SA girls footballers rating string of firsts

Banyana Banyana star Linda Motlhalo is the newest South African footballer to make headlines in Europe, becoming a member of at least 14 nationwide girls’s stars who ply their commerce globally.

The dribbling wizard has simply been unveiled because the Djurgardens IF’s Newcomer of the 12 months, for her excellent performances since becoming a member of the membership in January final yr. 

The flying begin to her journey with the Swedish-based outfit has seen her tally 4 targets in 22 appearances throughout all competitions, a exceptional feat for a midfielder.

At 22, Motlhalo has made large strides in her rising worldwide profession, having beforehand performed in the US for Houston Sprint and in China for Beijing Phoenix.

“I’ve performed in three totally different international locations/leagues, which is USA, China and now Sweden. It’s a privilege, as a result of I acquired to expertise these totally different ranges/leagues, and I assume I needed to expertise such, so on the finish I get to play in a league which can be extra appropriate for me,” Motlhalo mentioned when she moved to the membership a yr in the past. 

The Randfontein-born star’s newest feat comes scorching on the heels of noteworthy performances by her nationwide teammates.

Jermaine Seoposenwe — enjoying for SC Braga in Portugal — is the discuss of the city after changing into the primary feminine participant from South Africa to attain a brace in an Worldwide Cup last, when Braga beat Benfica Three-1 to win the Portuguese Girls’s earlier this month.

Deadly striker Ode Fulutudilu has additionally been a sensation on the worldwide scene lately, helping Aland United in Finland to a league and cup home double, changing into champions for the primary time in seven years earlier than saying her new signing at Scotland’s Glasgow Metropolis FC, alongside long-time Banyana Banyana skipper Janine van Wyk, in December final yr.

The primary headline-grabbing worldwide signing by a South African lady was when Texas-based Houston Sprint signed the South African defender for his or her Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League marketing campaign, in December 2016. 

All informed, Van Wyk turned out in 17 appearances for the College-based group, and was the primary of different South African gamers picked up by Sprint, together with Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana, the place former nationwide coach Vera Pauw was key in elevating South African expertise into the American league.

The development of South African gamers being observed obtained a jump-start in August 2018, when nationwide soccer duo, Refiloe Jane and Rhoda Mulaudzi, joined Canberra United in Australia for Season 11 of the Westfield W-League, changing into the primary South Africans to play within the league since its inception in 2008.

Jane made headlines once more in 2019 when she made her historic transfer to Italy to change into the primary South African lady to signal for a prime Italian facet. Jane’s group are at the moment within the working for the Serie A Girls’s League title.

In Spain, Kgatlana continues along with her famous person performances for SD Eibar, whereas countrymate, Noko Matlou lately made her debut after signing for the membership in October final yr. 

The results of the meteoric rise of South African girls footballers prior to now yr has continued to open doorways for upcoming stars, with U20 Girls’s Nationwide group participant Sinoxolo Cesane the most recent export to USA-based East Tennessee State College on a scholarship, the place she’s going to play within the college league.

This text is a part of a collaboration between the M&G and gsport, a platform devoted to journalism about girls in sport