Maritzburg United head coach Eric Tinkler believes that Bandile Shandu has a bright future ahead of him as the ‘Team of Choice’ ‘passionate’ midfielder puts his head down, and grinds for the team.
Tinkler describes Shandu, who is currently Maritzburg’s longest-serving player, as extremely humble, a team player, hard worker, and considerate.
“Shandu 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,” said Tinkler.
“Obviously, he’s a local boy. An 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,” added the Maritzburg mentor.
Shandu joined the ‘Team of Choice’ back in 2012 as part of the development structures and was promoted to the first team in 2015. The 25-year-old’s journey began when he was spotted playing for his school, Maritzburg College and he has not looked back ever since.
“It’s really an honour for me to be part of the club. Ever since I was a kid, playing in the development side I have always wanted to play for a senior side,” said Shandu, who has made 132 appearances for Maritzburg with 5 goals and 10 assists thus far.
“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 I can do to repay Maritzburg.”
The versatile winger’s message to youngsters with dreams of playing football at a professional level is: “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.
“Always remain calm and know that the sky is the limit. 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.”
“Reaching those finals remain my current best memories with the club. [Nedbank Cup in 2018 and Telkom Knockout in 2019].
“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,” concluded Shandu.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi