Sport24.co.za | Kgatlana pens emotional letter after CAF Award wins

Cape Town – Banyana Banyana forward Thembi Kgatlana took time out to write a letter of thanks following her triumphant African Women’s Player of the Year and CAF Goal of the Year award wins on Tuesday.

Alongside the 22-year-old, Banyana Banyana legend and current head coach Desiree Ellis walked away with the Women’s Coach of the Year gong – becoming the first South African to win this award.

According to the official SAFA website, 2018 was a year of re-writing the history books for Ellis – she was the first person to win the COSAFA Women’s Championship as both player and coach, and also the first coach to lead Banyana Banyana to FIFA World Cup qualification.

Meanwhile, Kgatlana netted five goals in the recently completed 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in which Banyana Banyana finished second after losing to Nigeria in the final.

The Houston Dash player was also a nominee for the African Player of the Year award in 2017.

Kgatlana becomes the second player to win the trophy, after Noko Matlou in 2008.

Read the full letter:

“If anyone told me a few years back that I would be an African Champion at 22, I would probably have dismissed them because they would be selling me wild dreams.

It has been a pretty tough journey, but the Lord has been the centre of my life.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you who has supported me through my highs and lows.

Special thanks though goes to these two ladies who had my back through the most difficult of times of my football career. These are captain Janine van Wayk and Linda Motlhalo.

These two will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you to these two legends of the South African women’s team.

If it was not for your persistence in creating better opportunities and making sure that the face of women’s football in South Africa is recognized, people like me would not have hoped, would not have been inspired and would not have believed in working hard to be successful.

Thank you to everyone who has worked with me on and off the pitch contributing to the player and person that I am. Coach Vera Pauw has a special place in my heart.

Thank you to my family and friends and a big THANK YOU to the whole country for believing in me.

Thank you to my loving and fantastic parents for allowing me to be me and expressing my commitment to the game.

Make Jesus YourAim by Thembi Kgatlana.”

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