The University of Fort Hare are yet to find their feet in the tournament, after a painful loss in front of their home crowd, that left the home team in shock. The road ahead is long, as they travel to North West University, in Mafikeng, for their next match.
“The lesson learnt on Monday night was one that will only add to the experience of the players,” said a confident head coach, Charles Hanyani. “The whole point is that you gather strength every game. Crying over spilt milk will not grow you.”
The team has to set the tone for themselves, and with opposition teams out for blood, there won’t be free rides. Trying to get a win away from home will not an easy task.
“To our fans, we apologise,” said a deflated captain, Siphamandla Zanekile, following their defeat to CUT. “We have seen our mistakes, and losing at home is not a great start. In our next game, we will show what we have been working on the whole week.”
The road ahead is long, with a maiden victory remaining UFH’s goal, but it is far too early to close the chapter, with six games to come. A lot can change.
With academics back up and running, the players and the coach have run into obstacles, with supplementary exams underway. It has brought complications with the final selection, as first-choice goal keeper Mangona Phakamani’s is unavailable to play due to an examination which he has to write.
“These dynamics really make team selection difficult, but I guess it’s the same with all teams.
Selection is based on many factors, before talent and experience can even be considered,” said Hanyani.
The men from Alice will travel to Mafikeng to face North West University. Both universities will be in search of their first points of the 2016 Varsity Football competition. The match kicks off at 18:30.
UFH team to face NWU-Mafikeng:
Starting XI: Emanuel Mashabela, Siphenphosi Ngxoko, Masilive Nyosi, Siphamandla Zanekile, Tomas Magagasa, Banele Thompson, Ongeziwe Matika, Olwethu Bless, Andile Batyi, Siphelele Qumba
Subs: Khulasande Qhusheka, Bongisa Bhomba, Solomzi Dinga, Sijongesonke Peter, Vuyani Xolani, Loyiso Jezile, Sindile Mlilo
By Kgoboko Kgoboko