Wednesday Aug 30, 2017. 12:00
South African winger Bongiwe Thusi says her ambition is to help Banyana Banyana reach the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
The global women's tournament will be staged in France and the Mamelodi Sundowns player says football keeps her away from social ills.
Born in Tembisa (Johannesburg), the 26-year-old reveals she followed the game because she grew up with boys in her area.
However, with Banyana set to participate at the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup in Zimbabwe, Thusi could be part of the team as they will want to lift the regional trophy.
“I was born in Thembisa, Johannesburg and the reason I got interested in football was because the majority of kids in my street were boys,” reveals Thusi.
“There is fun and it keeps you away form the negative things and the fact that I get to express my feelings through my dribbling.
“My qualities is that I am fast, I can take on people and I can read the game well and my dad has been the inspiration because he has been supportive throughout my life and my football career.
“He told me to join the women’s team as a winger because he also played winger back in his Jomo Cosmos days.”
Although she believes both the Sundowns men's and women's teams are like a family, she wants to see specifically designed kits for women as well as having a national football league just like the Absa Premiership.
“It would be nice to have women specific playing kit and also to have a professional league,” adds the Banyana international.
“My ambition is to qualify for the (2019) World Cup, be a part of that team and make a difference in my country.
“Speaking about my highlights, the Sundowns team won the Sasol League twice and I won the Player’s Player of the tournament in 2015.
“I also won the Tembisa Community Award for Best Female Football Player in 2016.”
Meanwhile, Banyana have won the COSAFA regional tournament on three occasions and they will be up against Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana in Group C at the tournament set to run from September 13 to 24 in Bulawayo.