Finding the back of the net is uppermost in the mind of University of Johannesburg’s Tebogo Mandyu when he runs out for the varsity soccer team.
Operating as a central defender, Mandyu is currently part of the UJ set-up as they compete in the Varsity Football tournament, where he made his mark by scoring the winner in a crucial clash against UP-Tuks.
It earned him the shot of the night award and is something he wants to build on.
“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.
His eventual aim is to gain selection for the national squad, but the 21-year-old has not forgotten how his journey started at Zeerust in North West Province.
“I would also like to establish a soccer programme in North West that will help youngsters develop their skills and further their studies at higher institutions.”
Mandyu’s career took an unusual turn in 2009 after being invited to join the Olé Brasil Footbal Club from Brazil.
“They toured South Africa and then invited me to join the U13 team, which I did for one year,” he said.
On his return to South Africa in 2010, he continued his education and signed up at UJ to further his studies.
He underlined his talent by being named the UJ Football Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in 2015.
While he also shone as an athlete, he is now concentrating 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.”