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SINGAPORE – Over the years, Borussia Dortmund’s famed Yellow Wall has witnessed several memorable occasions in the German Bundesliga team’s history.

On April 21, there was more revelry before more than 80,000 fans at the Signal Iduna Park – the Dortmund women’s team, featuring Singapore footballer Danelle Tan, celebrated winning the fifth-tier Landesliga title and promotion to the fourth-tier Westfalenliga.

Tan laughed as she told The Straits Times: “We rushed onto the coach to make it to the men’s match against Bayer Leverkusen, after which we walked the pitch and celebrated together with the Yellow Wall. It was truly an indescribable feeling.

 Singaporean footballer Danelle Tan (centre) celebrating with Borussia Dortmund women’s team after winning the fifth-tier Landesliga title in Germany. PHOTO: COURTESY OF HENDRIK DECKERS

“Quite funnily, when we were jumping and doing the cheers, I slipped on the grass. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I slipped! It was slightly embarrassing.”

Borussia Dortmund women’s team celebrating in front of the famous Yellow Wall in the Signal Iduna Park. PHOTO: COURTESY OF HENDRIK DECKERS

But the 19-year-old should feel only pride as she continues to blaze a trail with her relentless BVB Frauen side, who romped to their third consecutive promotion in three years, after beating SV Fortuna Freudenberg II 2-0 away on April 21.

In doing so, she became the first Singaporean to win a league title in Europe.

But Tan would not consider it a European title since “it’s not the top tier”, adding: “I see it more as a promotion and an advancement towards the ultimate goal of reaching the Frauen-Bundesliga.”

Nevertheless, she played a key role in the team’s promotion.

She featured in 15 out of 18 matches and contributed 13 goals as Dortmund won the league with five games to spare.

With a remarkable 18 wins and one draw, 93 goals for and just five against, Dortmund hold an unassailable 17-point lead over second-placed TV Brechten.

Their 4-1 home win over Brechten at the Stadion Rote Erde on April 14 also attracted a club record 4,731 fans.

Equally memorable were Tan’s hat-tricks against SV Hohenlimburg in her Stadion Rote Erde debut in front of her parents and against then-second Borussia Droschede in her first game after a minor hip injury.

Looking back, the Lioness, who has 21 caps and four international goals, said: “My dad, mum and younger sister were there when we beat Freudenberg.

“Winning the league and getting promoted was a significant milestone accomplished, and having my family in the stands watching felt like the cherry on top.”

She also felt she has become “a much more mature person” since turning down a scholarship by the College of William and Mary in Virginia, United States, to become the first Asian to sign for BVB Frauen in June 2023.

Her father Tan Meng Wei said: “She is always so positive about everything and we are really proud of how she has been so adaptable to settle in Germany.”

With the help of her teammates and more than 20 weekly hours of German classes, Danelle overcame the initial culture shock and language barrier.

“Viel viel besser!” she chirped to indicate her German is a lot better now.

She added: “I can now hold a conversation, albeit in broken German.

“Understanding instructions at training and games has also made life a lot easier.

“I was even able to help my sister, who has multiple food allergies, order food at a restaurant in German!”

Ultimately, it is the European football education that has enriched her budding career.

Playing for BVB Frauen gave her the front-row opportunity to savour special occasions, such as when the men’s team beat Atletico Madrid 4-2 on April 16 to overturn a first-leg deficit to advance to the Champions League semi-finals 5-4 on aggregate.

An inspired Danelle, who is looking forward to the regional Kreispokal Cup final against SpVg Berghofen on May 1, said: “I went through a roller coaster of emotions, but it was so refreshing to see the crowd and fans stand behind their team so fervently.

“Even when Atletico came back 2-2 at the start of the second half to lead on aggregate, the fans began singing again almost immediately. The fans at this club are absolutely unreal and hopefully one day, the same crowd will turn up for the women’s team.”