Noko Matlou on signing with Eibar: I’ve worked hard, I deserve it

Noko Matlou, the Banyana Banyana midfielder and Maindies player, has urged people to never give up on their dreams after signing with Spanish side Eibar.

Noko Matlou. Picture: Twitter @Banyana_Banyana.

JOHANNESBURG – Noko Matlou, Banyana Banyana midfielder and Maindies player, has urged people to never give up on their dreams after signing with Spanish side Eibar.

Matlou made the move from the Sasol Women's League by signing with the Spanish side for the 2020-21 season.

Speaking to Eyewitness News on Tuesday, Matlou said, “I’ve been looking forward to playing overseas for a long time, but here I am, getting the opportunity at an old age, but I’m happy. I’ve worked hard and I deserve it. Look back at the World Cup, Africa Women’s Championship, Cosafa…”

The Banyana striker turned midfielder said she had done well for the country.

“I think I’ve done well for my country and myself, so this is the reward. I’m looking forward to establishing myself and making a name for myself and my country.”

Matlou boasts many accolades; she became the first South African to be named African Women Footballer of the Year back in 2008. She scored 64 goals, and she joined captain Janine van Wyk as the only players – male or female – on 150 appearances and more.

The Sasol Women’s League comprises teams that compete within the nine provinces, but due to the nationwide lockdown, games were suspended. Her team Maindies FC is number four on the log.

“Playing in the Sasol Women's League hasn’t been easy, it was competitive. I’m mentally and physically prepared because I played on the world stage and played with big teams around the world. I know things won’t be easy when I get there, but I have to adjust.”

Asked about how she kept fit during the lockdown, Matlou admitted that it wasn’t easy to train alone at home.

“COVID-19 has made it tough for us to train as athletes, but we kept working behind the scenes because we knew there were great things ahead. I’ve been working hard. I’m ready for the new journey.”

The midfielder expressed excitement and happiness at her new opportunity to play for Eibar. She joins fellow teammate Thembi Kgatlana at the club.

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