Editor’s Note: On August 5, 2021 Borussia Dortmund published a podcast episode with Svenja Schlenker (Borussia Dortmund’s Department Head, Womens Football), Lisa Klemann (Borussia Dortmund Frauen player), and Thomas Sulewski (Borussia Dortmund Frauen head coach). The podcast, of course, is in German. But Fear the Wall’s Julia Poblotzki (@jpoblo on Twitter) graciously translated it to English for the site. Thank you, Julia!

Danny: Most of the time you can hardly wait for the first time and then often it is not as great as hoped. However, if you have to wait 112 years, it is certainly something very special. This is what is currently going on for the footballers of Borussia Dortmund. About the many first times the team is currently experiencing and the long-awaited premiere game on Sunday, I talk today with department head Svenja Schlenker, player Lisa Klemann, and coach Thomas Sulewski. My name is Danny Fritz, and this will be my first time.

D: Yes, my first time at the BVB podcast microphone, but I'm looking forward to a very, very illustrious round. I welcome department head Svenja Schlenker to me, player Lisa Klemann, and coach Thomas Sulewski. Nice to have you here today. Hello!

[choruses of hellos]

D: But I want to say First Things First, I think I'm also here at the microphone today because they said "Kreisliga, Danny, that's your level. That's where you are at home." That's right. Football-wise, I'm at home there and when I think of the Kreisliga, the most important thing for me is: the catalogue of penalties must stand at the beginning of the season so that the team piggybank is nice and full for the final trip. And there is this unwritten law, when someone has a birthday there is a crate of beer. Now I look towards Thomas, and I ask you: A) why does this unwritten law not exist with the women of Borussia Dortmund, or B) what explanation do you have that we are sitting here in the dry, and with it my warmest congratulations for today's birthday.

Thomas: [laughing] First of all, thank you for the congratulations. I would say we can take a look in my trunk right away. Maybe you will be taught otherwise about sitting on the dry. But basically, yes there is just this unwritten law that a crate of beer should always be brought to the birthday. It's not a must. I'll think about whether I'll do it tomorrow for training. We do also have girls who are a bit younger, could I maybe pack a coke or an apple spritzer. But the crate will definitely be there.

D: And Lisa, listened very carefully because on Sunday not only the first game for the women takes place, but also your special day. Is this where you have to say that this is the famous Christmas and Easter on one day. So, I bet you can't wait for Sunday?

Lisa: I'm more looking forward to the game than to my birthday.

D: Oh, are you already at that point? [laughing]

L: Yes, I'm not the biggest fan [of birthdays]. Yes, having a birthday is not always days that I find particularly great. I'm more looking forward to the game. Birthday is secondary, will be back next year anyway. Aside from that, I will certainly stick to the law and of course bring a crate. Whereby, we are already a few more players, maybe it would actually have to be 2 crates. We'll see.

D: Very nice. So we have already clarified the most important thing. Of course, we want to talk a bit more about this long-awaited first game afterwards, especially with the two of you, you are also here for the first time on the podcast. Not so Svenja, who I would like to bring in for the first time. Svenja, you were already here on the podcast a few months ago, in September last year, I believe. Take us a little bit with you. A lot has happened. Specifically, what has happened since then? Especially when you look opposite, one of the first official acts, I say, was the commitment of Thomas.

Svenja: Exactly. So we did the podcast in September and what we’re doing today was still very, very far away. We were at the beginning. We had just decided to founded the women's team and I was not quite sure myself about what steps I needed to take and when. With the commitment of Thomas as head coach the ball got rolling, to stay in the footballing language. He was the first to apply, it was the first email I received. There were very, very many initial applications when it came to the coaching post and Thomas was the first, but nothing was decisive of course for us to take him. But it took quite a while, he keeps accusing me of making him wait a long time and not getting in touch. I'll probably hear that from him for a long time.

