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No regrets dumping royal duties for football - South Africa's Rhoda Mulaudzi

21:54 GMT 07/02/2019
Rhoda Mulaudzi Banyana Banyana
The Canberra United forward, who has impressed since her move to Australia, opens up on why she quit royal duties for football

Rhoda Mulaudzi says she quit "royal duties" to play football and realise her dreams of becoming a professional football player.

The 29-year-old, who is a grand-daughter of the king of Venda in Limpopo near the South Africa-Zimbabwe border, was faced with pressure from her mother to quit football at a young age.

However, after a recent move to Australia, the South African has achieved her goal after wrapping up her pro debut season with Canberra United in the Australian W-League where she scored four goals in 12 appearances.

"When I was young, they tried to stop me from playing football, but I refused and told them I was not interested in royal duties," Mulaudzi told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"My mum was not happy, but my dad is a football person, so he just said 'Whatever you decide I’ll support you all the way'.

"The only thing I wanted to do was play football, and that’s why I’m here because I had faith and believed in myself, one day I wanted to see myself playing for the national team and playing overseas, and here I am playing for Canberra United.

"Nothing was going to stop me from doing what I love. But now my mum is my No. 1 supporter, even more than my dad.

"I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got here because there’s a huge gap between the South African league and Australian league, this one is professional, and the competition is very high.

"In the back of my mind, I told myself even if I can become our team's top goal-scorer that will be enough. Next season hopefully I can double up and do more because I feel like I have more to give, I know myself what kind of striker I am, and I can do more."

Having returned to the Bayana squad after an 18-month hiatus, Mulaudzi will be hoping to impress coach Desiree Ellis' enough to earn a spot in the final squad for this summer's Women's World Cup in France.