17 July 2020 – Kelso Peskin has become the fifth Banyana Banyana player in 10 days to sign an overseas contract.

The Cape Town-born utility player is now on the books of Stade Brestois 29 Feminine in France – after being handed a one-year contract by the second division side.

The team is was founded in 2012 and located in Brest, North of France.

They are coached by Christophe Forest.

Peskin spent six months with Toulouse in the same country.

“I am very excited about this move. It is a new club that is rebuilding after releasing some players whose contracts were not renewed and we will all be fighting for our positions, which makes the challenge all the more exciting. I have signed for a year and this is good as it will give me stability to improve more on my football,” said Peskin.

“SB 29 is a very decent team and is placed higher than my previous side (Toulouse) where we were fighting for relegation. We were not winning much and it got a bit frustrating at time, but now I don’t see us having such problems and that is why I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Peskin joins four other Banyana Banyana players who recently found new homes abroad.

Jermaine Seoposenwe is with SC Braga (Portugal), Nothando Vilakazi has just signed for EDF Logrono Feminino and Amanda Mthandi has joined CDB Badajoz Feminino (both in Spain), Janine Van Wyk moves to Glasgow City FC (Scotland) and Peskin will run out for Stade Brestois 29 Feminine.

“This is the best news ever for women’s football – never before in a long time have we seen such from South African players, and I am proud to be part of this activity. This is very good for the future of Banyana Banyana because we need all the experience we can get to challenge big footballing nations like the USA, France and the rest of them. In this way, we could compete on an almost equal footing,” said Peskin.

“Remember we are not as athletic as teams in Europe, not because of our talent but because of the standard of their training and game. So by moving abroad we are in a way closing the gap. What we are seeing now needed to happen because we have so much talent in our country, it was just a matter of time. This will help us to expand our footballing knowledge.”

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis echoed her words.

This is incredible and amazing, five players in 10 days, its mind blowing and I wish them all of the best I know they will do the country proud. They will continue to grow as individuals and they will bring back all the experience to the national team. I am confident and almost certain that there will be more announcements, in actual fact I am afraid to blink or you wake up the next day there is another signing, but that is just the way it is at the moment. I know they will be good ambassadors and they will open more door for other players to come or to go.”

South Africa Senior Women’s Team Picture during the 2019 FIFA Womens World Cup on the 05 June 2019 at Le Harve, France Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Peskin is also in total agreement, saying the surge we are seeing now is most likely to grow.

“We need more players abroad. We have players who deserve to be playing overseas because they have proved time and time again that they can compete with the best, all that is needed is constant competition at that level. We need that exposure. But then again it goes with pressure because then when signed everyone needs to show up, especially the youngsters who could get a chance,” said Peskin.

She is expected to return to France in about two weeks and cannot wait to get her hands on the new kit because of her favourite number.

“I have always loved Jersey Number 12 and when they asked which number I would like to have, I went for 12 – fortunately it was available. Most of the teams I have played for I was wearing that number, except in the last club where I had number 20, which felt very weird. Jersey number 12 says Kelso is back!”

This is her second professional contract. The first one had it’s up and downs, and she is hoping this will be better.

“I am hoping to improve from where I was during my time in Toulouse where I played three games and was then hit by injury. So in short, in my opinion, it was a horrible season for me, but don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the opportunity I got to play for them and I will never forget that as it was my first professional contract – I will always cherish that,” said Peskin.

She spent three months in quarantine as she was under lockdown when the pandemic was rife in France, which really tested her resolve.

“I was not in a good state – being in quarantine all alone from March until recently in June was tough. Mentally I was getting frustrated and I was emotionally tired, got really homesick and I was completely drained,” said Peskin.

“All my teammates had gone home and I barely spoke French, so it really got to me at some point and I was in a very bad space. But I am fine now and have put it all behind me – I am now looking forward to the next challenge.

Peskin began her Banyana Banyana career with Sasol League side University of Western Cape, before she went to study in the USA where she continued with her football at Lamar University.

(FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

She also represented South Africa in the 2010 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago alongside Banyana Banyana teammates Jermaine Seoposenwe, Kaylin Swart and Rachel Sebati, among others.