23 August 2018 – When Rhoda ‘Mambush’ Mulaudzi realised she possessed the gift of shooting past opposition goalkeepers as if they were mere statues erected on the playing field, the Banyana Banyana striker made this one vow to herself.
“I told myself that there is no way that I am ever going to retire from football without having earned a move to go and play in a women’s professional league abroad.”
That promise she made to herself years ago came to pass this week when she, alongside Banyana Banyana teammate Refiloe ‘Fifi’ Jane, earned professional contracts to go and ply their trade for Australian Women’s Premier League side, Canberra United FC.
Mulaudzi says she is still pinching herself after the move adding she just cannot wait to get started at her new club.
“It still sounds like a good dream,” laughed the likable striker.
Mambush and Fifi will fly out of the country to Australia on 29 August 2018 where they will begin life in professional ranks.
“I am so looking forward to it,” said the elated Mulaudzi. “This is a dream come true for me. I do not know how long I prayed for this. This is what I have always wanted. It came at a time when I least expected it.
“I would also like to thank Tshepo ‘Vhafuwi’ Makanamise for showing faith in me. I do not know what he saw in me. He was the one who organised these trials for us. We fly out to Australia next week Wednesday (29 August 2018) and to be honest with you, I really cannot wait.”
The diminutive Mulaudzi admitted to have felt extremely nervous just a few days before she jetted off to Canberra for her trials.
That is because the 28-year old striker did not want to mess up an opportunity she had dreamt of all her life. Mulaudzi admitted to have felt slightly inadequate to excel at a chance she was given to finally live out her dream.
“I badly wanted this opportunity to such an extent that it weighed heavily on me because I didn’t want to mess it up.”
Mulaudzi said what helped her was the research she did ahead of her leaving for Australia.
“What I did was I went online just to have a look at the teams which are playing there. That helped a lot because it gave me an idea of what to expect for my trials when I arrived there.
The two would have regular debriefing on how they could add value to the team and how to improve their game following every training session.
“Because all we did was train, eat and get enough sleep so that we could be fresh and ready for the next day. The driving force was that we didn’t want to disappoint all the people who made sure that this trip was possible for us. We really appreciate them. As for now, it is up to us to deliver on the field of play.”
Asked who where the first people she told when she got the nod of approval from coach Garriock, Mulaudzi said: “I called my parents. Both mom and dad were so happy for me; dad most especially because he grew up playing the sport. He was a striker as well. He was over the moon,” concluded Mambush saying she would like to give something back to her parents as a token of appreciation for all what they have done for her.