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COUNTDOWN #9: BV Borussia 09 Dortmund (GER). The German champions want to build on their first DELO EHF Champions League season

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After BV Borussia 09 Dortmund took their first steps in the DELO EHF Champions League last season, the club will make their first appearance in the competition as German champions.

The aim is to proceed to the knockout stage – but it will not be easy after some big players departed the club in the summer.

Main Facts

  • their biggest European success was winning the Women's Challenge Cup in 2002/03 and reaching the EHF Cup final in 1996/97
  • Dortmund finished the Bundesliga season with a perfect record, beating main rivals Bietigheim twice – the biggest success in the coaching career of Andre Fuhr, who arrived in 2019
  • after four Dutch national team players – including top left back Kelly Dulfer – and three German internationals left, eight new arrivals from five countries must be integrated
  • while Dulfer and fellow Dutch left back Inger Smits now play for Bietigheim, German international Amelie Berger has arrived from the former champions
  • new arrival Mia Zschocke should share the playmaker position with team captain Alina Grijseels
  • Dortmund will face former player Alicia Stolle when they meet FTC in the group phase

Main question: What have Borussia Dortmund learnt from their maiden voyage?

Borussia Dortmund’s first EHF Champions League season was anything but easy, as Covid-19 cases and quarantine periods hit the team hard after their European matches.

In February, they had some strong results, including a win against Odense, but the gap to top clubs Győri Audi ETO KC and CSKA was too big.

From a certain point, though, the club focussed on winning their first Bundesliga title. As they achieved this goal, the European business will be in the spotlight more.

“This will be anything but easy for us in the new season, but we are ready to take the challenge,” said club manager Andreas Heiermann.

Under the spotlight: Alina Grijseels

Since the age of 18, Alina Grijseels has worn the BVB jersey. For some years, the 26-year-old centre back has been the team captain.

Grijseels is the heart of the team and remains at BVB after rejecting many offers from other clubs. As she has shown in the German national team, Grijseels is a classical playmaker with a good eye for her teammates and possesses the skills for breakthroughs.

After Dutch world champion Kelly Dulfer’s departure, Grijseels’ leadership will be even more important.

How they rate themselves

Against top sides such as Brest Bretagne and Rostov-Don, coach Andre Fuhr knows that his team will have to perform at a higher level this season.

"We have to overstep the borders to be successful. In general, I had hoped for other opponents – not a single match in this group will be easy for us," he said.

Team manager Heiermann is relishing the prospect of Dortmund testing themselves against Europe's best teams again.  

"It is something very special to face Europe’s top stars from clubs like Brest or Rostov. We want to get through to the next stage. We are very proud to be part of the Champions League again and will do everything we can to ensure that it remains a top-class and attractive competition," said Heiermann.

Did you know?

The best known name at Borussia Dortmund is goalkeeping coach Clara Woltering. The former German international finished her career at BVB in 2019, after four seasons in Dortmund’s goal.

Previously, Woltering won the EHF Champions League twice with Buducnost – in 2011/12 and 2014/15 – and she was the MVP of the EHF FINAL4 2015 in Budapest. Borussia Dortmund will face Woltering’s former club from Montenegro in the group phase again this season.

What the numbers say

Dortmund have players from eight countries: Germany, Netherlands, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Japan, Denmark and Spain.

Arrivals and departures

Arrivals: Madita Kohorst (TUSSIES Metzingen), Amelie Berger (SG BBM Bietigheim), Mia Zschocke (TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Jacqueline Jenny Moreno (SønderjyskE), Mie Sophie Sando (Herning-Ikast Handbold), Haruno Sasaki (Hokkoku Bank Ishikawa), Viktoria Woth (Boglar Akademia SZISE), Fatos Kücükyildiz (HL Buchholz 08-Rosengarten), Frida Nåmo Rønning (Oppsal IF)

Departures: Kelly Vollebregt (Odense Håndbold), Kelly Dulfer (SG BBM Bietigheim), Inger Smits (SG BBM Bietigheim), Johanna Stockschläder (Sport-Union Neckarsulm), Isabell Roch (SCM Ramnicu Valcea), Rinka Duijndam (Thüringer HC), Jennifer Rode (Thüringer HC), Clara Monti Danielsson (Chambray Touraine HB)

Past achievements

EHF Champions League
Participations (including 2021/22 season): 2
Play-offs (1): 2020/21


Challenge Cup: Winners 2002/03
EHF Cup: Runners-up: 1996/97, semi-final 1999/2000
Cup Winners' Cup: Semi-final 1994/95, 1997/98
German league: 1 title (2021)
German cup: 1 title (1997)

TEXT: EHF / Björn Pazen