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You’ve probably not heard about any female footballers venturing overseas to challenge themselves football-wise before current big names like Nani & Danelle had their stories shared in the media. Fact of the matter is that a couple of Singapore’s earlier generation players have attempted to or plyed their trade overseas before. For example, Lim Shiya with Perth Glory in 2008, Charmaine Lim with UWA Nedlands FC in the BankWest Women’s Premier League between 2013 – 2014, current Lioness skipper Ernie Sulastri trialled in Japan’s L-League Division Two in 2013, and Priscilla Tan played for Eastern Suburbs FC in the National Premier League in 2018.

In recent years, more local female footballers have started to venture overseas to challenge themselves in more football-established countries. Danelle Tan, currently based in the UK, has been to trials with professional clubs in the Netherlands and has recently been accepted into an NCAA Division I soccer program, the highest level of college sports in the US. Nani was on trial at INAC Kobe Leonessa and is now playing professionally for Kibi International University Charme Okayama Takahashi. A few current Lionesses such as Nicole Lim and Putri are also playing for their respective institutions while studying overseas on scholarships.


Taking these steps to improve as an athlete can be very daunting and therefore requires courage as well as mental preparation and financial planning. Done well, stepping out of home to contend with technically and tactically superior opponents while being alone and independent emotionally, mentally and financially overseas can often morph resilient and tenacious characters.


For the girls who aspire to follow this barely trodden path one day, look out for a roundtable Q&A of challenges, adaptation and process tips from individuals currently training and competing overseas: Danelle (D), Nani (N), Summer (S) and Yasmin (Y).


Meanwhile, here is an introduction of the respective ladies:

1. About me (quick intro of who you are, what you’re currently doing – playing/studying/working)

D: My name is Danelle Tan. I’m currently studying in the UK at a boarding school called Mill Hill. I play with the boy’s team at my school and also train with a top English academy. I also have specific strength and conditioning sessions as well as 1-1 technical sessions. It’s about 8 sessions a week for me and I love it!

N: My name is Siti Rosnani Binte Azman and I am 25 years old. I am a defender-midfielder for Kibi International University Charme Okayama Takahashi.

S: My name is Summer Chong and I am currently a boarding student at High Mowing School, a high school in the United States for football. I play for LCS in Singapore and Black Rock FC in the States. My favoured on-field position is central defensive midfielder.


Y: My name is Yasmin Yusman. I am studying at Graceland University in Iowa, United States on a soccer and academic scholarship while doing my Bachelor Of Arts (Honours) in Criminal Justice, Psychology and Accounting. My favoured on-field position is centre midfield or centre back. I am planning to take part in the women’s national soccer league (WNSL) in the States or Singapore over the summer after I’ve recovered from injury.

2. Can you offer any advice to young girls who want to play for the national team one day?
D: I know it sounds very cliche, but I don’t think anything is more important in a player’s development than working hard and having a good attitude towards every training session you go to. When I was growing up, I was nowhere near the most talented girl on the pitch. But I worked hard and never settled; always pushing myself to become a better version of myself. So if you really want it, then go get it. Work hard on and even harder off the pitch. If you’re training 1-3 hours a day, it’s what you do with the other 21 hours that really makes the difference.

N: Gotta believe in yourself no matter what and always keep pushing. Of course it won’t be easy along the way but things do get better with time. Always got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Just know that you got this.

Y: I’m honestly still trying till today, but I do encourage you to keep pushing not just yourself but the people around you too. When you want others to win, others will push you just as much to keep going and everyone should strive to be successful together. I think it is important to surround yourself with people better than you and always change the negative to positive. Every advice anyone gives, good or bad is advice for you to consider to only do better.
3. Female player you look up to?
D: Vivianne Miedema
N: Kelly O’Hara
S: Lieke Martens
Y: Lindsey Horan and Ashley Sanchez