We only had the first talks in December, and I think we agreed in January that Thomas would be the coach. Of course, we also listened to other candidates, but we felt Thomas was the right one, and of course his two assistant coaches that we selected with Dustin and Tim. Then we got to work together and thought about how to proceed: what can a big sighting/tryout training look like? Of course, we hoped that this could already take place in the spring so that we have a long time to train afterwards or to decide in the first place how the squad should be built. But the weeks and months passed, and Corona did not get better. The numbers were unfortunately always so high that it was not possible for us to have such an open training take place and we then decided for better or worse that the applicants can send in tryout videos. We, or the coaching team, thought about which exercises the girls should show so that we can at least make a pre-selection and were then quite happy that there were 150 application videos that came in. We selected 50 ladies and then in 2 consecutive evenings we could then invite 25 each and see live what they can do on the ball. We then finally decided who will then become part of the squad and who does not. Now we've been in training for 2.5 weeks. The squad includes 23 girls and like you just said, on Sunday the first game is actually all of a sudden here!

D: Yes, very nice. Thomas of course now to you. How do we have to, or how do I have to, imagine that BVB announces the news "we are founding a team for women who play football”? You have already trained women in Dortmund. In the football field, you were, as they say, in a kind of sabbatical. You didn't work as a coach at the time. Read the message, and I don't know, at 19:09 the message comes out, at 19:10 the application was sent out. What was it like when you received the message and when did this thought arise in you, "Eh, I have to apply!"?

T: First of all, basically I was on the market and as a coach was open and still followed soccer, but it was also difficult in corona to watch games because many were just without spectators or only the higher leagues playing. And then I just said at some point, okay Borussia Dortmund makes a women's football team and then I looked at whom I can turn to and then just sent out a cheeky email and got a message back from Svenja relatively quickly and then I didn’t hear from her for ages.

D: How long did she let you fidget?

T: I think it was actually until exactly one week before Christmas Eve. The first time we had written was at the end of September and then shortly before Christmas Eve came an e-mail that we should sit down together in Teams and just talk topically.

D: And one can say you are also Borusse through and through. You also have a BVB past; you are also a member. Tell us a little bit about your black and yellow soul.

T: Yes, I was born in Dortmund in Brackel in the Knappschaftskrankenhaus on August 3, 1990, and my grandma actually until 3 years ago lived at [address], I believe 2 doors down from the founding house of BVB formerly Bondes, with the great fries and chicken. I have played there in the E youth one year, but then realized for me to play with my friends was nicer so I went away again. I am also a member. My dad is a season ticket holder, but I take the season ticket to go to the game and, yes am just fan through and through. Actually, one season I completely pulled through and watched every game both internationally, cup, as well as in the league. I had the time after the school after the Abitur for it. And well, if you grow up in such a city like Dortmund and then such a club like Borussia exists and you are just fire and flame for them, then that is just a great honor to be able to do [be the coach]. Just the fact that I get the chance and fits I think so far great and I'm just looking forward to the task and it's just fun now while the pressure is not too high.

D: The view goes over to Svenja now. Svenja, the black and yellow heart was certainly a plus point in the application but certainly not the decisive point for Thomas. What ultimately convinced you that he is exactly the right man for the job?

S: We had some comparison candidates with whom Thomas had to compete virtually, and I have to say that the black and yellow heart and his understanding for BVB was a big decisive point. Borussia is simply a special club for all of us and if you know how we tick and how we want to present ourselves to the outside world, it was important to me that it is as much as possible someone who fits the overall construct. Of course, he also has the experience in women's football. We also had some candidates who have always only coached men's football or in youth football for a long time. I know that you sometimes have to deal with women a bit differently than with men and there it was already of great advantage that he had the experience there.

D: Now let's take a quick look at Lisa. How did you experience this phase when the news first came out that Borussia Dortmund is making a women's team?

