Slice of life: You never know who is watching

Refiloe Jane (Renata Larroyd)

Refiloe Jane (Renata Larroyd)

For me to play for Banyana Banyana, I was spotted in December 2011 at the Discovery Tournament in Soweto.

It was one of my most impressive games in my entire football career. And it happened that Joseph Mkhonza, who was the coach then for the South African women’s football team, was there watching the game.

He spotted me and said: “In January we are gonna be having a training camp. We are preparing for the Olympics and would like for you to come and trial, so that you can be part of the team.”

In January 2012, I joined the team for training in Stellenbosch and ever since then I have been part of the team and I have been working hard to stay there.

I take it as a privilege. There are many football players in South Africa who have the talent to represent South Africa at a national level, but they chose me.

Courage, discipline and the determination to keep on fighting are important as a player, because we can all be talented but the skills we possess will be different. 

It is about how badly you want to succeed.

Now, getting signed with Canberra United in Australia is like a dream come true. It’s every footballer’s dream in South Africa to play their trade abroad, especially because we [women] do not have a professional league in South Africa.

I feel honoured and humbled to have passed the trials and the tests that needed to be done.

It goes to show that we [women] have what it takes to participate in those leagues but we just need the opportunities to show our skills. — Refiloe Jane, vice-captain of Banyana Banyana, as told to Thulebona Mhlanga. This week, Jane and Rhoda Mulaudzi became the first South Africans to sign for W-League, the top-division women’s football league in Australia.

​Thulebona Mhlanga

​Thulebona Mhlanga

Thulebona Mhlanga is financial trainee journalist  at the Mail & Guardian, currently enrolled for a masters in politics at the University of Johannesburg. In addition to her fervent interest in business writing, reading and educating others around issues of financial literacy, she volunteers her time to projects assisting women and promoting social justice.  Read more from ​Thulebona Mhlanga

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