Banyana Banyana central defender Amanda Sister has recovered from the quadriceps injury that side-lined her for the past week and back in training at the national camp in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Prior to the SASOL sponsored-South African national senior women team’s departure to Cameroon, the Port Elizabeth-based player sat out of the two international friendly fixtures played against Zimbabwe as a precautionary measure.
The 22-year-old Sister, who plays her club football for Liverpool Ladies (Sasol League Eastern Cape) has formed a solid partnership with Janine van Wyk in the centre of defence over the past two seasons, creating solidity in front of goalkeeper Thoko Mndaweni.
“I am just glad to be back training as it was not nice to be left in the stands watching while my team-mates played in the matches against Zimbabwe,” said Sister.
“We will want to be at our best when we play at the CAF African Women Championship 2012 as we look to improve on our world ranking of 56th place. Our opening match on October 28 against Equatorial Guinea is so key as many of our players who were in the team in at the CAF African Women Championship 2010 in Ekurhuleni, will want to set the record straight.”
Equatorial Guinea beat the South Africans in the semi-finals of the tournament two years back and in so doing, book themselves a place along with eventual champions Nigeria, at the FIFA Women’s World Cup held in Germany last year.
“Losing to Equatorial Guinea left us shattered in having missed out on FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification, but we picked ourselves up and qualified for the 2012 London Olympics along with Cameroon,” added Sister, who has been capped 36 times for her country.
Apart from midfielder Yola Jafta, who is nursing a hamstring strain but is expected to be fit in time for selection for the opening fixture against Equatorial Guinea, all the players are hard at training in Yaoundé.
Following the Group A match against Equatorial Guinea, Banyana Banyana will face Senegal in Malabo on October 31, and will travel to Bata for their encounter with DR Congo on November 3.
A good run of form will see the South Africans play in the semi-finals in either Malabo or Bata on November 7, with the 3rd/4th place playoff and the title decider both scheduled for Malabo on November 11.
Banyana Banyana Team: Goalkeepers: Thokozile Mndaweni (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng) Katlego Moletsane (High Performance Centre, Tshwane) Defenders: Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Amanda Sister (Liverpool Ladies, Eastern Cape) Janine van Wyk (v.c) (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Zamandosi Cele (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal) Refiloe Jane (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng) Lebogang Mabatle (Hallelujah Zebra Force, Gauteng) Midfielders: Leandra Smeda (Cape Town Roses, Western Cape) Nocawe Skiti (Cape Town Roses, Western Cape) Amanda Dlamini (c) (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies Ladies, Free State) Yola Jafta (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Nompumelelo Nyandeni (FC Rossiyanka, Russia) Strikers: Noko Matlou (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Portia Modise (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Andiswe Mgcoyi (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng) Silindile Ngubane (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal) Sanah Mollo (Bloemfontein Celtics Ladies, Free State) Jermaine Seoposenwe (Spurs WFC, Western Cape)