L: At that time, I was still playing at my former club SV Berghofen and I think at the very beginning the rumor was that BVB will create a women's team, possibly at a club in the Dortmund area. So that is not the way it has now become to start from the very bottom. There was talk whether it might be the SV Berghofen because we were the highest-ranking team, or a team at that time, in Dortmund. That was the first time I was confronted with it, and you have of course already thought about what happens now if BVB really does that, when they maybe buy up the current club or the license or take over the department. That was the first time, but I think it crystallized relatively quickly that BVB will go a different way. But until that day that was just not an issue I cared about, honestly.

D: And then came the message, yes, the BVB starts at the bottom and then at some point came the message the coach will be Thomas Sulewski, who is no stranger to you, and there you thought "Do I want to train again under that?”


L: Yes, that was the only criterion that I had to weigh heavily for me. No, nonsense, of course not. I had actually thought about it for a long time, and I had actually already given my promise to continue playing in Berghofen because despite my somewhat advanced age, I would actually have liked to play a bit more ambitious, I have to admit. But so much for me also, admittedly has to do with corona-related topics quite honestly. You have to say that it showed you that there are also other parts of life besides football: family is still there, free time is also important. I then thought about it, as I said, a few more nights and I thought well if BVB really does that now, then this is of course already a house name brand where you should think really well whether you want to be a part of it and want to go this way, and in the end it is for me that I said okay I definitely want to write a bit of history and go along with this way and that's why I just decided to apply.

D: You have just mentioned that you say from yourself there is this desire to play a bit more ambitious and now you just play in the Kreisliga. What was the last decisive factor, or where do you now see the attraction that you say “nevertheless, I let myself into this Kreisliga even if I could probably play a few leagues higher in terms of talent?”

L: Yes, that's a very good question. It's just really this desire for this new, also for a new start just to see something else again even if it's really a big drop-off in terms of leagues for me personally. But just this charm and the desire to just do something new again, to get to know completely new people, a completely different philosophy. And of course, at the end of the day, there is the big name BVB and that is of course just a huge, big incentive that's just like it and that's why I did it.

D: I'll pass on the question to Svenja and Thomas. You were then faced with the task of putting together a team. You mentioned that due to the corona pandemic it was difficult to really have tryouts carried out. There was then the call to send in application videos. Then it was also about inviting some to piece a squad together. What did you put a certain focus on? And how to find the right mix between players like we have them here, who could probably already play a few leagues higher, but still find a good mix for the squad now? So, what were the decisive points for you?

T: We just sat together as a coaching team for a long time and talked about it. Ok, how big do we want to make the squad? Because we start as I said at the bottom and know also in the Kreisliga you probably don’t have so many games, but we just deliberately made something bigger because we wanted to give as many girls as possible the chance. Then we thought about how we want to structure the whole thing, from the age and from the quality. We also decided to keep it local and have 35 kilometers as the limit from where we want to bring the players in from, and only 2 max from one club.

The age structure: just say okay, it's just really something completely new and all other teams already exist, and we just don't exist yet. You just definitely need a pool of older players that can bring a bit of experience with them, who can take other players by the hand, who can then also say a little training again, so that not one hundred percent of the work lies with [the trainers], whereby we of course also like to do that but if you can just bring experience with on the pitch already that is just very good. We also have many young players who have a lot of development potential and we have also put a lot of value on it. It is really a colorful mixture, where like Lisa is comes now from above and there those which have also played Kreisliga, so that the mixture is really colorful. We just tried to choose character well and that was in the short phase extremely difficult, but I hope that we are right. I give praise in advance for it because I think that the way it is going right now is already very neat. It is just a brutally difficult task to structure the whole thing somehow because the team did not exist yet, with clubs that already exist there is something available and then you can choose selectively. We really had nothing, no goalkeeper, no defender, no striker, no midfielder, and we have now filtered everything out and I think it is going great so far and I think that we have found a good mix there.

D: I have to ask now why had Svenja not managed the final squad? As a little revenge that she let you fidget for so long.

