THIS CLUB HAS CHANGED MY LIFE DRASTICALLY: SHANDU
18 June 2020
Maritzburg United midfielder Bandile Shandu feels honoured to be the club's longest serving player.
The 25-year-old joined the Team of Choice in 2012 when he was part of the development structures up until he graduated to the first team in 2015. His journey began when he was spotted playing for his school, Maritzburg College.
He has not looked back ever since.
“It’s really an honour for me to be part of the club,” he said. “Ever since I was a kid, playing in the development side I have always wanted to play for a senior side. I am really happy and enjoying myself now that I am here and all I need to do is to improve from where I am.”
The Pietermaritzburg-born player continued: “The club has changed my life drastically. Firstly, it’s made my dream come true, and has also made me grow as a man and I am where I am because of the club. It has helped me do a lot for myself and for my family and I am still growing a lot at the club. Right now, I really don’t know what can I do to repay Maritzburg."
The versatile winger has advised other youngsters what they should do in order to have more Bandile Shandus and Bongokuhle Hlongwanes unearthed from Pietermaritzburg and its surrounding areas.
“Don’t give up on your dreams and stay focused because there are a lot of things that are happening behind closed doors that might take you off your path," he adds. "Always remain calm and know that the sky is the limit. Just always be focussed."
Shandu has reached two Cup finals with the club, the Nedbank Cup in 2018 and Telkom Knockout in 2019. His biggest goal is still to help the club win silverware.
“Reaching two finals and losing both of them still hurts," he says. "But my goal is to win silverware with the club, to repay the fans for the support they have shown to us and also to thank the Chairman (Farook Kadodia) for believing in us.
“Reaching those finals remain my current best memories with the club. There is nothing that can be compared to the feeling of the week preparing for a final. It’s amazing, that’s why we want to win it to feel the other side of the final.
“Remain grounded, focused and know what you want in life. Always go for what you want, keep on working hard and don’t let anyone keep you out of it.”
The Team of Choice mentor, coach Eric Tinkler, believes that Shandu is an extremely humble human being, adding that his down-to-earth nature was why he has been part of the club setup for such a long time.
He concluded: "Obviously he’s a local boy. Extremely humble human being, very good professional and a proper team player. He never complains, he works extremely hard and all that is what has contributed to his longevity.
“He has always been a Maritzburg United fan. He plays with a lot of passion and his desire is for the club to be successful. This is what he does, he puts the club first before himself. He plays with aggression but fairly and coming from a good background is what makes him such a very disciplined young boy with a bright future ahead."
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