Amanda Mthandi finds the balancing act

Banyana Banyana striker Amanda Mthandi is a final-year student at UJ where she studies transport management.
Banyana Banyana striker Amanda Mthandi is a final-year student at UJ where she studies transport management.

The lack of a professional league in SA has been the major undoing in the advancement of women's football in many ways.

Interestingly, in the true sense of the old adage that every dark cloud has a silver lining, for Banyana Banyana striker Amanda Mthandi this protracted difficulty proved somewhat of a blessing in disguise as it motivated her to further her studies.

"I started playing football when I was six years old," Mthandi reflected. "When I was young I always wanted to play football professionally, but as I was growing up I realised that in SA the women's game wasn't professional.

"That realisation triggered an idea to take my education seriously."

The sharpshooter from Soweto is doing her final year in transportation management at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). She is also on the books of her university women's football team's campaign in the Gauteng Sasol League.

"I am graduating next year. I have been working very hard, I can't lie, juggling football with school was and still a challenge. But time management has been key."

Mthandi sees herself as a good joker in the Banyana camp. During her leisure time Mthandi, 23, spends time indoors with her family, making up for the time she spends away with the senior national team.

She is expected to play a role in today's Banyana international friendly away to reigning world champions USA in California (10.30pm SA time).

"Playing against USA is every player's dream, but it's not about individuals, the objective of the team always takes priority. We want to use this match to see where we are with our preparations for the World Cup [in France from June 7 to July 7]."

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