They are very physical as compared to us in South Africa
Banyana Banyana is currently busy in camp preparing for the Cosafa Women’s Championship which will be staged in Polokwane next month and a noticeable absentee is Leandra Smeda, who recently joined Lithuania based team FK Gintra-Universitetas. The former University of The Western Cape player recently made her move abroad joining the likes of Thembi Kgatlana and Janine Van Wyk who are plying their trade outside the country.
“I’m adjusting well, we have a few new players on the team so I think we’ve gelled well over the past few weeks.”
The last time Banyana Banyana had a player playing in the Uefa Women’s Champions League was in 2013, Nompumelelo Nyandeni was in the books of Rossiyanka and she went all the way to the last eight with her side. Five years later the former University of the Western Cape player made her way to the record books by becoming the second player to play in the highest League of women’s football, when she turned out for her side in a one all draw against Honka from Finland.
“It’s felt great, I think every footballer wishes to play champions league. I’m just happy I got an opportunity”
It is a huge positive for Coach Desiree Ellis, to have a player like the veteran Smeda playing in the big leagues with top players, as she will need her experience when the Africa Women’s Championships take place in Ghana later in the year. Prior to her move to Lithuania, Smeda was playing in the Sasol league for the University of The Western Cape.
The football this side is very physical compared to SA, you have to play quick and I also feel like they are very direct in their style of play.”