It’s been a great start to the New Year for women football with a handful of Banyana Banyana players signing lucrative deals across Europe.
One of those is the talented winger Linda Motlhalo who recently joined Swedish outfit Djurgarden from Chinese side Beijing Phoenix on a two-year deal.
Itching to link up with her new teammates in what she terms a dream move, Motlhalo says she is still awaiting her visa to be issued and expects to fly out of the country in a few days.
Djurgarden narrowly avoided relegation last season, finishing on 10th spot in a 12-team Damallsvenskan league and the lass from Brandvlei in the Northern Cape is raring to help the side to better fortunes this time around when the new season kicks off on the 3rd of April.
Motlhalo joins Djurgarden following the expiration of her contract with Beijing last month after helping them to a fifth-place finish in the 2019 season. She says playing in the UEFA Champions League is her ultimate goal.
Motlhalo’s teammates Thembi Kgatlana recently joined Portuguese giants Benfica Feminino while Jermaine Seoposenwe joined Real Betis in Spain.
The 21-year-old believes playing in high intense European leagues will bode well for Banyana as they seek continental glory as well as matching their counterparts from abroad.
A JVW FC product, Motlhalo is a seasoned international despite her tender age, having already amassed 44 caps for South Africa with nine goals.
She was part of the youthful Banyana side at the Rio Olympic Games and was a regular fixture at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Having watched a few games of the SAFA Women’s League in recent times, Motlhalo is impressed with the inaugural season thus far.
Djurgarden are no strangers to having South Africans in their nest as they had midfielder Stephanie Malherbe last season whilst Lance Davids‚ Mark Mayambela and Siyabonga Nomvethe have previously starred for the men’ team. – Report by Tumi Gabonamong