19 January 2023 – Banyana Banyana star striker Thembi Kgatlana leaves for her new club Racing Louisville in Kentucky, in the United States, this week and she cannot wait to get into the playing field after being sidelined with a long-term injury.
Kgatlana, who was injured during the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations match against neighbours Botswana in Morocco in July, was in high spirits on Thursday (19 January 2023) when she spoke to www.www.safa.net.
‘’I can’t wait to meet with my new teammates at Kentucky but I am still going through rehabilitation from the Achilles tendon injury. I am close to full healing and at the moment am running and trying to get to full fitness,’’ said the tearaway striker who signed a two-year contract with Racing Louisville.
South African Football Association (SAFA) President Dr Danny Jordaan said he was delighted that Kgatlana is finally travelling to Kentucky on Friday (20 January 2023) to resume her career after the long injury layoff.
“We as SAFA are very happy with Thembi’s progress and we are delighted that she is returning to the playing fields,” the SAFA President said.
“We would like to wish her all the best in the United States as she embarks on this chapter of her career.”
Kgatlana said she has missed the football playing field and applauded her Kentucky side for being helpful throughout the period she was injured.
‘’The club (Racing Louisville) has been very helpful and for that I want to applaud them,’’ she said.
Before joining Racing Louisville, Kgatlana played for Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, Eibar in Spain, Benfica in Portugal, Beijing in China and Huston Dash, among others.
The recovery of Kgatlana will be music to Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis’ ears as the striker is expected to lead the South African senior women’s national team during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand later this year.