The players of VfL Wolfsburg started preparations with fitness tests last week in order to prepare for the second round of the Frauen-Bundesliga, which will commence after the current winter break. Included as part of them, was new signing Ella Masar McLeod
The 31-year-old joined the reigning double-winners from FC Rosengard on a free transfer and has been in Wolfsburg for just over a week with Canadian international wife Erin McLeod, and both dogs, Sven and Max.
In Wolfsburg, Masar McLeod will wear the number 30, in honour of her father who passed away six years ago. She explains: “In College he played American football. The number is usually always free anyway, but he wore it on his jersey. I’m kind of still playing for him.”
— VfL Wolfsburg (@VfL_Wolfsburg) January 10, 2018
Masar took the unusual step of taking the bus to her first day at the office. This might seem a little unusual for a professional soccer player, but she explained that this is not unusual for her.
“My car is not ready yet, but that’s normal for me,” she said.
“The club said someone would pick me up, but I prefer to find my surroundings and know where you are.”
So transport doesn’t seem to be a problem, but did she have any pre-conceived ideas about Wolfsburg before she arrived?
“No, people keep saying it’s a really small town. But this is about 20,000 bigger than the town I grew up in, so for me it’s big. It’s perfect you know – a couple of coffee shops and a mall. I like a more quiet life,” she explained.
The transfer of Masar McLeod had been rumoured for a while before it was officially announced. The former Houston Dash player admitted that she was keen to seek a new challenge elsewhere and felt her time at former club FC Rosengard, in Sweden, had come to an end.
“I knew I wasn’t going to stay at Rosengard,” she said.
“I told my agent it’s not worth it sometimes if you get treated a certain way to keep going, so it has to be a really world class club. And I think Wolfsburg got wind of it. I came here to win something more than anything else. So probably in November/December it started to get serious.
“Saying yes to the current leader of the Frauen-Bundesliga was an easy decision. I mean if Wolfsburg calls, it’s pretty easy. I’m just so humbled I get this opportunity. I just want to help this team win, as best as I can and have a title to my name.”
The 31-year-old is known for her versatility on the field. But she leaves the decision as to where she plays to her Head Coach, Stephan Lerch, stating that it is “his decision” and that she can play pretty much any position “except goalkeeper and centre-back.”
Having played in the US, France, Norway and Sweden, it’s now Germany and the Frauen-Bundesliga for Masar McLeod and a few familiar faces certainly helped her decide to make the move..
She described the league as “the best in the world,” producing players for what she described as the best national team.
“Every game is a challenge,” she said.
“I played against Lara Dickenmann back in college, and Anja Mittag is a good friend (Mittag is now at Rosengard but formerly of Wolfsburg). The former Assistant Coach of Rosengard is now Head Coach in Jena, and I played with Elise Bussaglia in France. I also know Sara Gunnarsdottir from her time in Malmö. It got to a point where it (the league) was hard to ignore.”
— Sara Björk (@sarabjork18) December 21, 2017
Ella and Erin used to keep their fans entertained on YouTube with a popular video series, and have even released a single on Spotify. So can we expect much the same now that Ella is in Wolfsburg?
“The guitar and piano are already here, but it depends on being here, but there are other things I can do.
“I’ve heard that Alexandra Popp worked with animals. She can maybe show me around the zoo. I love animals.”
Masar McLeod has completed a number of training sessions since this interview with her new club and is adapting to life in Wolfsburg. The German champions head into training camp on January 24th and have their first game back on February 11th against Cloppenburg in the DFB Cup competition.