Noko Matlou leaves Spanish club, hints at Banyana retirement

Noko Matlou leaves Spanish club, hints at Banyana retirement

Banyana Banyana defender Noko Matlou has confirmed to SABC Sport that she has parted ways with Spanish Liga F side SD Eibar.

The South African, who was an unused substitute in Eibar’s final match of the season on Saturday, says she will not be renewing her contract, which ends on the final day of this month.

“It has been a fantastic season in a sense that the objective we had set ourselves, which was to retain our status in the Liga F, we managed to do just that,” Matlou said from Spain.

“The only thing that bothered me and worried me a lot was that I was not playing as much as I would have liked. 

“In all honesty, my stay in Spain has been both good and not so good, but I enjoyed my time there. It’s all in the past now, all I need is a rest after a long season and soon I will make an announcement regarding my future.”

The 38-year old becomes the second Banyana Banyana player to leave her European employers following Refiloe Jane’s departure from Italian outfit Sassuolo.

She made 18 appearances through the 30-game season, completing the full 90 minutes in seven of them, as the team ended 10th on the log, with 31 points.

Meanwhile, Matlou also strongly hinted that she is close to calling time on her career with the national team, after being left out of the recent friendly internationals against Senegal.

“Yes, it is a concern when you are not selected for the national team, but one must also look at it in a different way – there are players knocking on the door and we won’t be there forever,” said the striker-turned-defender.

“Also, this is the time of planning for the next cycle of the World Cup and the Olympic Games, and we must be realistic that, at my age, I will not be there for those tournaments. But soon I will announce my plans regarding Banyana.”

Matlou is the second-highest capped women’s player in the country, with 173 appearances, following behind Janine van Wyk, who tops the list with a record 185 caps.

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