Maritzburg College Grade 11 pupil gets PSL call-up

2012-12-13 00:00

A SCHOOL with a rich history of producing national sportsmen can now boast having their very own PSL footballer.

This after 17-year-old Bandile Shandu was called up to Maritzburg United’s 18-man match day squad for tomorrow night’s PSL clash with Soweto giants Orlando Pirates in Port Elizabeth.

Bandile, who will write matric next year, has been training with the Team of Choice for the past four months, but was only able to train full-time with the squad once he had completed his year-end exams.

He was also a member of the Maritzburg United youth academy before it stopped operating at the beginning of last year.

United coach Ernst Middendorp gave Bandile the news after yesterday morning’s training session.

“I couldn’t believe it at first; it really is a dream come true,” Bandile told The Witness last night.

“It’s started to sink in a little bit now and I have told my parents. They are both very proud. This has been my aim ever since I started playing when I was four years old.”

A member of College’s first team for the past three seasons, Bandile caught the eye of Middendorp at a school match against Carter High School earlier this year.

“We do try and look for local players to get into the team, but it’s not something that is easy,” said Middendorp. But we knew right away that there is a lot of ability here and he has the right attitude and work ethic.”

The prospect of a PSL debut against Pirates is something that young footballers dream about, but the level-headed Bandile refused to be overawed at the prospect.

“I’m not really intimidated. I think I am ready,” he said.

College first team coach and director of SoccerStarz Academy Dan Haswell said it was a proud day for the school and the region.

“He has the technique and ability to make it as a professional footballer; he is the type of player who can change a game instantly,” said Haswell.

“He has always been willing to put in more work; he is a real gem.”

While there is no guarantee that Bandile will feature tomorrow night, making the match day squad is certainly an achievement in itself. And at just 17, the future is looking bright for Pietermaritzburg’s latest footballing superstar.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.