CAPE TOWN – Banyana Banyana midfielder Amogelang Motau is happy to be back in the national team after an absence of a year.
The 20-year-old is now based in the USA where she is studying and also playing football. Motau's Banyana debut came against Egypt in October 2016 during an international friendly.
“It’s really good to be back but I know I have a lot of catching up to do as I missed playing for my country for the whole of 2017 as I was trying to settle in the USA, so I am looking forward to having a good time here, but most importantly to get a win against Sweden,” said Motau.
“I am based in Oklahoma, studying Business Administration at Oral Roberts University. I am quite happy there as everything is going very well. If all goes according to plan I will be done in 2021 with an MBA under my belt.”
The path to the USA for Motau was an interesting.
“Well I have one of my former junior national team-mate, Nelly Mamabolo – she was the first one to go to Oral Roberts University – and they liked what they saw in her, so they ask for recommendations about other players and my name came up.
"We are four South Africans at the institution, the other two being Drishana Pillay and Charmal Wilshire – so we are sort of a family there. I played with the latter two in the Under-20 national team – in fact we played together from Under-13 at HPC, and Wilshire was my vice captain at U17,” added Motau.
“The competition on the field is tough but it is good for me to learn in such a competitive space in order for me to grow. College football is so huge in the USA and I am glad I had the opportunity to go there and do what I love.
"Mixing football and education, however, is quite tough, but as I am from HPC and then later to UWC, I am capable of balancing the two."
Banyana Banyana are in Cape Town, where the former SA Under-20 captain was studying before moving abroad, to face Sweden in an international friendly match on Sunday, at the Cape Town Stadium (start at 2pm).
“We are playing against a very good team, ranked 10th in the world, which is good for us to play against such opposition.
"I am expecting a very physical game, we saw they are very tall and physical, but as a team we can use this opportunity to prepare for AWC and also to fulfill our dream to go the World Cup in France, and Sweden is a very good chance for us to see where we are as a team, our weaknesses and our strengths,” said Motau.
2018 is the year when the South African women's team will be playing qualifications matches for the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, which will be held in Ghana later in the year, as well as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup scheduled for France.