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Worries about young talent in girls’ football

To support Team Sylt, we publish the following article on our website:

Eight million viewers sat in front of their screens nationwide last Tuesday when the German women’s team won 2-0 against Spain at the European Football Championship currently being held in England and qualified early for the quarter-finals. However, little of the euphoria thus sparked at national level reaches the clubs at the grassroots level.

While the national team and the 1st Women’s Bundesliga have been attracting more and more fans and gaining more presence in the media in recent years, the national associations are fighting for every girl who decides to lace up her football boots and kick the ball in the youth sector.

After the boom, things went downhill

“The 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany triggered a boom in girls’ football, but after that it went steadily downhill,” explains Lars Rohde. For eight years, the father of three daughters has been volunteering at Team Sylt’s girls’ soccer team and for him one thing is very clear: “The most important thing is that the girls get together and kick.” What sounds like a simple idea, however, is difficult to implement in practice – and not only on Sylt.

Last year, the Schleswig-Holstein Football Association analysed the current situation at the first congress for girls’ and women’s football and is currently in the process of finding solutions to get a grip on the youth problem. However, the first measures that will be implemented for the coming 2022/23 season are more aimed at organizing the existing shortage. From now on, there will be no more official competitions for the C-Juniors (girls aged 13 and 14) in the entire state. Their playing operations will be merged with those of the older B-juniors.

Rohde is currently training two groups of girls on the grass pitch in Tinnum. 15 girls born between 2007 and 2009 and around 20 girls born between 2010 and 2014. For the older ones, he had still considered whether he should register them for the next season with the B or C juniors. This decision has been taken away from him by the specification of the association.

As is so often the case, Corona has also played its part in the current development. “The older players have stuck with us. But during the pandemic, no one started playing football. That’s why we’re now missing an entire vintage,” says Rohde.

The team has grown together

Regardless of this, the 53-year-old has also noticed differences between the sexes when it comes to how they start playing football at the club: “Boys just go to training and look at it. Nevertheless, advertising campaigns such as notices in the schools on Sylt had brought little resonance.

What coach Rohde sees when the girls stay on the ball not only on the pitch, but for a longer period of time, still makes him optimistic. “The older girls have grown together as a team and have deserved to win the last few games.” However, there must be a certain passion among the players and, if possible, the parents, because away games are always associated with a trip to the mainland.

In order to prepare girls’ football on the island for the future, Lars Rohde not only hopes that as many girls of all ages as possible will choose Team Sylt. He would also be happy to receive support from one or the other parent on the training ground. If you feel addressed, you will find all the necessary information under .