One on One With Maritzburg United Star Bandile Shandu

Tue, 26/02/2013 - 09:20
  • Bandile Shandu

HSSM caught up with PSL debutant Bandile Shandu from Maritzburg College to talk about the intensity of professional soccer and how his school and coaches have guided him to this point in his career. Bandile, who made his first professional appearance for Maritzburg United last year against Pirates at the age of 17, has been a feature in the Maritzburg United squad this season - all while juggling being a fulltime student at college.

1st team soccer coach at Maritzburg College Daniel Haswell Identified Bandile's talent early on and made it a goal to make sure Bandile had every opportunity available. Speaking on Bandile's talent he said, "A few minutes after my first training session with the Maritzburg College 1st team training squad I already knew that he had the ability, and that was two years ago. In those few minutes I could already see that he had the ability to make it."

Year Team Age
2009 Maritzburg College 14
2011 KZN U17 16
2012 Maritzburg United 17
2012 KZN U19 17

Bandile can you tell us about your upbringing and when your first memories with a soccer ball are?

"my coach told me I had a bright future"

Bandile Shandu: I started playing when I was four years old, played for Burg United at Alexandra Park. From there the club changed to Shamrock, after that I went to Martizburg United development from 2006-2010. Then the development closed down and I went back to Shamrock and after that the Maritzburg United premiership team took me.

When was it that you realized that you had a talent in football?
Bandile Shandu: It was at Maritzburg development when my coach told me I had a bright future and I must just stay disciplined […] my school coach Mr Bosh and Mr Haswell were always talking to me about being disciplined and staying humble.

Who would you say has been your role model both on and off the field?

"we are winning tournaments"

Bandile Shandu: I didn’t really have a role model, but the people that were always by my side were my parents [...] they always supported me and my school coaches [Daniel Haswell] also were always there for me.

Was soccer a factor for you attending Martizburg College as the school is more known for its rugby, cricket, and hockey sides? And where do you think soccer ranks compared to the other sports in the school?
Bandile Shandu: I went there for academic reasons […] but it [soccer] stands very high at the moment because of our coaches and we are winning tournaments. So we are going forward right now and [soccer] will be a big force in a few years’ time.

You have flourished at Maritzburg College under the guidance of Daniel Haswell, how do you feel being at College and having Daniel as a coach has helped your development so far?

"the play there [PSL] is very much faster than school boy football"

Bandile Shandu: He has been great for me; he has helped me a lot. Without him and other coaches at school I wouldn’t be where I am right now. So they have played a big role in my career and I would like to thank them for that.

You made you debut at senior level for PSL side Maritzburg United, can you tell us about that experience and difficulties of going over from school soccer to professional soccer?
Bandile Shandu: It’s a big difference, the play there [PSL] is very much faster than school boy football. You have to stay fast otherwise you will always lose the ball and you have to think ahead all the time. The big difference is that its fast, it’s challenging […] ja its very very different.

And how do you feel you have adjusted to the PSL?

"I hope I can land a deal overseas"

Bandile Shandu: I’ve adjusted very well, and I try to think ahead every time so I’m getting there even if I’m not completely there, but I’m trying.

So where would you like to see your soccer career taking you?
Bandile Shandu: Taking me far, like overseas, if I could just carry on playing I hope I can land a deal overseas for Chelsea, I’m a big fan of Chelsea.

And what are your short term goals with your soccer career?
Bandile Shandu: I would like to carry on playing and get more game time at Maritzburg United

And finally, any special lady in your life?
Bandile Shandu: [laughs] my mother. She is very supportive and gives me advice.


Submitted by Sabelo Mkhonto (not verified) on

Great interview...I wish Bandile all the best this year and I hope to play alongside him again this year in the KZN team, been 3 good years playing in the same KZN team now and he's always the comedian in the team, the team always needs that player who jokes around at the right place at the right time and he's the one that always gets the team going in the tour bus whenever we off to our games. I'm glad to have read this interview, good to see that schoolboy soccer is of good interest in our society and not just rugby, hockey and cricket *thumbs up* #HSSM

Submitted by siyabonga black... (not verified) on

Its so encouraging to see a guy whom you grew up with and played together for many years I remember when I came to maritzburg united development a few years ago you were always shining you were forever on top of your game keep on doing well boet surely I will be joining you soon in the elite football its just the matter of a year or two boy.

Have your say!

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Receive YSN Newsletter