9 May 2013
Banyana Banyana’s Nompumelelo Nyandeni is enjoying her stay with top Russian Women’s Football championship side FC Rossiyanka, starring for the club in Russia and Europe.
Speaking to the South African Football Association from Russia this week, Nyandeni said she was beginning to reap the benefits of playing in a professional women’s league and was having a good time in Eastern Europe.
The industrious South Africa midfielder has excelled at Rossiyanka, where she is the club’s top goal scorer, having netted seven goals in 14 league games. The team is currently top of the Russian league.
Nyandeni has already spent close to three years abroad and said she has adjusted well at the club.
“Having been in Russia for almost three years now, I must say I am having the time of my life. It has been a very fulfilling experience and I could not have asked for more,” she said.
“My club mates have been very supportive and I have also been able to make new good friends with most of them.
“I have also adjusted well to the weather conditions. We are getting close to the summer season now and conditions are becoming warm and enjoyable. The chilly weather has its down side, but I have grown accustomed to it and I feel at home now.”
Rossiyanka recently lost in the quarterfinals of the Uefa Women’s Champions League. Nyandeni commented: “The competition is tough. There are no weak opponents and the stakes are much higher.
“I had a good game, but the Germans were just too good for us,” she said of the loss to German club Wolfsburg.
Despite losing in the last eight of Europe’s premier club tournament, Nyandeni said competing in the competition was an experience she would cherish forever.
“It was a huge disappointment for the club, having made it that far,” she said. “We had worked extra hard to ensure that we remain in the competition. Our coach however, told us to hold our heads high and focus on maintaining our lead on the log table to enable us to have another crack in the same competition next season.”
Nyandeni also paid tribute to South Africa’s Sasol League for opening doors for her to play abroad. She said she would use the experience she has gained in Europe to help the national team progress in its forthcoming competitions.
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