T: I have to say, I understood it in such a way that she has a player pass.

S: Who told you that?

T: For absolute emergencies.

S: Correct.

D: You are ready?

S: If there are really 78 people injured, I would do it again. But only then.

D: Just like Nobby. In general, I ask now in the round: We have now said we start in the Kreisliga; that was a decision of the fans. It is a nice thing that you have the fans involved in the club here in Dortmund. They were asked “where do you think BVB should start”.

Now it is one thing to say you play at Borussia Dortmund because you want to play at Borussia Dortmund and the leagues, yes, I’ll get used to it. Or how does one generally feel about the decision of starting this from the very bottom? So Svenja you have participated in that, maybe rather Lisa and Thomas.

T: For me, purely from a sporting point of view, it is actually a huge step back because before I am with the team from Berghofen, and I trained them to promotion from the Regionalliga to the 2. Bundesliga. There you are already relatively close to the very top, but for me it is just an absolute matter of the heart, and this project is just so super exciting, that for me the question has not been asked at all if I want to do this or not. The desire for the club to contest this project is so big and so huge that in the end, I did not care about the league affiliation and just want to accompany this project and to be a good part of it and that was just my intention in the whole thing.

L: Yea, so, we are open and honest here, so for me it would of course have been a tick more attractive if the league had been a bit higher because of course I now come from relatively high up and now start relatively far down again. It would of course have been personally nice for me if we had perhaps played a little higher, but I also had to realize that this is actually irrelevant because we play football anyway. The girls we have can all play football, and just to be part of this project is then actually more attractive than the league affiliation and Thomas has also said that. So, it’s all good.

D: Love knows no league affiliation. I would now like to talk general about this entry of Borussia Dortmund. Of course, you cannot avoid the one or more critical voices that say, "now they march through the leagues and it is unfair." How do you stand on it? And would you also share my assessment, that it is rather a great opportunity for women's football, also here in Dortmund, because BVB has an incredible charisma that you can use? The first reactions on our social networks when we have reported on the first training, about what happened, shows how great the interest is and that you can introduce people to women's football through the charisma of Borussia Dortmund; then maybe also to arouse interest in girls to play football. And at the end of the day, of course, not all can play at BVB and that perhaps the other clubs benefit again. How do you see that?

S: So, I would say it exactly as you just described. I hope that we will of course do everything ourselves to take advantage of the [BVB] influence. We have a football academy in which we have already created many more opportunities for young girls. I also hope that it has an influence on all other clubs because the last thing we want is to weaken football. We want to strengthen it. And as already said the squad can only have a certain size and not everyone can play with us. But is a great incentive in other clubs to get involved, to give everything. And if it is the goal of the girls to play with us at some point, then they also give everything in their clubs. I hope that every other team is looking forward to us and also sees this as an opportunity for themselves to maybe play in front of a few more fans. We just have more fans, and maybe more fans will be on the sidelines. That's the hope I have for cold months like November and then in the spring when it is not so nice outside. But I just don't want to create a huge envy factor or that someone thinks we want to break something. And so, once the league starts up, I have also decided to put a whole thing together with the other clubs or with club representatives and to see what we can do in general for Dortmund football; to underline again how serious the topic is and that is not only about us, but really about the complete female sport in relation to football first.

D: Both of you are from Dortmund football, so you also know the other side. How do you see it? What response you might have received?

L: Well first and foremost, you get to hear of how much money is behind it. And you can already see what we get [equipment- and training material-wise] and we only play Kreisliga. So, I know the other side. I think that BVB now starts this project and for every single girl here from the region it’s a huge chance. I know that even when you play relatively high up, the framework conditions for such high playing girls are just incredibly weak simply because the clubs are not financially well equipped, since they benefit, or live, from membership fees. The training opportunities are weak, so I just have to see this as now the opportunity that gives people from the region here just a better framework. And that's what it's all about in the end. It's not about a club personally, but it's really about every player who will come there in the next few years and that's why I think it's just good for the region. That BVB is finally going the way and so the conditions are much better.

