Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana says it feels good to be back with the team after a very long time.
The 24-year-old speedy forward has scored 10 goals for her Spanish side SD Eibar this season.
Kgatlana, Noko Matlou and Amanda Mthandi are the only overseas-based players available for Banyana Banyana friendly matches against Zambia and Botswana.
South Africa will take on Zambia on Saturday, 10 April and face Botswana three days later.
The former SL Benfica goal poacher was last with the Senior Women’s national team squad back in November 2019 when they faced Japan away from home.
“It’s been a very long time, I think a year-and-a-half of me not being with the national team. It’s good to be back home and get some sun,” Kgatlana said.
“It was good to see the dominance of Banyana in Southern Africa during the Cosafa Cup with all the new players. I think we are on the right track based on the circumstances of COVID-19 and that the girls at home are trying hard to be fit and making sure that when we come back together we are strong and not starting from zero or finding excuses that we haven’t been together for quite some time.”
The squad assembled for camp on Monday, 5 April for the two international friendly matches in preparation for the 2022 Caf Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers set to start later this year.
“We have a lot to prepare for this year. There is no time for us to be relaxing and I think it is good that these friendly matches are coming earlier so that the coach can have time to look at the players,” she adds.
Kgatlana insists that she is enjoying her stay in Spain and aims to learn a lot as an individual for the betterment of her football career.
“I’m enjoying my football in Spain because I get to wake up every day and do what I love. I get to train and to always be fit to play games. My presence will add some little bit of experience of the things I have learnt over the years in different countries,” she says in conclusion.
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By Mauwane Raophala