UJ striker Amanda Mthandi will make her first big move in her career after signing with a foreign club.
Mthandi, known as Speedy, has signed a one-season deal with Spanish club CD Badajoz. If the 24-year-old has a successful campaign with the third-tier side, from the autonomous community of Extremadura in central western Spain, then the option of a second season is available.
Having played in three Varsity Women’s Football competitions (2015, 2017-18) while completing her National Diploma in Transportation Management, Mthandi was surprised by getting her break.
“This came as a complete surprise to me. I started talking to the club a couple of weeks ago but then nothing materialised. I was surprised when talks resumed last week, and before I knew it, they sent me documents to sign,” Mthandi told safa.net.
“I was busy with my assignment which is due soon, and I had to put it aside and focus on these documents. And now, boom! I am have signed for Badajoz. I am so elated and overwhelmed.”
Mthandi arguably made an impression while on Banyana Banyana duty – she played against Spain at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Her national coach, Desiree Ellis, believes her deal is just reward for her efforts.
“Congratulations Amanda, you have worked really hard for this opportunity and have shown the willingness to learn and grow. This is another chance to continue learning and grow even further. All the best on this new and exciting journey. As this is your first professional contract and far away from home, there may be challenges – like weather, food, style of play, being all alone – but I believe you have it in you to succeed despite that. Just remember why you are there and that you carry the dreams of many South Africans back home,” said Ellis.
Mthandi, who will continue her studies online as this COVID-19 affected year has necessitated, is eagerly awaiting her chance to make her name on foreign soil again.
“Like every footballer, my dream was to play abroad – but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be in one of the best footballing nations, and also so soon. I just can’t wait to meet my new teammates, and learn everything there is to know in my new environment. I am really looking forward to this new chapter of my life and I will make sure I represent my country,” said Mthandi.
PLAYER PROFILE Amanda Mthandi
Full name: Amanda Mthandi
Born: 23/5/1996 in Soweto
Nickname: Speedy/Amo/El Nino
Varsity Football experience: 2015, 2017-18
Studied: NDip Transportation Management (2015, 2017-19)