T: Yes, I can only agree with the two of them. There is not much more to add. If I am allowed to bring in my personal insight once, a lot of positive things came when I became coach. Soccer Dortmund knows of each other, but you also know each other and so there was just a lot of positive feedback. Very many have written to me about when does it start, what do I have to do to be there. Of course, there was also one or the other critical voice, as you said, that that “yes, the team will be so strong; all double-digit sweeps on the pitch”, but I don't even know how my team plays as 11 against 11. So far, I cannot say anything and on Sunday there is a first test where we then really can play under competition conditions. This is a test game and then we can then assess how strong my team is and before that you can not say so much. You just see in training the individual quality of one or the other players, but as already said [the talent level ] and the age structure are just very broad We have very many young girls and some who are a bit older, ne Lisa?

L: who are experienced [laughing]

T: and some who are experienced. And yes, therefore there was just a lot positive, a bit of something critical. And how the whole thing will work out, that we’ll then have to wait and see.

D: You mentioned the training and I myself was allowed to be there yesterday. And on the way home thought, “my God, this is now the Kreisliga team of the ladies train.” One group in the Footbonaut, the other group has a cage where they can play 3 against 3, and the third group plays soccer tennis. I would have dreamed of such a Kreisliga training! So it is of course you have to say a really cool thing, but I believe and now hopefully he will agree with me again or maybe Svenja, that it is also a bit this appreciation that shows here in the club to the women. That you say of course, regardless in which league they play, the training opportunities to which we here at Borussia Dortmund have access are accessible. And in Germany, there are now 2 clubs where the women have that, Hoffenheim play Bundesliga and Dortmund Kreisliga. But nevertheless, it is a training device which is suitable for every player, for every playing strength.

S: Exactly. We wanted to bring a bit of fun and joy into it yesterday because I know from my own experience how much fun it is to kick a bit in the footbonauten. This once again underlines the seriousness of the management. We all decided on this path and we are fully behind it and we treat the women’s team just like any other youth team at the footbonaut. I know how often it is fully booked and everyone is looking for appointments to train there. And now belong just as much as our men professionals, like the U23, like all youth teams and that is very great to know that you can fit in there seamlessly and are just as developed as the other teams will be.

D: How was it [in the footbonaut]?

L: Too short! [laughs] No, as Svenja said it was quite a lot of fun, but it really was too short. I think we were a bit too many yesterday. I would be happy if we could do that again in the future. It’s definitely a mega, mega awesome device.

D: I had to leave a little earlier yesterday, but the coach announced that he also wanted to go in. Did he do it?

T: Unfortunately, I didn't make it in time. I think the girls would have liked to see it, but then they would have been in awe, so I won’t show my qualities yet. But basically, it's just a mega thing. The framework conditions you find here, they are sensational! I just expressed the wish that we have this footbonaut and if would have the chance to somehow get in there in the preparation. And that it had worked out so early, to see the shining faces of everyone, or to go in there to see this device to work with it, and to play a bit of football tennis outside, or just in the cage 3 against 3 is just such an amazing thing to see [us being valued enough] that you can just use it. And since we can, then we want to use that, and I think that was pretty special after the session on Sunday.

D: The statement about your talent, you will have to have that tested now that you have come out big here. We will definitely follow up on that. Train like a Bundesliga club, but training camp like a Kreisligist. You’re going to Willingen! Every Kreisliga club will say “jawohl!”, but tell me very briefly, what does the training camp look like then? What is planned? Because of course you are facing a big challenge to put together a new mix of players into a cohesive team that can play the automatisms and then possibly play successful soccer by the end of August.

