Banyana Banyana soccer star Amanda Mthandi was named Sportswoman of the Year at the University of Johannesburg sports awards gala function this month. Photo: University of Johannesburg

JOHANNESBURG  Banyana Banyana striker Amanda Mthandi’s says the chance to play for South Africa has made her hungry to achieve more.

Mthandi's rise to the South African soccer team was sparked by her realisation that she had the potential to represent her country on the international stage.

This year that ambitious goal was achieved when she turned out for Banyana Banyana in the women’s World Cup in France.

It has culminated in her being named University of Johannesburg’s Sportswoman of the Year, an award she won for the first time.

The 23-year-old striker said when she became aware she had an opportunity to represent her country it pushed her to work even harder.

“The chance to play for South Africa has made me hungry to achieve more,” said Mthandi.

“I wanted to improve myself in the sport both on and off the field, and after we qualified last year for the World Cup my goal was to make the Banyana Banyana squad.

“To achieve that I knew I needed to always push myself to do better no matter what the situation was, and to always give 100 percent.”

“It really has been a great year for me. Besides going to the World Cup I was also in the University Sport South Africa squad for the World Student Games and I earned my first gold medal for Banyana in the Cosafa Cup.

The third-year transportation management student said in her younger days she had no idea what she could achieve on the sports field.

“I really did not know, but I did feel I had the potential to play at a high-level.”

Mthandi hopes to develop her career by securing a playing contract overseas in the future.

In the meantime, she paid tribute to some people who helped her get this far.

“Working with the sports scientists at UJ has helped to improve my game a massive amount, as well as to prevent injuries." 

African News Agency (ANA)