CANBERRA – Panashe Madanha’s burgeoning career to date is the result of determination, hard work and possessing a calm temperament.
The 18-year-old has impressed since rising through the ranks of Adelaide United’s youth system and into the first team.
His unflappable nature has allowed him to embrace any situation he has been dealt.
Traditionally a forward, Madanha has featured in a more defensive role, operating as a right-back and performing rather admirably.
After making his A-League debut against Newcastle Jets in a brief cameo late December, becoming the first Zimbabwean-born player to appear in the competition, three consecutive starts at right-back followed.
This was due to an injury crisis in defence, and made the transition rather seamlessly with notable displays against Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory.
Indeed, his form has not gone unnoticed after receiving his first call-up to the national set-up for a competitive tournament – the AFC U-20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023™ no less.
Madanha was called up for the inaugural time last year for a talent identification camp in Canberra.
“I’m very happy, because obviously, it’s an honour to represent your country,” he said.
“Especially going to play a tournament, a really important tournament.
“Obviously, really happy, the family’s happy, so as long as the family’s happy, I’m happy as well.”
Receiving those minutes with United’s senior team certainly increased his chances of an U-20s call-up, according the pacy winger-come-defender.
He revealed he had set his sights on making the squad and thrilled to achieve a personal objective.
“At the end of the day the A-League is the highest competition around in Australia,” he said.
“So I mean, when you’re young, and you’re getting some game time in a really strong squad, in the A-League, and you do pretty well, I think it gives you like a good chance of getting the call up as well.
“It’s been something I’ve been working on, kind of had my eye on working hard towards getting and just happy to achieve this and just going to keep on working hard to play well, for my team as well.”
Reaching the last four will guarantee Australia’s place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023™ in May.
“I feel like we’ve got a really strong squad, players with a lot of experience and good young players coming through and good coaches as well,” he said.
“So it’s just about putting in the work, getting to know what the coaches want to do with the team and just working hard to get that spot in the Under 20 World Cup later this year.
“So yeah, we’re just working hard every day in training and just doing our best in matches to make sure we achieve that.”
Madanha is not the only Reds player named in the squad with Bernardo and Jonny Yull also included.
And with Bernardo having been a part of the Subway Olyroos side that secured a fourth-placed finish at the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022™, Madanha admitted he has already leaned on his fellow teammate about what to expect.
“Obviously, the boys are always asking, ‘oh how was it when you went over?’
“Just you know, getting his take on things, it’s always good to get the experience from another person’s perspective and he only had good things to say about it.
“So it makes you just get ready and makes you excited to go and experience it yourself.”