By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

"Birthday Boys" Behrens and Groß extend with current clubs

Two Bundesliga veterans enjoying late-career renaissances have extended their contracts with their respective clubs in the last 24 hours. 

Union Berlin have re-upped with 32-year-old striker Kevin Behrens whilst SV Werder Bremen have singed 33-year-old Christian Groß for another year.
Two Bundesliga veterans sitting on expiring contracts have extended their current working papers for another year. On the same weekend he celebrated his 32nd birthday, and scored another goal for current club 1. FC Union Berlin, 32-year-old striker Kevin Behrens have re-upped for another year with die Eisernen. Bremen's 33-year-old "late bloomer" Christian Groß will also play another season for the Hanseaten.

Behrens signed his first ever contract with a top-tier side when he committed to Union in the summer of 2021. After scoring six goals across all competitions for the FCU - including some late winners in the 2021/22 Europa Conference League - last season, Behrens has already equalled that feat this season. He's surprisingly displaced higher profile acquisition Jordan Pefok to become Urs Fischer's starting striker.

"I feel very comfortable at Union," Behrens noted in a club statement, "Both the coach and the team make me feel important to the team, so I didn't have to think long about my extension. I'm pleased to continue the path along with Union. We have much more to accomplish."

"Kevin's extension makes sense in light of his performance and attitude," FCU managing personnel director Oliver Ruhnert added, "We are very pleased that he will continue to help us in the future with his physical strength and aerial prowess."

Over in one of Germany's famed Hanseatic City states, defensive midfielder/sweeper Christian Groß commemorated his forthcoming birthday with his own new deal. The longtime reserve player is set to turn 34 on Wednesday. Groß first made his debut as a Bundesliga senior squad player in September of 2019 at the age of 29. He's now closing in on 90 appearances for Bremen.

Groß, a regular starter this season, has featured in 16 of Bremen's league starting XIs. He has proved an important linchpin ahead of the SV defense, helping the club narrowly avoid relegation during the 2019/20 season and earn promotion back to the top-flight in the 2021/22 2. Bundesliga campaign. The veteran also spoke of how "comfortable" at the club and noted that there were more pages to write in SV's "story".

"Grosso has made an incredible development in the almost four years that he has been part of the professional squad," Bremen licensing and scouting director Clemens Fritz noted in a club statement, "He is an important part of our team both on the pitch and in the dressing room. We're happy that he still sees his future at Werder.  I'm convinced that we'll continue to benefit from his qualities and personality on and off the pitch."

Both players have signed one-year-extensions good through the end of the 2023/24 season.

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