Banyana Banyana midfielder Leandra Smeda is pleased to have finally made her debut for FC Famalicao in Portugal.
The midfielder caught up with FARPost after getting her first minutes with the Portuguese log leaders. Smeda was introduced for the last 30 minutes as Famalicao defeated Gil Vicente 3-1 away from home in the league on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to this publication, the anchor said she is really pleased to finally put on the famous white and black colours of the club.
“Making my debut felt really good, it meant a lot to get back onto the field after not having played in a while. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and giving my best whenever I’m given the opportunity to play,” said Smeda.
It has been a good journey for the 31-year-old since moving abroad where she started with Lithuanian side Gintra Universitetas and later joined Vittsjo GIK in Sweden for the 2019 season.
In the recent transfer window she moved to Portugal to compete with some of the world’s biggest clubs like Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto.
She joins the likes of Thembi Kgatlana (former Benfica striker) and Jermaine Seoposenwe (SC Braga) in the list of players to have joined Portuguese clubs in the past year.
Famalicao currently sits top of the log with 27 points followed closely by Braga who are just three points behind.
The midfielder recently reached 100 appearances for the South African national team and with the move to Portugal she increased the number of players who have moved abroad in the past two years.
She has come a long way since making her national team debut in 2009 and has played in several Women Africa Cup of Nations in the past 10 years. She was also a member of the squad that reached the 2018 AWCON final and fell to Nigeria in a penalty shoot-out.
After reaching the AWCON final, Banyana Banyana qualified for their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup and the midfielder was part of the final squad that traveled to France in 2019 as the COSAFA nation bowed out in the group stage.
By Prince Sobayeni