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SINGAPORE – National women’s footballer Danelle Tan’s Borussia Dortmund career is off to a flying start, after the forward poached a hat-trick and grabbed three assists in a 13-0 home drubbing of DJK Spvgg Herten on Sunday.

The 18-year-old told The Straits Times: “I had been performing well in pre-season friendlies and training, but it felt very satisfying to get on the score sheet for an official game. A hat-trick made it all the more sweeter.

“Playing at home is always special. With an emphatic win in front of our fans, it felt amazing.”

Tan had a stellar pre-season with three goals in six friendlies, and five in the seven-a-side Peuler Deerns Cup, in which she was top goalscorer.

On Sunday, she made her mark in the league. Playing at a temporary venue, the BVB Evonik Football Academy – their home ground at Stadion Rote Erde is undergoing renovation – she took just three minutes to latch onto a defence-splitting pass from the back to square for Mandy Reinhardt to tap in the first of her six goals, and worked the left channel again 15 minutes later to assist Marie Grothe and make it 3-0.

The roles were reversed in the 43rd minute, as Tan seized on a Reinhardt pass to slam home a right-footed shot for her first league goal of the season.

BVB Frauen took a 4-0 lead into the break and the floodgates opened in the second half with Tan again key to their exploits.

Lovely one-touch play in the 55th minute resulted in Tan sending Merle Greulich through to make it 6-0, before the teenager slid in at the back post two minutes later and then completed her hat-trick on her home debut in the 64th minute with a fine run to finish down the left.

Her contributions led the majority of some 250 flag-wielding fans to vote her as their Player of the Match, and Tan particularly enjoyed how her first name was announced over the tannoy, as the supporters would echo her surname each time she scored.

“It will be something I’ll remember for a long time,” she said.

With the thumping win, BVB Frauen are top of the fifth-tier, 14-team Landesliga after two games. Tan made her league debut in a 5-1 comeback win at SC Drolshagen on Aug 27 when she conjured her first assist.

BVB Frauen were formed in 2021 and worked their way up from the seventh tier, earning successive promotions in 2022 and 2023. In June, Tan became the first Asian player to join the team.

Eyeing another step up, she said: “The target has always been to become champions and get promoted to the fourth tier. Although we’re off to a good start, we know that this is the standard we need to keep up for the rest of the season, which I’m confident we will.

“Personally, I just want to help the team and score as many goals as possible. I try to go into every game confident that I will make a positive impact on the game and help my team to a win. And if that’s me scoring, even better.

“I also want to take advantage of the incredible resources here at the club and improve as much as possible as a player.”

BVB Frauen coach Thomas Sulewski told ST he was pleased but not surprised by Tan’s performances as she has “very special qualities”.

He said: “Danelle’s first two games were good. In the first game, we had a tough opponent who made life difficult for us. She tried a lot and was directly involved in the goals. There, she played up front and it was not an easy game for a striker.

“In the second game, I put her on the outside and she scored three and made three assists. We will find the optimal position by continuing to test things out, but she was already very good on the outside.

“We are still trying to make it as easy as possible for Danelle. The step into a new country with a different culture, new language, new club, new teammates – that is certainly not easy. Danelle is doing a great job.”


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