South Africa duo Thembi Kgatlana, Linda Motlhalo excited by Beijing Phoenix move

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Samuel Ahmadu/Goal
Following their move to the Far East, the Banyana Banyana duo are pleased to seal the money-spinning switch

New Beijing Phoenix signings Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo have expressed delight at their money-spinning switch to China.

The South African duo had been plying their trade in the United States, having joined Houston Dash on a year-deal from University of Western Cape and JVW FC in 2018.

Having sealed their move to the Far East, the reigning African Women's Player of the Year is eager to impress in the Chinese Women's Super League.

"I am very happy. It's a big move for me and my second professional team after Houston Dash," Kgatlana told Safa.net.

"I am going to be based in Beijing and will be playing for Beijing BG Phoenix FC. I've been stocking them for quite a while and knew about the move late last year [2018].

"Just wanted to settle it before we could any other issue. I think it's good to join them and keep training and playing with them before the World Cup.

"I don't think adaption will be a problem. For me, where ever I go, I just go there and do my job because they signed me as a striker and my job is to score goals," she continued.

“Obviously, it's going to be difficult as per a new environment and language barrier. It shouldn't be difficult for me as it all about getting on the field to play.

"I think the difficulty will be in communicating with the players and technical staff on a few things to work and improve on. However, I know that they've arranged a translator for us."

On her own part, Motlhalo is confident that she and her compatriot Kgatlana will cope with life in China.

“I am very excited about this move, which has been coming for a long time – as early as last year when I was at the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations, but I was focused on the tournament," said the midfielder.

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"Eventually it happened, and I am over the moon, it’s a new opportunity and my parents are happy about it. Once you are comfortable you won’t grow, you need to get out of your comfort zone to be a better person.

"But remember the first three months in the USA were not easy, I had to adapt very quickly – and i guess it’s going to be the same thing in China. I have no choice but to adapt and carry on."

Kgatlana and Motlhalo are in Cyprus and set to lead South Africa to victory over Finland on Wednesday as they continue their preparations for the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.

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