Janine van Wyk backs Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana to succeed at US club Houston Dash
Posted: 26 February 2018 Time: 20:30
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk says Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana will have to be strong to handle the criticism in the USA, but is confident they can succeed.
Both Motlhalo and Kgatlana have been signed by US women’s side Houston Dash, which is coached by former Banyana coach Vera Pauw.
“I can’t wait for them to go and shine. There’s a lot of Americans that feel that it was not the right choice for Vera to bring in these players because we are not ranked in the top 50 as an international team. But Vera knows their talent and what they can offer. I feel they are going to do extremely well,” Van Wyk says.
“I have spoken to them about what they can expect. It gets extremely hot over there, it’s hotter than Nigeria. That is going to be a challenge because it was a challenge for me to adapt to such conditions when I arrived last year. They also need to be open to criticism because they are not going to please everyone.”
She adds: “They need to adapt as quickly as possible to the structure of the league. You play a team three times and they need to adapt to the travelling. You travel about six or seven hours to another state. It’s not like going to Cape Town on a two-hour flight. But I am there to help them every step of the way and Vera is there too. I think they will be in a good place.”
Van Wyk says both Motlhalo and Kgatlana will bring creativity and skill to the league, which is something she does not often see in that part of the world.
“They are creative and skillful, which is something American football does not have. They are direct, physical and strong players who are in the gym two or three hours a day and we South Africans don’t do that. We rely on our skill and our technique. They need to showcase what they can do.”