UFH - Amanda Sister - Football

The experience former Banyana Banyana players Amanda Sister and Chantelle Esau have brought to the Baby Wolves since signing with the university club a few weeks ago has proved invaluable.

With dozens of international caps between them, the pair have been able to impart years of footballing wisdom to their younger University of Fort Hare teammates.

The side are currently enjoying a good run in the Hollywoodbets Super League, winning their last two matches to place them a respectable ninth on the log in their first season of elite women’s football.

Sister, 34, boasts a hugely impressive resumé. Aside from making more than 40 appearances for her country, the Gqeberha-born defender has played for Hungarian club Győri ETO as well as Italian Serie A side San Zaccaria.

Striker Esau, 33, arrived in Alice after a stint with Hollywoodbets Super League champions Mamelodi Sundowns and has played more than 25 matches for Banyana Banyana.

Fort Hare interim head coach Sibonelo Doyisa said the experienced duo were brought on board to help the younger players adapt to the challenges of big-time football while learning to show no fear for well-known players.

“We thought, ‘Let’s add a few players who can motivate them, who can add that factor in the camp, clubhouse and change room’. And now it’s working wonders for the team,” he said.

“With Amanda, we told her what her role would be; not just to be a player on the field but off it as well. She accepted the challenge to explain to the other players how to approach games, how to act as individuals and teammates.”

UFH - Amanda Sister - Football

Amanda Sister, seen here during her playing days with Banyana Banyana, has added invaluable experience to Fort Hare’s Hollywoodbets Super League squad. Photo: Gallo Images

The arrival or Sister and Esau at Fort Hare was largely thanks to the efforts of sports officer Mazeli Feni, described by Doyisa as the “man behind the magic”.

Passionate about the team’s success, he visited their respective homes to recruit them.

Esau was not getting as much game time at Sundowns as she once did and embraced the opportunity to play for a smaller team where she could add more value.

Though Sister was on the books of Super League team Copperbelt FC, she had been sidelined for some time after a series of injuries.

Feni’s timing in securing their talents could not have been more perfect and they have duly given UFH a huge boost 12 games into the season.

Though the ladies might be older than their teammates, Doyisa emphasised that age was not really a factor when it came to women’s football.

“What matters most is how you communicate with your teammates, telling them when to run and when not to run. If you have experience, age is really just a number.”

As much as the coach was thankful for the addition of the two stars, he also did not want to take anything away from the hard work all his players were putting into the campaign.

They always gave more than what was expected of them and put his advice into practice “with ease”, he said.

“It’s not just the experience we now have but the willingness of all our players.”

Fort Hare’s next fixture is against UWC on June 8.

With students writing exams, they have suspended training for the time being but “will be back at the office” on Monday.