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Celebrating Landesliga Title with the Famed Yellow Wall Felt Incredible: Danelle Tan

Singapore footballer Danelle Tan wins Landesliga with Borussia Dortmund Women's Team, earning them a promotion to fourth-tier Westfalenliga of the German Football League next season

Danelle Tan gets up high to head the ball, a familiar scene in what has been a prolific first season. PHOTO: FELIX KURSCH @fkursch

Having already been promoted twice since their formation in 2021, Borussia Dortmund Women’s Team, otherwise known as BVB-Frauen, are another step closer to fulfilling their dreams of playing in the elite Frauen-Bundesliga.


Throughout the team’s domination of the Landesliga this season, the fifth tier of women's German football, there was a constant in the starting lineup - Singapore’s very own Danelle Tan. Danelle, who also became a Team 100PLUS athlete this year, becomes the first Singaporean to win a football title in Europe.

Danelle Tan wins the Landesliga title in her first season in Germany. PHOTO: HENDRIK DECKERS

With her flurry of goal contributions, she takes us back to the very beginning in a preseason friendly against Alemannia Aachen as she picks out her most memorable goal of the season.


“It was my first ever goal in the BVB jersey! There’s a picture of the exact moment. Looking back, I didn’t realise that the ball was actually behind me,” she shares. “My head was moving away from the goal but I twisted it towards the direction of the goal, trying to direct the ball in. It’s a really epic picture.”

Danelle Tan scores her first goal for the German giants in a pre-season match. PHOTO: @BVB_FRAUENFUSSBALL

After originally committing to the College of William and Mary to pursue an NCAA Division 1 career, the forward swapped the life of a college athlete for the famous black and yellow shirt, making her the first Asian to play with BVB-Frauen.


Fast forward nine months later, the 19-year-old stands in front of the esteemed Yellow Wall at Signal Iduna Park, celebrating the title with over 80,000 fans.


“It was just an amazing feeling,” she gushes. 


“Stepping onto the perfect grass at the Signal Iduna Park, one of Europe’s largest stadiums and one so wrapped in history. Then to celebrate and cheer with the famed Yellow Wall, it felt incredible. Hopefully, we’ll be playing in this stadium, with these fans cheering us on one day.”

Danelle Tan celebrates the Landesliga title in front of the famed yellow wall. PHOTO: HENDRIK DECKERS

Though she claims it might be due to the recency effect, Danelle highlights the lead up to the title win as her most unforgettable part of the season. And why wouldn’t it be? Afterall, the young Singaporean was on a whirlwind path none of her countrywomen had taken before.


The team secured their third straight title on 21st April with five games to go, after defeating Fortuna Freudenberg 2-0. Since then, the formidable side has gone on to secure their 19th win, this time against SF Sümmern. Part of the starting lineup, Danelle bagged her 14th goal and another two assists in 16 appearances after heading in the team’s second in a 6-0 win.


Before the all-important fixture against Freudenburg, Danelle was forced to the sidelines for a few weeks with a minor hip injury. After scoring a hat-trick on her first game back, she then found herself playing in front of a 4,731 strong crowd at home the following week — not only a record attendance for BVB-Frauen, but also the highest-attended women’s football match in Germany that week.


The week after? Promotion.

PHOTO: KIMBERLY SCHAFER

“Changing room celebrations were cut short as everyone rushed to get changed and onto the team bus. We made it to the Signal Iduna Park slightly after kick off and then walked the field and celebrated in front of the Yellow Wall during halftime of the men’s game against Bayer Leverkusen,” Danelle recalls fondly.


“It was a whirlwind of events but I would definitely consider it the best part of the whole season.” 


While they might have already claimed the title, the team shows no signs of letting up as they set their sights on yet another piece of silverware.


“Winning the league was the main goal at the start of the season and it feels really nice to be able to near the end of the season with most of our goals met. We still have a cup final left so although we’ve already won the league, we are focused on finishing our season with the cup as well,” shares the forward.

PHOTO: HENDRIK DECKERS

And even then, BVB-Frauen and Danelle will look to take Dortmund to where they truly belong – the Frauen Bundesliga, where they’ll take on the big dogs like two-time UEFA Women’s Champions League winners VfL Wolfsburg and rivals Bayern Munich.


“There’s still a long way to go to reach our goals but we’ll take it step by step. Going up to the fourth tier is an important step in the right direction. Every year will present itself with different challenges but we’ll focus on ourselves and making sure we get the job done,” adds Danelle.


The District Cup final, known as the Kreispokal, will take place on 1st May at Sportplatz Schiffhorst, where Danelle’s BVB-Frauen will take on SPVG Berghofen, 9.30pm SGT.


To find out more on our Team 100PLUS athletes, visit here.


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