JOHANNESBURG – After notching up her 100th cap for Banyana Banyana over the weekend, Leandra Smeda reflects on her career which began before she hit her teens.
Smeda, 30, was part of the Banyana team which lost 2-0 to host Japan in an international friendly in Kitakyushu on Sunday.
Smeda has joined an elite group of players who have made 100 appearances for their country including Janine van Wyk, Refiloe Jane, Nompulelelo Nyandeni, Noko Matlou, Amanda Dlamini, Mamello Makhabane and Portia Modise.
As a young girl watching her father play football, Smeda became interested in the sport and was inspired to play. She quickly realised how good she was after being selected for the South African School Games, representing Western Cape’s Under-12 girls’ team.
“At age 11 I realised that football is what I truly love and enjoy. Although I participated in other sports, I always gravitated more towards the game of football,” said Smeda.