Banyana Banyana's Refiloe Jane delights in historic move to Australia
Posted: 22 August 2018 Time: 16:30
Banyana Banyana vice-captain Refiloe Jane says she was in utter disbelief upon earning a contract with Australian club Canberra United, as she realised her teenage dream.
Jane, along with Banyana teammate Rhoda Mulaudzi, became the first ever South African female footballers to move to the Australian Women’s Premier League, as Canberra announced the double swoop earlier this week.
The 26-year-old says she could hardly believe her fortunes when she was told of the news by her new coach Heather Garriock, as she gave plaudits to her management team.
“Words struggled to come out of my mouth when coach Garriock told me the news, I just couldn’t believe it,” Jane reflected on SAFA's website.
“My own dream was manifesting right in front of my eyes. It was so surreal just to take it all in at one go. I tried calling my parents to tell them of the good news; however, my call wouldn’t go through.
“That is when I decided to call my manager [Christa Kgampe]. She is the one who was able to pass on that message to everybody. It was unbelievable.
“I would like to thank everybody who played a part in making this dream move possible. Tshepo ‘Vhafuwi’ Makanamise especially, he was the one who recommended both Rhoda and I to coach Garriock in the first place. We will forever be grateful for what he did for us.”
The Soweto-born midfielder, who has featured at consecutive Olympic Games in London and Rio de Janeiro, is delighted to have finally realised her ambition of plying her trade abroad after experiencing training with Arsenal's and Everton's women’s teams over a decade ago.
“It [the dream] actually started when I was 15 years old. I won a Future Champions football talent identification search where, as part of my prize, I was given an opportunity to fly out to England and train with sides like Arsenal and Everton Ladies FC,” she explained.
“And, although I had not gone there for trials, both coaches of the teams wanted me to stay. That is when I realised that I might actually have some special talent to offer the beautiful game.
“And that is when I started pursuing this dream of mine of wanting to go and play abroad. I am glad it’s finally happening.”