Borussia Dortmund are putting forward a women's football team for the first time in the 2021/22 season. The new team will play with confidence, but will start life at the very bottom of the football pyramid, in a local amateur league. Important personnel decisions can now be announced.
World champion and Olympic gold medallist Annike Krahn, 35, and ex-BVB pro Christian Timm, 42, are on board in an advisory capacity. Krahn, from Bochum, has remained firmly involved in women's football since ending her career four years ago: she served as master plan coordinator at the Westphalia Football and Athletics Association and is currently team manager of the Germany U17 national team. Timm, who started out in the BVB youth set-up and made 20 appearances for the first team between 1997 and 1999, has found success working as a consultant in the women's game for several years now.
Department head Svenja Schlenker, 37, has also found the person who will coach the new women's team: Thomas Sulewski. The 30-year-old led SV Berghofen - a club from the suburbs of Dortmund - into the Bundesliga 2 a year ago before being forced to discontinue his successful work for professional reasons. Sulewski knows women's football in and around Dortmund like few others do and is looking forward to taking up his new role with passion.
"It's a lot of fun and also a real privilege to be able to plan and design the women's football programme at Borussia Dortmund from scratch," says Svenja Schlenker, an active player herself in earlier years and who has worked for BVB in various capacities since 2007. "She's done a top job of implementing it so far, not only in terms of the schedule but also the selection of people," says managing director Carsten Cramer, 52, adding: "I think it's a cool mix." A mix of experience and success (Krahn/Timm) as well as local character and enthusiasm (Sulewski).
Photos: Svenja Schlenker with Annike Krahn, Thomas Sulewski and Carsten Cramer