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German Championship

BVB U19s can complete the "youth double"

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Borussia's U17s have led the way, and the older age group can follow suit at Niederrheinstadion Oberhausen on 30 May (kick-off 15:30 CEST): if the U19s are successful in the final of the German A-Junioren Championship against TSG Hoffenheim, BVB would be the only club in German history to achieve the "youth double".

The Black & Yellows have already had this opportunity once before, five years ago. In 2019, Borussia won the U19s title with a 5-3 victory against VfB Stuttgart), while the heavily favoured U17s lost the final against 1. FC Köln 3-2. In the current season, the U17s surprisingly stormed to the championship trophy, and this time it is the U19s who go into the final in the Niederrheinstadion as underdogs.


"Hoffenheim have an exceptional squad with some great individuals and are slight favourites,” said coach Mike Tullberg. His counterpart from Borussia Mönchengladbach, former BVB player Oliver Kirch, claimed after two clear semi-final defeats (6-2 and 4-0) against TSG: “We were beaten by the best U19s team in Germany.”

However, even after the 2-2 draw in the first leg against Hertha BSC, BVB had been given far slimmer chances than the Berliners. Mike Tullberg revealed that he had spent long evenings with his coaching staff to come up with a tactical gameplan to better the Berlin-based side, who had been strengthened with youngsters from the first team and Regionalliga squads: "The plan was to surprise them with a 4-4-2 system with a diamond. That worked on the whole, although we didn't take our chances in the first half and had to fight and suffer in the closing stages.”

In the end, the team were rewarded with a 5-4 victory in the penalty shoot-out. “It's crazy! We've won the West German Championship three times in a row and have reached the final of the German Championship for the third time in a row. This is a huge success for the entire youth performance centre and all the coaches who have trained these boys,” stressed Tullberg.

He is expecting a completely different opponent in the final, for which the West German champions have been drawn to play at home and which cannot take place at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK or the Rote Erde stadium due to the ongoing preparations for the European Championship. His team got a taste of Hoffenheim's qualities in the 6-0 defeat in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, when Borussia were put to the sword on the break: “Hertha play controlled possession-based football. Hoffenheim's style is defined by pressing and transitions.” He will now prepare his team for this and attempt to come up with the right strategy together with his coaching team.

Facing Schalke in the Westfalenpokal on Saturday

Tullberg therefore shows little understanding for the scheduling of the remaining rounds of the Westfalenpokal. The quarter-final match against Schalke 04, originally scheduled for April, will now take place on Saturday 25 May, at the Youth Performance Centre (kick-off: 11:00 CEST). Should BVB make it through to the semi-finals, they would face FC Iserlohn on 28 May – two days before the final of the German Championship. “With all due respect to the competition and our opponents, I will almost exclusively select players who have had little playing time recently,” said Tullberg, adding: “Should we progress, we will only be able to play the U17s in the semi-final in Iserlohn.”

That is because the final of the German Championship is the top priority. “We feel comfortable in the role of the underdogs. And anything can happen in a one-off game,” said Tullberg. .