Cape Town - Maritzburg United recruit Khumbulani Banda is delighted by the progress he has made during his debut season in the Absa Premiership.
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Banda, who has made four appearances for the club this season, has also featured in the team’s two most recent appearances - both of them against Kaizer Chiefs - and played the full 90 minutes on both occasions.
In their previous two fixtures, against Mpumalanga Black Aces and Chippa United - coach Steve Komphela treaded a little more carefully and substituted the 25-year-old Zimbabwean.
Despite being a Premier League winner in Zimbabwe, Banda was quite happy to bide his time at the Team of Choice and feels that his patience is starting to pay dividends.
"The coach had a couple of players out injured. He believed in me that I could do the job there - I’m doing my best and I think I’ve done ok so far," Banda told the club’s website this week.
Banda is, strictly speaking a left-back, but has made his appearances for Maritzburg United playing on the left wing, but indications are that the player has adapted well to the new circumstances. Banda feels that his transition to the Premiership has been made more seamless by the presence of compatriots in South Africa’s top tier.
"I watched from Zimbabwe when my compatriots like Khama Billiat, Knowledge Musona and Cuthbert Malajila came to South Africa and improved their games," said Banda, who acknowledged that the success of Zimbabwean players in South Africa had a tremendous influence on his decision to cross the border.
Banda had always expected the competition in South Africa to be stiff and feels that he was physically and mentally prepared to make the transition, adding that he never had any qualms about playing outside of his country.
"I knew that the standard of football was good in South Africa and I was motivated by my fellow Zimbabweans in terms of what they were achieving here. It’s also been great to have a countryman here at Maritzburg with Terrence Mandaza, who has been like a big brother to me," added Banda.
Banda said that the technical team at Maritzburg United also deserved a considerable amount of credit for the early success he has achieved at the club. He is also confident that he will be able to build on that platform as the season progresses.
"All the players, the management and the technical team have helped me out. They have made it easy for me to leave home and to play in a new league.
"I have always wanted to take my career to the PSL, and maybe one day Europe, so I’m very happy to be here, and I’m happy with the way things have gone so far on the field with me being having able to play regularly," added Banda.
The next assignment for Maritzburg United and Banda will be a home match against Platinum Stars on Saturday, October 18. Kick-off is at 20:15.