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Taken from source:

Also moving abroad by herself to chase her dream of being a professional footballer is fellow Lioness Danelle Tan, who in January, relocated to London where she is studying at Mill Hill School.

The 17-year-old chose the school because of its partnership with an English club’s academy.

Since moving to London, the teenager’s weekly training routine sees her training eight times in total, which includes individual sessions, as well as those with her school and the club.

Danelle, who became Singapore’s youngest goal scorer at the age of 14 years and 294 days in 2019, is also the first female to represent Mill Hill’s first XI football team.

But training with boys is not something new for Danelle – even in Singapore, she was competing in private football academy JSSL Singapore’s competitions for boys.

Despite having been in London for just a few months, the forward, who scored two goals in the Lionesses’ 6-2 victory over Seychelles last Monday (April 4), believes her experiences in England have helped her improve.

She said: “Playing and training with the boys constantly helped me in the sense that I’m used to thinking a lot quicker. In the UK when I play with boys, I’m forced to because I can’t afford to play at a slower pace. That helped in the game against Seychelles and training with the national team.”

The different football standards is not the only thing that Danelle has had to adapt to in England. Moving to London has also forced her to be more independent and there are things like the erratic weather patterns that she has had to get used to.

But Danelle said she has coped better than she had expected.

London is just the latest destination for Danelle, who will be taking her A levels next year, in her pursuit of turning professional. That desire has led her to seek opportunities in places like the US and Europe in recent years, including training stints at clubs like Ajax.

These stints have exposed her to different playing styles, but one thing that has been consistent is the professionalism at some of these clubs, which has only pushed her to work harder.

She said: “Everyone’s focused when they get on the field. During water breaks, they down a bit of water and it’s straight back to training. You can tell they really want to improve – when everyone in the team is striving to improve, everyone just sets a higher benchmark for themselves.”

Now, Danelle is looking forward to playing in the SEA Games against the region’s top teams like world No. 43 Thailand, who are in the same group as the Lionesses.

She said: “A good goal for us would be to give a good account of ourselves. A lot of the time, people watching don’t just look at the score, they also look at your performance so if we are able to show what we can do, that would be a good goal.

“The SEA Games is a huge thing and it’s the first time in 19 years that the women’s team will be playing and so it’s also to inspire the next generation and show them that it could be you playing on this field in a few years.”