Thembi Kgatlana is one of the most exciting, promising center forwards in women’s football within South Africa’s landscape due to introducing herself with great desire to win big. With depth experience at an early stage from her side, she has managed to scoop a number of prizes including Queen Diski in the Sasol League, Player of the USSA football tournament. At the moment University of Western Cape Sports might be biting themselves over and over again to see a young lady like Thembi raising a new bar for women in football and taking everything into context she is a player who is good on the ball and aware to capitalise on chances created by scoring goals. On the 10th of November 2016 will always be remembered as one of the best highlights of her international career as she scored a brace against Zimbabwe in a friendly match before African Nations Cup. As a player who has written her name in the good history books of South African football, Thembi was crowned top goal scorer in this year’s USSA Football campaign with 12 goals in 6 games. After being awarded her prizes despite UWC losing 1-0 against TUT, she said: “It took a team effort and hard work for me to be able to get those awards, win or lose it’s football that is why we the game”. However, with such comments, you can easily picture and write a story about her confidence and self-drive in her DNA.
On the 13th of July 2017,
#SportsMvt asked key, fascinating questions and Thembi’s responses were quite heartwarming:
1. What makes you different from any centre forward in the Sasol League?
I just don’t depend on my talent, I also work hard on the field training and training and training even when my body is sore.
2. What has been the best highlight of this year’s Sasol League campaign?
Having not to lose any league game and scoring almost 40 goals for UWC this season.
3. What is the secret behind your goal scoring system?
Off the field, I practice a lot of shooting and scoring from any place in the attacking third.
4. Do you think UWC has a chance to make history this year win a silverware (Varsity Football or Sasol League)?
Yes. UWC is one hard working team when they want to win things but we need to be realistic women’s football is growing and teams bring their game A GAME when they play UWC. We cross the bridge when we get there.
5. Other than the captain, who brings a positive attitude to the team?
We have senior players and national players like Leandra Smeda who brings her experience and knowledge to strengthen the team.
6. At such an early stage you wrote your name among one of the prolific goal scorers in South Africa, how do you feel about that with all the potential to you have to shine?
Hard work always pays off and with the awards that I received at the USSA nationals, it is proof to me that I shouldn’t stop working hard because at the end I get recognised for my efforts.
7. What made you introduce your own tournament that could be one of the successful tournaments as a female football player?
West Rand region (where I come from) is known to produce the best athletes from boxing (Terra Mathebula) to soccer stars (Oupa Manyisa, Edward Manqele, Ace Khuse, Ace Ntsoelengoe etc) and we also have great teams like Mohlakeng 4 stars, TN Molefe and others but they all affiliate in other tournaments and help improve the development of other places. So I believe my tournament will bring the region together and improve the development and engagement of sports.
You can follow Thembi Kgatlana on Twitter: @KgatlanaJnr, Instagram: @kgatlanathe1st and @kgatlana_tourn for the latest updates, info and exciting countdown to her prolific tournament in Toekomsrus & Mohlakeng Stadium in Randfontein on the 27th & 28th of July.