Teenage star Noxolo Cesane lives her Banyana Banyana dream
Cape Town - Noxolo Cesane has risen from having no soccer boots to the Banyana Banyana midfield. Noxolo, a Grade 11 pupil at Fezeka Secondary School in Gugulethu, is among three debutants in coach Desiree Ellis’s 20-member squad taking part in the Cosafa Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth. Noxolo scored in Banyana’s 3-1 win against Malawi on Friday.
The UWC midfielder, a regular junior international, said she was surprised by her call-up. “When I received the WhatsApp message I could not believe it. I thought it was a call-up to the Under-20 national team but when I checked again it was for the senior squad. I cried when it actually sank in,” she said.
The five-time Cosafa champions, who made their debut at this year’s Fifa World Cup, will be hoping for a third consecutive title.
They are in Group A alongside Comoros, Malawi and Madagascar.
Earlier this week Banyana thrashed Comoros 17-0 in their opening match. Noxolo made her debut as a second-half substitute.
They take on Madagascar on
“It was like doors opened. I was happy to finally make my senior debut and learnt so much from the senior players such as not taking any team for granted. I am also taking note of how things are done during training sessions,” said the former Cape Town Roses player.
Noxolo has represented South Africa at U17, U19 and U20 level along with her twin sister Sinoxolo.
“When my twin sister and I did not have boots it did not affect us mentally. We love soccer and that made us not lose hope. We focused on what we wanted and even our coach at the time did not have a problem with us,” she said.
Growing up, the 18-year-old looked up to former FC Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho, who won the Fifa World Cup with Brazil in 2002.
“The way he played inspired me. He was active, energetic, smart and a hard worker on the field. This saw him gain a number of fans,” she added.
Grandmother Avril Mpumie Mayekiso said words couldn’t explain how she felt about Noxolo’s debut.
“She is a very sweet, cheerful and dedicated person. She is always willing to help and goes the extra mile,” she said.