Banyana defender appointed captain in Albania


SA defender Zanele Nhlapo has become the first ever female player from the country to be appointed captain for a team outside the African borders.

This comes after the 28-year-old was given the responsibility to wear the armband for Albanian Women’s team KF Apolonia.

Nhlapo joined the side 2 months ago alongside her country mate Andisiwe Mgcoyi and have since played in all the matches.

Speaking exclusively to from Fier, Albania, the Banyana Banyana defender says the captaincy came as a shock to her.

“By the grace of God all things have been going well for me here. Honestly speaking being appointed captain in a foreign country came as a shock to me not because I cannot handle it but because of the quality that is in this team,” said Nhlapo.

“To lead them as a foreigner made me realise how strong and capable I am, and it also made me believe more in myself,” said the former Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies captain.

“I am surprised because even the former captain Kesjana Goro has been good to me and very supportive to me every time.”

Nhlapo also spoke on having her Banyana teammate and striker Mgcoyi, who has now scored a whopping 11 goals in 5 games.

Zanele Nhlapo with Andisiwe Mgcoyi

“Having Andy by my side mean so much to me. We have been teammates for years now so that makes it easier especially that we understand each other on and off the field.

“She has been so supportive to me since day one. We are pushing each other very well and I am happy for her because she is also been doing very well and she is also extremely proud and happy for me to lead the team.”

KF Apolonia are the current Albanian Champions and also participate in the Women’s UEFA Champions League.

By Ofhani Munyai

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