matlou is going up
Banyana Banyana striker Noko Matlou has called her nomination by CAF as one of Africa's top three players a "big surprise".
The self-effacing player, who is based in Limpopo, helped South Africa win the Cosafa under-20 tournament and her six goals at the African Women's Championships carried South Africa to the finals of the tournament in Equatorial Guinea late last year.
In addition to the CAF nomination, Banyana team manager Fran Hilton-Smith said teams from the United States and Europe have approached the management with offers for Matlou to join them.
The player, who plays for Brazilian Ladies, told Sowetanfrom her home in Moletjie wa GaPaole that she would never have thought anyone would notice her potential so quickly.
Having burst on to the international scene two years ago, Matlou's ascent and influence at Banyana has been unbelievable.
She has played herself into a position where it would be unlikely that we would see a Banyana team list without Matlou's name on it any time soon.
"I just always want to win at all cost. I don't ever entertain thoughts of losing any match, no matter who we are playing against. But I never thought anyone - except my team - noticed my contribution. I am honoured that they would think I'm one of the best players in the continent," Matlou said.
She draws high praise from Hilton-Smith, who calls her brilliant and one of the best players in Banyana.
"She played a big role in our getting back to second position in Africa. Besides her obvious talents as a striker, Matlou is very quiet, very shy and is committed, dedicated and focused," said Hilton-Simth.
"We have received some solid proposals from overseas, which we are still weighing up."