South African Footballer Bambanani Mbane’s Loving Her Pro Football Stint In Belarus And Delivering Sports Joy For SA By Cheryl Roberts

21 May

bambanani mbane

Bambanani Mbane started playing football in Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape where she grew up. She got to play senior women’s football and played quality football at Bloemfontein Celtic, helping them be serial provincial champions and win the Sasol play offs. She’s an experienced international footballer with about 50 caps for South Africa. Recently she got her sought after pro contract breakthrough when she got signed to play for Dinamo-Minsk in the Belarus women’s football pro league. With South Africa in #covid-19 lockdown and no sport being played, Bambanani Mbane is delivering the sports joy for SA. She has aready played three matches in the Belarus league and scored her first goal and first-hat-trick. In this Q and A interview with ‘South African SportsWoman’ publisher Cheryl Roberts, we get to know about Bambanani Mbane’s pro football life in Belarus.

 Q: Well done on your first goal and first hat-trick in the Belarus league on Sunday. I watched the match via live stream. I was sooooo happy for you. How is the feeling after scoring the hat-trick?

Bambanani Mbane: Thank you so much Ms Roberts for your support. Honestly, I am one person who always wants to make a difference in whatever I do. I’m very happy to score goals. Not just goals but also a hat-trick. I’m super excited and motivated at the same time…..

Q: Tell us about your training schedule at Dinamo-Minsk in Belarus

Bambanani Mbane: We train five days a week and then there’s match day.

Honestly, here there’s competition within the team. No one player owns any position and everyday you go to training knowing that you are going to work, and everything is very professional from the development structure. Again, here at the club they are playing two touch football. Starting from training, we are allowed to play only two touch; not more than that. They working more on their finishing and scoring goals from training…We just doing basics most of the time and it helps a lot.

Q: You played in South Africa’s inaugural national league and now you playing in the Belarus league. How do the two national leagues compare and differ?

Bambanani Mbane: SA is doing good but the only thing we need to do just is to do basics and scoring goals is the major problem and I believe its something that we can work on in order to improve. SA is not that far but we need to fix small things from the development structure. For example to have something we can call “Our culture” as South African footballers. I don’t know if I make sense coz here their culture is to score goals and win; nothing less.

Q: How did you settle in at your pro club and in a new city and country? Were you homesick?

Bambanani Mbane: I settled in very well because of the warm welcoming atmosphere I got from both technical staff and players of the club. They were supportive from day one and it was just easy for me to settle in. The only time I felt homesick was when the covid19 started. Obviously I was thinking about my family and wife and I wanted to be with them during this hard time. But I’m feeling better now as we communicate everyday. I love Belarus. It’s a beautiful country. I must say I’m happy to be here.

Q: Is your stay at Dinamo-Minsk a stepping stone to another league in China or Spain or England? Any particular national pro league you would like to play in?

Bambanani Mbane: I’m not sure what’s next but for now I need to focus on winning the league for Dinamo Minsk. Then we will see thereafter. For now, me I’m taking one step at a time. Maybe God has big plans. We don’t know lol…..Let’s focus on the league for now ……

Q: What would you still like to achieve as an international footballer for South Africa?

Bambanani Mbane: Honestly, I achieved a lot with Banyana Banyana but I still want to lift up the African women’s cup of nations trophy or even more trophies. Its always good to represent the country and I feel Banyana is doing great so far …..

Q: What do you do in Belarus besides playing football?

Bambanani Mbane: I’m doing nothing else besides all that’s associated with my football here in Belarus. I’m just here to pursue my dream as a professional football player.

Q: How is your long-distance marriage doing. You communicating daily on your mobiles?

Bambanani Mbane: Look from the start of our whirlwind and fast romance, we never had any problems with long distance. With my wife and me, we communicate everyday. She’s very supportive of my football. I’m blessed really to have her in my lfe and as my wife. She’s my number one fan. I appreciate her a lot.

Q: You are obviously enjoying playing in  your first pro league?

Bambanani Mbane: I am enjoying every minute of everything everyday here in Belarus, playing in the national league because its something that I always wanted. So now I must show what I can do by action on the field. I’m just happy to be here doing good with the team. I’m glad everything is doing well on my side. Trying something different, playing as a right back lol but I can’t complain about it so far so good with me here in Belarus……

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