|University of Johannesburg’s Tebogo Mandyu, who netted the crucial goal in their Varsity Football clash against UP-Tuks earlier this month, is focused on developing into a consistent scorer in the competition.
His strike earned him the shot of the match award and delivered a crucial 1-0 win to UJ after they had lost their opening encounter to Central University of Technology.
As he works to maintain his goal-scoring prowess, the 21-year-old central defender is hoping it will pave the way to eventual selection for the national squad.
“I just want to score goals because I feel that creating chances and scoring are among my strengths,” said the fourth-year computer science student.
“My ultimate aim is to represent South Africa at a World Cup, while I also want to play in Europe.”
While those playing goals are at the top of his agenda, Mandyu, who grew up in Zeerust in the North West Province but now stays on campus, has not forgotten his roots.
“I also want to give back to the game and would like to establish a soccer programme in North West that will help youngsters develop their skills and further their studies at higher institutions.”
Having played soccer for as long as he can remember, Mandyu received a golden opportunity in 2008 when he played against the Olé Brasil Footbal Club U13 touring team from Brazil.
“They invited me to join the team, which I did,” he said. “It was tough being away from home at that age, but it was a great experience and we went on to win the league that season.”
On his return to South Africa in 2010, he continued his education and signed up at UJ to further his studies.
He showed progress on the soccer field, being named the UJ Football Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in 2015.
“Besides those awards I was also part of the UJ team that won the soccer tournament at the Federation of Africa University Sports Games and the Safa Johannesburg Cup last year,” he said.
Mandyu was a talented athlete in his teenage years, competing in 100m and 200m events, while earning his provincial colours for cross country.
Now his focus is purely on soccer which, he said, had improved since linking up with UJ.
“All the credit must go to the coaches (Bradley Carnell and Mandla Zwane) I’ve worked with at UJ,” he said. “They’ve contributed a lot to my development as a player and as a person.”