Motlhalo followed Van Wyk's lead

Former Banyana coach Vera Pauw recently signed Motlhalo for Houston Dash, having recruited Van Wyk to the same National Women’s Soccer League club in 2016.

The 19-year-old Motlhalo admits she didn't see the move coming.

"To be honest I also didn’t see it coming [chuckles]. I got a call from our former Banyana Banyana coach, Vera Pauw, I was at school at the time and she told me that she will be going to Houston Dash as a coach and would like me to be part of her team. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

"I was shocked and amazed at what she said because I know how hard it is to crack it overseas because you need to be an exceptional player."

Motlhalo, who is the national U-20 women's team skipper, says Van Wyk has always encouraged her to be fearless.

"We have been talking every now and then. I even remember telling her that I want to go play at UWC this year and her response was that I need to definitely play football overseas this year.

"She has always encouraged me to be myself and never be afraid of facing new challenges because it will help me grow as a footballer."

Other Banyana players that are plying their trade abroad include Kaylin Swart, Amogelang Motau, Robyn Moodaly and Kelso Peskin.