Banyana’s Smeda signs for Lithuanian Champions Gintra-Universitetas

The 28-year-old has become a fifth South African female footballer to sign a professional contract

South Africa’s senior women international Leandra Smeda has signed for Lithuanian Champions Gintra-Universitetas, her management LTA Agency revealed on Wednesday. 

The versatile midfielder will join Gintra from the University of Western Cape Ladies in Western Cape’s Sasol Women’s League where she has been playing and studying since 2014.

Speaking to Goal on her imminent move, Smeda said she would be leaving the country soon after the USSA National Club Champs which kick-off in Port Elizabeth from Monday.

“When I started playing I never dreamed of playing pro or even for the national team,” Smeda said excitedly.

“Back then we didn't have many South African female players playing abroad you know and even now after so many years. But I got the opportunity to represent the country in 2010 and still do, and now at the age of 28, I signed a professional contract. 

"So anything is possible hey.

“I signed with LTA agency early this year and they got me this offer in May and so after consulting my elders, I signed with them.

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It's a short contract and the team will be playing in the UEFA championship qualifying rounds starting in August so that's something to look forward to and hopefully it will lead to other opportunities," she concluded

The Velddrif born who is capped 81 times by Banyana, will become only the fifth female South African female footballer to be playing professional football after Janine Van Wyk, Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo who all play in the US for Houston Dash and Ode Fulutudilu who is with Oulu Nice Soccer in Finland.