Flames defending midfielder Dave Banda on Tuesday started his first Premier Soccer League (PSL) game in 2012 as his Black Leopards earned a 0-0 draw against Bidvest to strengthen their fight against relegation.
Banda had not started any PSL game since Leopardsâ€™ 4-3 defeat to Ajax Cape Town on December 21 2011. Until Tuesday, his only league action this year was a late second-half substitute appearance against Kaizer Chiefs on April 3.
“It felt so good to play a full league game this year. I have been playing in Nedbank Cup and CAF Confederations Cup games, but was not used for league games. I do not know why, but I will work hard to feature in the remaining two league games,” he said.
Incidentally, Banda played his full game on the day Serbian coach Vlandslav Heric resigned as Leopards coach.
Banda was a regular before Heric arrived in December.
“I cannot speculate that the coach did not want me to play. He had his own game plan. I am just here to work for the team. It is important that I should maintain my match fitness as the Flames have crucial assignments next month,” he said.
According to South African media reports, Banda had a grand game on Tuesday and also produced Leopardsâ€™ only goal scoring chance of the day, when his long-range drive on the half-hour mark swerved wide of the target.
Leopards now have moved two pints clear of relegation zone, but need to collect maximum points in their remaining two games to avoid being overtaken by Santos.