Shandu closer to goal

2016-03-23 06:00

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BANDILE Shandu made his debut four years ago while still only 17, and in Grade 11 at Maritzburg College, and has been biding his time as he worked to become a regular in the side.

Now 21, and a much more refined player than he was when he was a teenager, Shandu has been getting closer and closer to the first team, having started and scored his first senior goal in United’s last game against Black Leopards.

Shandu, a regular in the Team of Choice’s successful run in the Multichoice Diski Challenge, has paved the way for himself — and other young players — to be given a chance in the first team, and he was grateful for the opportunity.

“It was a great experience after working hard and working through the Diski Challenge and trying to get my form and my performance at a high level to play for the first team, and that really helped me a lot,” Shandu told The Witness earlier this week.

“The game against Leopards was just me trying to express what the performance and the game time that I’ve been getting in the Multichoice Diski Challenge,” he said.

Now, he was looking to step up his development and get regular game time in the senior team, and felt the experience of the playing in the reserve team competition would help him in achieving that.

“It really helped me a lot,” said Shandu.

“The games that we played, the matches that we won and the confidence that we had was a morale boost and it really helped me a lot.”

Even sitting on the bench for the first team has been a learning curve for Shandu, who has, at times, shared it with former Maritzburg College team-mate Ryan Moon, who, still only 19, made his top flight debut a month ago against Platinum Stars.

“Sitting on the bench makes you see the game more clearly, and makes you understand it clearly. And, you see the coach and the instructions gives he and the way that he wants you to play. It really helps a lot. Just having the coach next to you, seeing him telling players how to play has been really helps,” he continued.

Shandu will get the chance to play again tonight when United take on Golden Arrows in the league. And, although he gave a good account of himself against Leopards where he scored United’s second in a 3-1 win, he added that they had moved on from the game, and were solely focusing on the game against Abafana Bes’thende, which was “the big one”.

Maritzburg United’s next game will be next Saturday (9 April, 2016) against University of Pretoria at Harry Gwala at 3pm.

PSL fixtures this weekend

Saturday, 19 March

Golden Arrows v SuperSport United at Chatsworth Stadium at 3:30pm, Free State Stars v Polokwane City at Goble Park at 3:30pm

Sunday

Platinum Stars v Black Aces at Royal Bafokeng Stadium at 3:30 pm, Chippa United v Maritzburg Utd at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at 3:30pm

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