She has worked very hard to be where she is today, this 34-year old striker/defender plays for Banyana Banyana and Maindies FC.
Born and bred in Moletjie, Noko Matlou used to be an athlete at school until a teacher asked her to come join the school’s soccer team because they were one player short, and that is how she developed a passion for the sport.
She has played for the development ladies, Brazilian ladies, University of Johannesburg and her current teams Maindies FC and Banyana Banyana.
She joined the national team in 2006, she explained that she was beyond ecstatic when she was selected for the national team, as it was her dream.
“As much as I enjoyed playing at school and for clubs, being spotted and selected for the national team was the best feeling in the world, especially coming from a rural area.”
In 2008 she became the first South African to be named African Women Footballer of the Year.
She plays for Safa women’s league, better known as Safa Sasol Women’s League.
The league comprises teams that compete within the nine provinces, but due to the nationwide lockdown games were suspended. Her team Maindies FC is number four on the log.
“The lockdown has had a massive effect on me, because I cannot do what I love, and mentally that is tough to deal with.” However, to keep fit she has been training during the lockdown, under the supervision of her coach/mentor, Tlou Molekwane who is a retired Kaizer Chiefs player.
“Training with him has been excellent, he is a professional player and he knows how to get the best out of us.”
She hopes things will go back to normal soon, so that she can go back to the field doing what she loves. She motivates herself by getting up in the morning with a new goal in mind.
Her next goal is to play in the CAF Championship League, which is an annual continental football competition.
She advises those who are the football stars of tomorrow to never give up when it comes to following their dreams, but remember to always put education first.
Story: Kgomotso Phooko
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