South Africa: Determination Can Take You Far - Banyana Banyana Defender

Banyana Banyana defender Nothando Vilakazi continues to shine at her new club Gintra Universitetas FC in Lithuania, with whom she signed recently.

So happy is Vilakazi that she even scored her first goal for her European club recently in a 9-0 victory over Bantra FC in the A Lyga.

She is known as a free-kick specialist at her previous club, Super Palace Falcons in the Sasol League, and the experience is helping her at the new club.

"I guess it goes with determination, which can take you far. Also, it has to do with knowing what you want out of your career and out of life, and where you want to go. I was so excited when I scored the goal because it was an indication that my confidence is coming back, who knows, maybe I will score again," said an excited Vilakazi from Lithuania, whom she joined a few weeks ago.

"It was a free kick but this one was different from the others in a way. Usually, when I take a free-kick I think about whether I should pass to the striker or not - but this time around I did not hesitate and shot straight to the goalkeeper, and when I saw it go in I was overjoyed."

She has now played three matches for her new side, and is enjoying every minute of it.

"So far it has been an amazing experience, getting to play in every match is every player's dream because the more you play the better you become as an individual - and you also grow as a team. The good thing also is that we are doing well and that gives us the much-needed boost with every game we approach," she added.

Vilakazi's team continued on their winning streak this past weekend, registering an 8-0 victory against Parnu JK. Even though she did not score, she managed to get two assists.

"I can tell you now I am enjoying my game. I came here to improve some aspects of my game and also to stay fit - and it is going according to plan. We have another game this coming weekend then I am off to the national team," said Vilakazi.

"It would be nice to tell them all about my experience here, more so because I have not seen them in a while. And I am also looking forward to the match against the USA, it is going to be a very good test for us so close to the start of the World Cup."

Vilakazi is scheduled to meet up with Banyana Banyana in the USA ahead of the international friendly match scheduled for Sunday, 12 May at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The squad assembled for their week-long training camp on Monday, 29 April.

They depart for the USA on Monday, 6 May.

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