresses. “Last year, there was a GFL broadcast every Saturday. It clearly contributes to the boom being so big.”
While Kraatz ‘and Schubert’s Raccoons aim to start the league in 5th grade for the coming year, the best Raccoon players can already play in the 4th league with the Berlin Bears in the upcoming season, which starts in May. Because with the Berliners, Rathenower has founded a community of players.
A pioneering role
The Raccoons players already know what they have in defensive coach Schubert. “She knows how to assert herself,” quarterback Ozan Köprücü said. “It’s probably also important in a more male – dominated sport. I think she does that pretty well.” Running back Dustin Winning agrees: At first he was a little “confused”, as he says, because the coach was stricter than expected. But it works well: “She says something, then you have to follow suit. What the coach says is done.”
Schubert, who is currently doing a voluntary social year with Johanniteren, does not yet have a coaching license. But she will address that now, starting with the coaching license C.
But Schubert would not be a role model. She simply found “fun” in this sport. Being an idol “for a certain group” is actually not at all what she wants. But whether she sees her position as trend-setting or not: Alina Schubert has already taken on a pioneering role as a coach among heavy men.
With material by Matthias Gindorf
Broadcast: Antenna Brandenburg, April 18, 2022, at