Skip to main content

Taken from source:

SINGAPORE – A perplexed look on her face, for several seconds Singapore forward Danelle Tan had no idea why her Borussia Dortmund women’s team (BVB Frauen) teammates were shouting excitedly at her.

At the Aug 4-6 Peuler Deerns Cup, a seven-a-side pre-season tournament, the master of ceremony had requested in German for her to collect an award.

The trophy was also engraved in German, and it was only when her colleagues explained to her that she had been crowned the top scorer did the 18-year-old footballer break into a wide grin.

Tan said in a phone call from Dortmund: “I was so confused. When they were announcing the prizes, they were just handing out like a couple of trophies and medals to different teams. And I just didn’t understand anything.

“I was just waiting for the whole team to go out and collect our trophy and then suddenly, all my teammates were looking at me and I was like, ‘what’s happening?’”

Since signing with the club in June to become their first Asian player, Tan has had a stellar pre-season with three goals in six friendlies and five in the pre-season tournament, which BVB Frauen won.

She is raring to make a similar impact in the fifth-tier Landesliga campaign, which begins on Sunday with an away fixture against SC Drolshagen.

Pre-season training began in July and Tan has been hard at work on and off the pitch. She begins each day at 6am and takes an hour-long train ride to Dusseldorf for a five-hour-long German language class. She is hoping to be fluent as soon as she can.

Her evenings are occupied by training sessions with BVB.

While her German is a work in progress, her teammates have helped her to feel at home during pre-season, when they had two training trips to Poel and a training camp in the Kitzbuhel Alps, Austria.

BVB Frauen were formed only in 2021 and chose to start from the bottom in the seventh tier – they have earned successive promotions in 2022 and 2023.

Tan is determined to make a mark in her debut season and play a role in another promotion.

She said: “I just want to score as many goals as possible to help the team to get promoted to the fourth tier. Individually, I just want to improve as much as possible as a player. The coaching staff are great and the standard in training is really high which pushes me to develop a lot as a player.”

Danelle Tan (in yellow), in action for BVB Frauen against SC Borchen in a pre-season friendly. PHOTO: BORUSSIA DORTMUND

The young striker has been a trailblazer for Singapore women’s football since making a goal-scoring debut against Timor-Leste for the national team in 2019.

In February, Tan became the first female Singaporean to play in an European league when she turned out for the London Bees in the amateur FA Women’s National League South. There, she scored twice in 12 appearances.

BVB women’s head coach Thomas Sulewski noted that the No. 8 has had “great preparation” and is already well integrated into the team.

He added: “She is very inquisitive and also constantly asks for feedback and how she can improve. Her finishing skills with both feet are amazing and she has a tremendous physique to boot.”

YouTube video

Noting that promotion is the “absolute priority”, Sulewski said: “I just want her to have a lot of fun and bring her strengths to the pitch to help the team. In her position as an attacking player, I wish her lots of goals and assists.”

All home matches of the Dortmund women’s team will be streamed on Twitch.