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U19s and U17s gunning for final stages of the German Championship

U19s and U17s gunning for final stages of the German Championship
U19s and U17s gunning for final stages of the German Championship

For the first time in five years, there is a realistic chance that both Borussia Dortmund's U19s and U17s will reach the semi-final stage of the German Championship. Should this occur, it would be the crowning glory of an impressive success story for the BVB youth performance centre in the youth Bundesliga, which will cease to exist at the start of the 2024/25 season.

The competition will be replaced by the DFB youth league in the summer as part of a major league reform. Since the introduction of the U19 Bundesliga in 2003, Borussia Dortmund have won the German title four times - more than any other club. The U19s have also finished top of their league division five times. BVB were equally dominant in the U17 Bundesliga, which was founded in 2007. The Black & Yellow U17s have celebrated six league wins in the western division, won the German Championship three times and are top of the "all-time Bundesliga table".

In the current season, Borussia's U19s are aiming for their third consecutive West German championship. Their destiny is in their own hands as they seek a title hat-trick. Mike Tullberg's team leads the table with 51 points and a comfortable gap to second. They are followed by Schalke 04 (37 points), Bayer Leverkusen (35, with one game in hand) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (34, with one game in hand). BVB needs twelve points from the eight remaining league games to guarantee first place, assuming their competitors are able to win all their games.

"We now face two tough away games to Mönchengladbach and at 1. FC Köln and must remain focused," said Mike Tullberg as he impelled his players not to let their guard down. BVB will play five more away matches before the end of the season (Gladbach, Cologne, Fortuna Düsseldorf, SC Verl, SC Paderborn), with VfL Bochum, MSV Duisburg and Schalke 04 coming to Brackel.

On the personnel front, there is good news: Filippo Mane celebrated his comeback with a brief appearance against Arminia Bielefeld. Centre-back Leonardo Posadas should also be available again soon. In Mönchengladbach, the U19s will be without William Rashidi, who is serving a yellow-card suspension.

Lehmann's team seize the hour

"We've finally done it," said Borussia U17 coach Marco Lehmann last Sunday, delighted to see his team move up to second place in the table. For weeks, BVB had put pressure on leading duo Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04 by winning their games convincingly. Then Schalke slipped up against Paderborn and Borussia seized the moment. As runners-up, BVB would qualify for the semi-finals of the German championship. Four of the six remaining matches will take place in Brackel (Fortuna Düsseldorf, VfL Bochum, MSV Duisburg, Schalke 04), only two away (at 1. FC Köln, in Mönchengladbach).

The personnel situation is also beginning to ease for the U17s. Striker Diego Ngambia Dzonga made a brief return in the 5-0 win over Viktoria Köln, as did Joshua Burstedde. Thierry Fidjeu-Tazemeta, the new signing from the St. Pölten academy, made a promising debut, and Marco Lehmann is also planning to include Len Wörsdörfer in the final stages of the league.

"The important thing now is Sunday's game against Fortuna Düsseldorf. We've done well by thinking from game to game," explains Marco Lehmann. (wiwi)

Final rounds of the German Championship

Here is the schedule for the final rounds of the German Championship:

U19s

Semi-finals, Wednesday, 15 May: Bundesliga West champions vs. Bundesliga North/Northeast champions, Bundesliga West runners-up vs. Bundesliga South/Southwest champions; Sunday, 19 May: second legs

Final, Sunday, 2 June: Winner semi-final 1 vs. winner semi-final 2

U17s

Semi-finals, Wednesday, 1 May: Bundesliga West champions vs. Bundesliga North/Northeast champions, Bundesliga West runners-up vs. Bundesliga South/Southwest champions; Sunday, 12 May: second legs

Final, Sunday, 12 May: Winner semi-final 1 vs. winner semi-final 2

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