T: We have in training camp, if I briefly add up, I think on Friday one session, on Saturday two, and Sunday morning again, so four training sessions plus one game plus team building. So that is already very, very, chock-full and that is towards the end of the preparation where we just want to work on fine-tuning. We just want to see that we get to know each other as quickly as possible in the best possible way so that we will grow together into a team. That will be a further tool and will help in setting a few tactical stimuli for when we want to teach our philosophy to the girls. What is our system? How do we play with the ball, as well as against the ball? I think if you have very close successive training units, you can internalize it even better.

D: Now you could ask: ok training camp for a kreisligist. Is that too much? Or is it maybe just the right thing for the reasons I have described, just because it is a completely new team?

T: I would say that it is fitting. You know that from the Kreisliga teams here in the vicinity, the teams do their training camps at their home the pitch but of similar intensity. For us I think it is absolutely necessary because we have not yet played together as a team. This allows an extra look and maybe even a small internal test match during the training camp. And yes, there is of course an extreme amount of work with the ball and then on the tactical stuff, so that we can teach our philosophy to the girls. And then the whole thing with getting the automatisms together. Everyone can play football, but if it's really such a colorful bunch, it's a bigger challenge than with an existing team.

D: Training camp is actually still a dream of the future because the big highlight is now on Sunday: the first game of the BVB women against 1860 Munich in the Rote Erde. Question in the round: What is the mood? Is it anticipation? Is a bit of getting the jitters? Let's make the rounds.

L: For me, it is the anticipation, not jitters. I have actually played in front of more spectators before. There I was actually anxious, now I am not so. As I said, at the moment it is anticipation, but somehow for me in my head it is still a bit far away. We have another 2 training sessions until then and then I deal with it maybe Saturday morning, but now I’m not thinking about it. Yes obviously, I am happy that the first game is coming up, but of course you have to say fairly it is also a bit uncertain. You have already said, like Thomas, we have never played together as a team. That is exciting to see how it will feel and how it will function. We’ll see.

T: When I think of Sunday, I definitely get goosebumps because as you keep saying it is again one of the many first times for us. The first team line-up, the first team meeting before the game, the first time going out of the locker room to warm up. And maybe that's not goosebumps. But basically, we still have two training sessions in which we also want to work well. I think that bit nervousness and excitement will come on Saturday afternoon.

D: Svenja, what does it look like with you after all the months of work, but also after all the years of fighting a bit longer when somehow this topic of women's football at BVB got lost out of sight? Now on Sunday the time has come for the first game, and you also know that you have contributed a bit to how it looks.

S: Well, to this day I can’t really believe it, I'm completely honest. It’s a bit related to the fact that it was a lot of work and there are a lot of details that you have to consider when organizing such games. Now is of course a special situation because we are allowed to play in the Rote Erde and in front of a lot of spectators and fans. Corona is added in there, so we have to pay a lot of attention. I am still in the middle of the preparations, but I can predict that I probably cannot sleep so well on Saturday night and will then probably also be incredibly excited which will mix of course with great anticipation. I hope that when the game gets going, I can find a moment in the stands in which I can take a deep breath and admit to myself that, “yes, we really are at the point where the dream which I had for so many years is now coming true.” I am not on the pitch, but I can be responsible for everything that happens on the side and all that already fills me with pride.

D: Thomas has just said that the pressure is not so high. Will you maybe increase the pressure a little? Because I think for the first game that goes down in the history books you don't want to write "lost narrowly to 1860 in a gripping game." So, is there something or a talk in the dressing room before that from the boss?

S: No, the moment belongs to the coaches and the team. I don't put any pressure on it at all because it's the first game for all of us. Thomas has already said that the girls don't know each other so well and we all don't know what to expect. I just hope that we will all have fun, that the girls will have fun on the pitch, and even if it will be exciting, that there is as much looseness as possible. Then it will certainly run by itself. I trust the ladies.

