Astoria Knights FC

Mpande Simelane

Mpande Simelane

Director of Player Development & Recruitment




My name is Mpande Simelane. Born in Maputo, Mozambique. I have lived in NY USA, Paris, France, and various cities in South Africa. I am currently a U12 Coach for NY International SC and assistant to the Director, which is a travel soccer team comprised mainly of students from the United Nations International School. Spring 2014 marked the start of my second season there, after having brought my team up a division from last term. Prior to this I volunteered for FC Harlem, A Harlem-based, community youth development organization using “The World’s Game” as a platform to develop L.I.O.NS (Leaders In Our Neighborhoods)TM . 

Before moving to the United States in 2011 I coached a U11 side in my country of origin, South Africa in the fall of 2009 and the fall of 2010 at the Glenstantia Primary School, Pretoria, South Africa. I was in charge of the B side and had a reasonably successful run, taking a last placed team and placing in the top quarter ot the table at the close of the season. More importantly, most of my players were bumped up to the A team during the season. Currently one of my former players in South Africa plays provincial soccer. 

I also co organize and run a pickup group called The Beautiful Game FC that meets through daily at Bushwick Inlet Park, Brooklyn, NY. Rated the best game in the city for a few years running. There are a couple hundred registered coed members and we run concurrent 7v7, 8v8, 9v9 games playing host to a dynamic group of local and international talent of all ages and abilities. I have met, played with, and trained with former players from South America, Europe, and Africa of different levels from professional to amatuer and am always looking to further my expertise in all aspects of the game. The cultural diversity of the group has recently inspired me to want to learn two new languages. 

I have been a fan for so long and literally have football in my blood being that my uncle and my late mother were both involved in the early stages of the Professional Soccer League in South Africa. My Uncle as a player and my late mother in administration. 

As a player I play LB, RB, CB, CDM. LW, and RW. I play in my games and whenever else I have the opportunity to with friends and family. I play a lot to keep fit. Football for me was a big tool keeping off weight I’d lost after a change in diet and exercise. I lost over 50 pounds after a major lifestyle change. My only regret is I wish I started earlier. 

I love to share the joy I have for the beautiful game of football and have often been told it’s contagious. I view myself as a fan/student first as the game is always evolving. Second to this, I view myself as an ambassador of sorts as I am always trying to promote, participate, discuss, learn, contribute, and be involved with all things football.