A work permit cost Thalea Smidt an overseas move

A work permit cost Thalea Smidt an overseas move

University of Pretoria midfielder, Thalea Smidt, has opened up about her absence at the start of the 2024 Hollywoodbets Super League.

Speaking exclusively to SABC Sport, the former University of the Western Cape and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies player says she had signed a contract with an overseas club and was on the verge of departing but was undone by a work permit.

While waiting for long process of the work permit, she could not sign for any team in South Africa and had to train alone, missing the first six games of the season for Amatuks.

Smidt says she could still move when the next transfer window opens.

"It's been difficult, physically, mentally but I feel more and more to myself now, fitness wise I think I'm coming alright. I actually was gonna go overseas but I had problems with my working permit so that was the issue. The club that side had hopes that we would get the working visa in time and that's why I was not with any team in South Africa,” Smidt said.

“So, that was the problem and that's why I'm back into the game now obviously I've been missing out on a lot of football and that also cost me my spot in the national team but at the end of the day sometimes it's all about taking care of ourselves, making sure that we are in the right mental state, physically, emotionally and that's when you decide, okay now I'm ready to come back to play."

READ: PSL coaches hail Mamelodi Sundowns and urge for their model to be followed

Smidt’s inactivity at club level cost her a place in the Banyana Banyana squad. She was last called up in February this year for the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Tanzania. But she was not included in the crucial Olympic Games qualifiers against Nigeria in April, as well as the two upcoming friendly internationals away in Senegal later this month and early in June. Smidt has not given up hope of returning to serve her country.

"Yes, definitely still have ambitions but I don't really put my heart or wholeheartedly on that. It's always been a goal, it's always been a dream, it's always been an ambition so all I can do from my side is work and if it comes it comes, if it doesn't come it doesn't come. I just keep on working every day to get better to get sharper, to improve where I have to improve," Smidt explained.