D: What we can say is that the place will be full, within the scope of the possibilities. Lisa, you have just hinted at it that you have already played in front of such a crowd. That was in the DFB Cup for Berghofen against Wolfsburg where you played in front of a good 2000 people. And yet, I think on Sunday it will be something completely different because the audience will also be different. You still know the final result? Y’all put up a good fight.

L: Yes, true. In retrospect the best game of my life.

D: I believe that. But as said, the audience that was there were interested in women's football; were looking forward to the fact that the reigning champion and cup winner was there. Now on Sunday, I think a lot of people who have a general curiosity and I also think many, I would guess, that have not had many points of contact with women's football, but rather with Borussia Dortmund will come out. And now I increase the pressure: I think it is also a bit your task to win these fans over at the end for us. Does it increase the pressure a bit if you think about how the audience is different?

L: Definitely. How you just said it is how it is. In Berghofen, at that time we clearly had a lot of fans on our side that came for us and that will probably not be quite so on Sunday; at least a little different. And since that's true, of course we have to deliver a bit so that we also get loud support. However, if the supporters of BVB present themselves like BVB has internally, then I don't worry much because I think they will spur us forward. I believe in that, or hope for a lot of support.

T: When I remember the game [DFB Cup], if I may say something about it, I think we knew that 2000 fans were coming and we knew that there are about 200 from Wolfsburg, how many are there for us, and the rest is neutral. With how the game went, I had the feeling that with every successful action, the neutral fans were pulled to our side. In the end, it was just really a really cool atmosphere where just every duel or whatever that was won was somehow celebrated or every air duel. That was a cool thing because I could then sit back as a coach and just enjoy because the team worked in the moment. And I think now on Sunday just a large part [of the fans] come just for us, to see us, out of curiosity, but also with a certain expectation; want to see if the girls are good and if they should go there more often. That's up to us to manage the whole thing.

D: But we take that to take the pressure out of it. This high popularity, the great response, you know it is sold out, what is happening and what we do on the social media channels, how that is perceived the comments are consistently very positive. How do you perceive that?

L: Yes, how do you perceive that? First of all, you can't read all of it; it's way too much. It's crazy how much comes at you. I'm really not Instagram affine, but what's been pouring down on me the last 2 1/2 weeks is so unbelievable; so, so many requests from people I don't know at all. I've never had that in my whole life. That increases the pressure of course a bit, eh. I want to win Sunday, right?

S: Of course! That would be nice. I was very surprised by it. We had unlocked the order tool at the beginning of last week for the game on Sunday. We only have 1300 available seats; more are not allowed to watch. And within 2 days, these 1300 were already reached. We had the tool open longer and we said we’d make a raffle. There have been over 2000 fans and spectators that applied for this game, and I think that is really cool for a Kreisliga game. We can already feel valued. Even if now it is only curiosity, but maybe we leave a lasting impression and one or the other comes more often and watches us.

T: Yes, I have to say I'm elated at this interest that there is. There are so many people who want to watch this game even if it is, casually said, simply game between 2 Kreisliga teams. Of course, it is a really cool atmosphere in the Rote Erde. 1860 has not played a year, I think, last year founded and we are completely new this year. So two matching Kreisliga teams play against each other and then we will see how the game ends.

D: In any case, we can now make a bit of advertising because we have also thought from the interactions, if there is so much interest, if not everyone can really come, we have decided to stream this game completely live. So this game on Sunday for all those who can not be there, will be on all our channels: bvb.tv, youtube, facebook, and on Twitch. We will stream this first historical game of the women. So, mark red in the calendar Sunday, 15:00 is kick-off. I could really talk to y’all for a long time, this is a lot of fun, but I still must slowly turn into the extra time. Let's give a little outlook: the season starts on August 29th. The opponents are now set. I have to say quite honestly, for this topic I'm out. The coach has probably already dealt with it completely. What is the season goal? What to expect? How do you have to assess this?

