Kgatlana: Everyone Here Deserves To Be Here

Lorenz Kohler
June 22, 2022

After Desiree Ellis confirmed the final 21-player national squad for next month’s Women’s African Cup of Nations,  Atletico Madrid and Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana has expressed her excitement ahead of the tournament.

Kgatlana is one of a number of foreign-based players in the team, and the former African Player of the Year said those selected deserve to be here, and it feels good to be part of the team.

Ellis had cut her squad down to 21 players on Monday. 

“Pressure? Zero. Confidence? Yes. We can agree to disagree, there’s a lot of people who have opinions of who should be in the team or who shouldn’t be in the team, those are some of the things that are out of our control,” Kgatlana said.

“I trust enough in the coaches, over the years we’ve been planning, bringing new players, trying them, based on where they are playing of course – I think people need to understand that the national team is not club [football].

“You can be the best player in your club but the level of the national team is different, the mentality of the national team is different. It’s not only coming on the field and scoring, you need to be disciplined, you need to have a diet – there’s a lot of things that go behind you being a player.

“I think a lot of players in the HollywoodBets or Sasol League are a couple of steps behind because when they come to the national team, the intensity is a bit higher, you are required to train everyday and in their clubs they don’t – so of who is he supposed to be here or not, it depends on a lot of things and we trust the coaches enough, they are always with the players during the season, they know what the team needs and I think everyone here deserves to be here and we’re ready to represent our country.”

“It always feels good to come back to the national team because we don’t see each other often so when we come back here there’s lots of excitement to see our friends, familiar face and just to feel at home,” Kgatlana continued.

“I think getting that national team call-up always brings excitement even if you just came back from an injury or season – it feels like a new thing. I’m very excited to be here again with the team going to WAFCON.”

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