JOHANNESBURG – Banyana Banyana vice-captain Refiloe Jane does not feel any pressure to go play overseas.
While a few of her teammates - Janine van Wyk, Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo - are plying their trade in the US, Jane is content putting her skills to good use on local fields for the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Ladies team, whom she captains.
She enjoyed great success with the team last year as she led them to success in both the University Sport South Africa (USSA) nationals and the Varsity Football championships.
Add to that the fact she was the skipper when Banyana won the 2017 Cosafa Cup title in Zimbabwe and you understand just why a move abroad is not a priority for Jane right now.
“I have not set myself a time frame of when I want to play overseas,” Jane said. “I believe that ever since I was born, God is actually the one who plans things for me. I don’t want to take things into my own hands whereas He is the one who has plans for my life.
“That’s why I don’t feel any pressure of playing abroad.”
While waiting for the right time to move to the bigger leagues, Jane will continue churning out useful performances for both club and country.
She will be in national colours tomorrow as Banyana look to book a spot at this year’s Africa Women’s Cup of Nations finals to be hosted by Ghana.
Banyana are away to Lesotho at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru for the first leg of the final round qualifier. The return leg is scheduled for Sunday in Bloemfontein and the winner of the tie will qualify for the finals.
The absence of the overseas brigade, Kgatlana, van Wyk and Motlhalo, means Jane will have to lead the team given her vast experience. It is a role she is looking to perform with some aplomb as evidenced by her view of the opposition.
“This is a very important game for us,” Jane said. “People might write Lesotho off but they are a difficult team to beat and they have been in camp for some time. So, it will take a collective effort from us to do well in both legs, especially since we start away.”
While always eager to help her teams to success, Jane explained that she plays for more than just results.
“My aim is to make sure that I touch as many lives as possible through my playing football. If people can see me out there (on the field), they’ll want to hear my story and be motivated. And I am willing to share my story; that I come from a disadvantaged background but now I appear on TV. So who are they not to make it?”
Despite her background, Jane is not only making a success of herself on the field of play but in the classroom as well.
The 25-year-old midfielder is currently a Marketing Masters’ student at TUT.
“It’s about the way your mind works. If you can get used to working under pressure in the classroom, meeting deadlines and solving problems then you can do it on the field of play,” she explained “Playing in the Sasol League has been good because we get scouted by universities who pay for our studies while we play for their teams. You don’t lose anything.
“Instead you gain everything. That’s why I want to keep studying and be called Dr Jane one day.”