Refiloe Jane: 'The young players bring a different energy'

Banyana

Banyana Banyana captain Refiloe Jane has applauded the young players in the Banyana squad ahead of Matchday two of the African Women's Cup of Nations (AWCON).

Head coach Desiree Ellis named a diverse 23 member-squad ahead of the continental showpiece played in Morocco, with a mixture of youth and experience. 19-year-old Nthabiseng Majiya and 21-year-olds Sibulele Holweni and Noxolo Cesane are the youngest players named on the squad.

Ellis took another gamble in starting both Holweni and Cesane against nine-time AWCON champions Nigeria on Monday evening. The gamble paid off as Cesane’s electric pace and vision helped provide the assist for striker Jermaine Seoposenwe, who slotted the ball into the net for the match’s opening goal as Banyana marched to a 2-1 victory against the champions.

Jane believes that this integration of youth into the team has brought a new vibrancy.

"The young players bring a different energy and variety to the team," Jane told KickOff.com.

"With such exposure, they will grow to gain valuable experience from these kinds of tournaments and from the seniors in the team. It will better their game going forward."

READ: Ellis announces final Banyana squad for AWCON

Tonight, Banyana turn their attention to their next hurdle info the form of competition debutants Burundi. Fresh off a 4-2 defeat from Botswana on Monday night, the Swallows will be looking for redemption when they take on Banyana.

Already topping the group after their first win, three more points against Burundi will put South Africa in pole position for qualification into the knockout stages of the competition and within touching distance of a semi-final spot, which would guarantee a ticket to the 2023 Australia-New Zealand World Cup.

Match kick-off is scheduled for 19:00 (South African time)

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