Archive | October, 2017

Banyana Goal Scorer Leandra Smeda Wants A Pro Club Contract Outside SA By Cheryl Roberts

26 Oct

‘At this moment, I’m Really Enjoying My Football’ – Leandra Smeda

 

South African women’s football international player Leandra Smeda is playing some of her best football. This at age 28 years. ‘I’m really enjoying my football, both for my club and country’ says Leandra who this year has been scoring lots of goals, participating in league matches for her club UWC, and representing South Africa internationally.

IMG_17513leandra2leandraAs much as she loves holding it down for her Cape Town-based club UWC and her country South Africa, Leandra’s personal ambition for herself is to play professional club football outside of South Africa.

At age 28, Leandra knows that time is running out for her and she’s really hoping a contract or offer comes her way soon.

She has this season turned in match saving and match scoring performances for SA, recently in the Cosafa Cup and against Burkina Faso; this, against teams lower ranked than SA.

Now, the ageing player is wondering when her performances will be recognised so a team/club will say they need her to play for them.

I asked Leandra if she had turned down any club offers outside SA. Surprisingly, Leandra has never been approached by an agent or scout or been offered any club contract to play outside SA. She watches how other players, especially younger ones get opportunities to play outsude SA but sadly for her, nothing has come in her direction.

Leandra finds some solace in Banyana Banyana’s ageing/veteran  captain, Janine van Wyk getting a contract to play in the USNW league, at the age of 29. So Leandra is believing and hoping that her international experience and goal scoring ability on the field will attract a pro club offer.

Asked why she thought she had as yet not attracted a pro club offer, Leandra says ‘its because we haven’t been noticed on the field of play at big events like the World Cup where most players are noticed’. South Africa’s women’s football team has not qualified yet for a women’s world cup. SA has played in two Olympics and several continental championships.

Leandra Smeda played football as a girl footballers, with the boys, at primary school and on the community football field at Velddrift on the Cape West Coast where she grew up. After matric she came to Cape Town and was a student at University of the Western Cape where she studied food technology. It was at UWC that Leandra played for her first women’s football team. Today, despite not being a tertiary student, Leandra still turns up for UWC, the only women’s football club she has played for.

Soft spoken Leandra is the sportswoman who performs for the team, not her individual self. She’s also the player who doesn’t market or brand herself for quick and shot-gun publicity. She enjoys her football and she delivers the midfield performances and sometimes the goals. She’s also the player that has not gotten her fair recognition by media and sponsors.

Leandra Smeda has performed adequately and sometimes superbly for club and country. She has delivered as a team player. She wants to give back and help her community of Velddrift where she played as a girl footballer and wants to starts hosting coaching clinics in the area.

I’m so hoping that a pro club offer will be signed soon by Leandra Smeda the player whose burning ambition is to play club football outside of South Africa ‘just to have another experience and to play against top world class players’.

 

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