Banyana Banyana midfielder Stephanie Malherbe is very excited to fulfill a ‘big dream’ by playing in the Olympic Games.
The 20-year old, who was born and raised in Temecula, California in the USA, now finds herself at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where she is part of the South African Women’s Olympic Team, reports Safa.net.
Malherbe insists that that her childhood dream of playing at the Olympic Games has now become a reality.
‘I never really thought some day I would be at the Olympics. But to be honest, this has been a big dream of mine since I was very young but I never thought I would be able to make it a reality, so it’s very exciting,’ Malherbe said.
The former Social Blues midfielder went on to say that she was unable to play for Banyana Banyana during the qualifying rounds as she was still sorting out her citizenship.
‘There was a time when I thought I would not get my citizenship because we were having so many struggles and I was starting to give up on the dream. But finally it happened and now it’s been a crazy time, I am here and it’s a dream come true officially. This shows that persistence pays off,’ she added.
Having already played against the Netherlands, the United States and New Zealand, Malherbe says their goal for the Olympics is to make an impact and get recognised for being a talented team.
‘As a team, we all have the collective goal of making the impact, we are trying to show people that South African football is on the rise. We have so much talent and it would be amazing to get people to recognise that talent and our abilities,’ she said.
‘And for me personally I just want to support my team in any way, whether I play or not – just help contribute to our team goal. Being here in Rio and enjoying this experience is a blessing in itself and I want to make the most of it.’
She continued to say that if Banyana Banyana works collectively as a team they will be successful at the Rio Olympic Games.
‘I believe if we play as a team, as a unit, everyone is on the same page and we all believe in ourselves, we can absolutely do this. But if we play as individuals then the wheels will come off and we will be out of the tournament sooner than expected,’ Malherbe concluded.
Malherbe has now played eight matches since making her debut for Banyana Banyana during their international friendly match against Cameroon in Doula in March 2016.
Image: Safa website