Noko Matlou Honoured

24 April 2009
Banyana Banyana's Noko Alice Matlou has described her status as CAF Woman African Player Of The Year as a tribute to her teammates, Coach, Team management and the South African Football Association. Matlou says that together with the support that she and her teammates at Banyana Banyana have received from SAFA and the nation, South African women's football has reached a milestone with the award from CAF.
"I want to thank SAFA, the Coach, Manager, my teammates, the team staff and our supporters for making this possible.
I can't score goals if my teammates do not mark and make sure I'm fed the ball and I can't score goals if I'm not selected to the Team, so this is our award together. South African women's football has captured the respect of many countries and this is seen by the number of tournaments that we are now being invited to.
"I want to thank SAFA and our sponsors, Absa and Sasol for the support in making sure that we continue to prepare for the qualifiers of the FIFA Womens World Cup, through the funding of friendly games and tournaments that we are invited to. Football is proving to be also a gateway for many of us who come from poor backgrounds. I hope that as I leave for Iceland in the next few days, this will prove to be the long awaited way to prosperity for my family in Limpopo," says Matlou.

A happy Natasha Tsichlas who is SAFA National Executive Committee Member and Chairperson of the Women's Committee says that once more, women football is recording another success story. "We are celebrating the success of our Senior Women's National Team, Banyana Banyana, which is epitomized by Noko Matlou's continental recognition, as the CAF Woman African Footballer of the Year.

"Noko's success is the culmination of hard work, dedication and perseverance exercised by coaches; players and administrators of Women's Football. As the South African Football Association, we see this achievement as a stepping stone towards major achievements. Tonight the South African Football Association is proudly presenting to you, the Queen of African Football, Noko Matlou, we are going to double our efforts to ensure that in future, we present to you the Queen of World Football.

"Our goal is realistic and it can be achieved. We have a number of successes in women's football, and those achievements were recorded with limited resources due to lack of sponsorship. We are grateful to our sponsors Sasol and Absa for investing in Women Football. We are currently rolling out the Absa Women's League in the 52 Regions of SAFA, and this league will assist our scouts to identify talent that will form a bigger pool of players in our junior National Teams," says Tsichlas.

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