Salome Kekana steps up as she receives Banyana call-up
Banyana Banyana newcomer Salome Kekana is looking forward to becoming one of the leading and most consistent defenders in the senior women's national team.
Incidentally, Kekana, a Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) player, has to be better than her idol, Nothando "Vivo" Vilakazi, in order to win coach Desiree Ellis's faith and claim the left-back position in the Banyana team.
Banyana are preparing for the Cosafa Women's Championships, to be hosted at a yet-to-be-confirmed venue in South Africa later this month.
"I am a right-back and my idol is Vilakazi. It's funny because we play the same position. She's the best left-back in the country.
"I know that I must work more than she does to play ahead of her. I will push her to win my berth in the team," said Kekana.
Kekana, 22, was part of the Banyana training camp that ended on Friday. The aim of this camp was to assess players before the Cosafa Cup.
Kekana has never represented the national team, even at youth levels.
"My objective is to make the final team that will play the Cosafa Cup. All the senior players welcomed me with open arms.
"It's the very first time I am called up to a national team. I have not even played for the under-17 or -20. I want to make the most of this opportunity," noted a chuffed Kekana, a second-year sports management student at TUT.
The Soshanguve-born youngster says it's not easy to juggle football and her studies. Nevertheless, Kekana insists on the importance of education.
She implied that her passion for football is the reason she copes with this balancing act.
"Balancing my studies and football is difficult but because I know how important education is, I make sure I [balance the two]. I am very passionate about football and at the same time education is the key to success," Kekana stated.