Banyana Banyana international Linda Motlhalo has been handed a contract extension in a strong vote of confidence by Swedish club Djurgadens IF.

Motlhalo has signed a two-year deal, stating that she enjoys playing in the Swedish Damallsvenskan.

The deal keeps the exciting midfielder at the Stockholm club until the 2023/24 season, and Motlhalo is eager to develop further and improve her game.

“I am delighted to stay in Djurgården for at least two more seasons, and look forward to creating more memories and taking more victories with the team,” said Motlhalo, also known as ‘Randfontein Ronaldinho’.

Motlhalo joined the club in 2020 as a free agent following the expiration of her contract with Beijing Phoenix and has been the most used outfield player for Djurgarden since her arrival, featuring in 42 league matches.

In her first season in Sweden, Motlhalo was awarded the Newcomer of the Year award, voted by her teammates. “I signed a new contract because I have developed a lot as a player here [at Djurgadens], and I enjoy the environment, the players,” she added.

Motlhalo, who has already earned 50 international caps in Banyana colours at just 23, admitted that she struggled in her first few months in Sweden.

“It is really cold in Sweden, but you need to adjust as a player and I enjoy playing here. The only thing to do is to adjust and carry on with the work,” said Motlhalo.

 “And it was really hard at the start, mainly because I was new and I didn’t know the style of play, but as time went, I was able to learn from the players and the coaches, asking questions, and it became easy for me, so now that I enjoy playing here, I am going to stay.

“I have developed a lot as a player, putting in mind that I have played in different positions, and I am able to perform in those positions, but I am happy that I am able to perform.”

The midfield maestro believes there is still room for improvement as she outlines her goals for the new campaign.

“I feel like I have contributed a lot when it comes to team performance, as a team player, whereas individually, I need to improve a lot.

“This year, I have to score a lot of goals, I am going to focus more on myself this season,” concluded Motlhalo, who starred for Banyana as they made their maiden appearance at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2019.

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