SAFA Delighted Banyana Stars Motlhalo, Kgatlana Join New Overseas Teams

Johannesburg – The South African Football Association (SAFA) on Tuesday said it was delighted to see the career moves made by Banyana Banyana players in pursuit of their dreams.

Midfielder Linda Motlhalo joined Scotland’s Glasgow City FC this week in a move that will have made the SASOL-sponsored South African senior women’s national team coach Desiree Ellis proud.

Motlhalo was a key ingredient of the Banyana Banyana team that won a maiden Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) title last year.

The 24-year-old Motlhalo’s departure to Scotland comes just days after Banyana Banyana star striker Thembi Kgatlana left for her new club Racing Louisville in Kentucky, in the United States.

“She cannot wait to get into the playing field after being sidelined with a long-term injury,” said SAFA in a terse statement.

The football association said it was “happy to see these developments and they will assist Ellis ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand later this year.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow City said they are delighted to announce the signing of Motlhalo.

The midfielder joins on a long-term deal until the summer 2025 from Swedish side Djurgårdens IF.

Motlhalo started her career in her native South Africa before moving to NWSL side Houston Dash in 2018.

After a season in the States the midfielder spent a year with Beijing Phoenix before transferring to Djurgårdens IF in 2020.

A technically gifted player, Motlhalo made her first senior international appearance at only 17 years old and scored on her debut.

She is now a key figure in Desiree Ellis’ international side and already has an impressive 62 caps and 16 goals for her country.

Already part of the South African squad at France 2019, Motlhalo is expected to compete at a World Cup Finals once again after helping her country win the Africa Cup of Nations just a few months ago, thereby securing their place in Australia/New Zealand this summer.

Speaking soon after her signing, Motlhalo said: “I am excited to have signed with Glasgow City. I am looking forward to new experiences and new adventures here and I look to develop further. I can’t wait to get this chapter started.”

Leanne Ross on her first signing since becoming Interim Head Coach:
“I am excited to announce the signing of Linda Motlhalo here at Glasgow City.

“Linda arrives with a wealth of experience on her cv from her time in some of the top leagues in the world and her impressive international career with South Africa.

“I have no doubt a player of Linda’s experience and technical ability will enhance our already talented squad, she is an exciting attacking talent who I am very much looking forward to working with.”

Motlhalo is eligible to be in the squad to face Rangers in Sunday’s SWPL meeting at Broadwood Stadium.