T: Yea, first it is very nice that everything is set now; start of the season and the opponents and that's just very cool. I'm especially looking forward to the game against SuS Hörde where we can really go back to the roots on ashes [red dirt], that's just a very cool thing.

D: I look over to Lisa for a moment, but I don't think she sees it exactly that way.

L: I have to see if I still have multiknoppen [universal studs for cleats].

T: And then, for example, clubs like SV Körne where my nephew plays and my brother trains a young team. These are just things where you have a bit of a relationship. Or against Berghofen, where it is just the third [team]. The group has become quite cool, the preparation is now not so super long since we will probably play on 29.8., but I think we will get everything handled. Last week Mr. Rauball was at training and asked me if I read his assessment of the handball ladies and his expectations of them finishing first or second. He said he expects that from us too and then I said that was almost an extra standings place because I thought we must be first, but obviously we can also be second when the President says that.

D: How do you go into the season? What is your personal goal? What are you most looking forward to as you look forward to Sunday?

L: I'm especially looking forward to it when it really goes back to the pitch at some point, so i.e. games on Sundays. And I'm also looking forward to winning, of course, and clearly my goal is to be at the top in the end. I really want to win the game and after the successful Sunday then maybe I don't know, relax with the girls on the pitch and enjoy the whole thing a bit and celebrate with a beer and a bratwurst or so.

D: Svenja, you notice that the ambitions that are very important at Borussia Dortmund, the two have already internalized well. I’ll let you give bit of a wider outlook, now that we have this one team, but it should not stay that way. It’s not so that we have a team that we celebrate now and then it goes somehow through the leagues. Borussia Dortmund also stands for successful youth work, and I think that is certainly the big goal for you when it comes to football for women at BVB.

S: Exactly, so once the league has started now, when we get a certain rhythm, I have decided that together with Annike Krahn and also with Christian Timm, who are also on hand to advise us athletically, to see a little bit where the way is going in the next few years. What is a medium to long-term strategy? How many more teams can we build? What age do we start? Do we want to open a U17 next year or a second team or do we concentrate on much younger girls? How is the cooperation with our football academy? Which as I said at the beginning already has a lot to offer for girls. Then, of course, it must always be taken into account what we have sufficient capacities for. Can we do everything as we imagine it? So there are a lot of parts that we have to take into account; that we have to put together. And then we'll see how it goes on in the next few years. But of course, the big goal is to have your own successful youth system; to be able to draw from your own ranks at some point and to make young talents great and maybe to play high class. That would be incredibly cool.

D: Very nice. At the end one last task for each of you. If we are already on the topic of outlooks and goals, let's assume we would sit here again in a year. What headline would you like to see in a year? What would you like to read when it comes to the BVB women; when it comes to women's football at BVB? Just blurt it out. Who has what?

T: I have mine, but it is very ambitious: "The BVB Women Successfully Complete the Double in Year One: Kreispokal and Championship"

D: We haven't even spoken about the Kreispokal yet. Urania Lütgendortmund is up first. How many teams? How many rounds are there in the Kreispokal?

T: That's a good question. There are for the second round already now I think four or six byes, so 3 or 4 rounds. It is not much more.

D: Okay. Double. Yes.

S: Yes, I think it's quite good.

L: Yes, I also agree with it. I don't have to think twice. You?

S: I think it would be nice if maybe attributes like sympathetic, and yes handsome now always sounds a bit disrespectful but…

D: You wanted to say “the likeable and handsome coach Thomas Sulewski wins the double with his team”

S: Right! So, “Sympathetic BVB Women's Team Wins the Double in the First Season”. That's good, I’ll sign that.

L: Yes, I'll sign that too. I wouldn't open a new headline. It sounds good. Ambitious, but not impossible.

D: We take such a nice final word with us. I say thank you very much. That was my first time here at the podcast microphone at Borussia Dortmund. I had a lot of fun and I wish you a lot of fun with all the first times which will come to you. Thank you.