[📷: IG jvwgirlsfootball]
Linda Motlhalo is a midfield player for JVW Girls Football in Gauteng, Sasol League, she is well known for banging goals and being one of the most promising, exciting & clinical players to watch going forward. Linda is nicknamed “Problem Child” and with such a name as a defender you will be wondering why do they call her “Problem Child” but already you will be getting those ideas that this is one of those players who are capable of sending a defender straight to the wolves when we are facing each other in the 18 area. However, I am sure you probably have heard of a 19-year-old Linda Motlhalo born in Randfontein and being a product of High-Performance Center. Considering her background it is a blessing in good terms as it is a place well known for grooming a number of the finest footballers like Donald Khuse and Orlando Pirates captain Oupa Manyisa. For being known as a problem child, a lot will be said about her as she is about to dominate headlines by cracking the deadlock to play along one of the best players in women’s football but no pressure from me to you Linda “continue doing your thing”.
From the development side to the top level
Linda Motlhalo had a fruitful development as she was part of the TuksSport High School at the High-Performance Centre (HPC) of the University of Pretoria – one of the best platforms to strive through by showcasing your potential. At HPC she added a top honour achievement under her name after being crowned HPC Junior of the year in 2012. Fortunately from that time she got a lifetime opportunity to represent South Africa in all national-team age groups. However “all players at this stage will die for her development and take everything step by step till reaching the top roof”. With so much experience at an early stage, Bantwana and Basetsana sensational midfielder scored on her debut for Banyana Banyana when they drew 2-2 with Cameroon last year. Probably the debut is one of the remarkable moments of her career even though there is time to remark other upcoming stunning moments. At the end it is more like her exposure and experience kept growing each second, minute, game played as she helped Banyana Banyana qualify for the CAF African Women’s Championship that was held in Cameroon last year November.
She has already paved her way to the top due to being involved in a number of occasions with JVW and Banyana Banyana as a whole. Throughout her football journey, she has received praises from the former Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw, Hilton Smith and teammates like Amanda Dlamini. Linda (19) celebrated her birthday on the 1st of July and at her age you will expect to see her finding the way to the top or getting to look & feel the pressure, expectations coming from teammates or technical team members. With this you are about to read, it is another story not for tomorrow but today, Linda has scored 6 goals + so far in the Sasol League with more than 80% games played. At the moment Linda has had a great season and she is building her image slowly through all games played through being outstanding and showing consistency. All I can imagine it is her confidence going forward after she recently scored back to back crucial goals that were key for JVW. In week 11 fixture JVW was away against UJ, she scored a late minute goal that secured a clear victory with all 3 points in the bag for her team and in week 12 fixture against log leaders “Palace Super Falcons” in Gauteng, Linda scored a goal that secured a point for JVW. AMAZING RIGHT?
Life after national team experience
Now and then she has tasted a lifetime experience being in the senior team and I am sure she will never look back but look forward to fulfilling her achievements within real time. I can confidently say that Linda Motlhalo was introduced to the right platform of women’s football by former Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw and Hilton Smith. This is because of her chances capitalised and experience gained from all national-team age groups in women’s football in South Africa. Linda’s ambition is to wear the colours of her favourite club “Arsenal Ladies” and one day she will be sharing the same dressing with Leah Williamson, to become the 3rd South African female football player to play for Arsenal Ladies FC after Antonia Carelse and Veronica Phewa according to Banyana Banyana interim coach Desiree Ellis. However, with desire and passion from her side, she has the key to unlock the doors to her goals through self-drive, dedication and faith to go extra miles accomplish her goals set each day, week, month and year.
In a nutshell, Linda Motlhalo is our own problem child, future key holder with a bright, exciting future ahead and I believe that she will continue scoring goals especially in the upcoming tournaments for Banyana Banyana later this year. Despite not being all about scoring goals but taking her gained experience from last year, she will need to build something fresh that will attract Arsenal scouts to hold her down and showcase her great potential on an international stage. Much credit goes to SAFA’s Head of Women’s Football Fran Hilton Smith and former Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw for giving her a platform to grind and gain major key experience that has changed her football career with so much potential to shine any given time.