Banyana captain Refiloe Jane expects improved showing from South Africa at World Cup

Refiloe Jane during the Banyana Media Day on 28 June 2023 at UJ Auckland Park

Refiloe Jane during the Banyana Media Day on 28 June 2023 at UJ Auckland Park © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Jun 28, 2023


Johannesburg - Banyana Banyana captain Refiloe Jane says she expects the current group of players to improve South Africa’s record at Women’s World Cup.

Jane and her teammates are currently hard at work in camp as they continue their preparations for the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, kicking off on July 20.

The 30-year-old midfielder was a part of the only other Banyana side to qualify for the global showpiece back in 2019, a tournament that would turn out to be a harsh lesson for the women’s side.

Under the stewardship of head coach Desiree Ellis, Banyana lost to Spain, China, and Germany, conceding eight goals in the process while managing to score just one through Thembi Kgatlana.

However, Jane, whose influence on the side has grown exponentially over the years, believes the current African champions have improved immensely which will make for a better overall performance this time around.

“I think looking at the group we’re in, we’ve got what it takes to progress looking at the qualities that we have in the team and the experience also,” said Jane.

“The previous tournament was a learning curve for us, so now with being African champs and with the hopes the nation that we carry, we have what it takes to progress.”

‘Fifinho’ has spent the last four years in Italy, playing for AC Milan and now US Sassuolo in the Italian Serie A.

“The team has improved very well, we have quite a number of players who have gone overseas and are still overseas, I think the previous World Cup played a huge role in the growth of women’s football in our country so with that experience that we have, it will come in handy for us to perform well at the World Cup,” Jane said.

Banyana will line up against Sweden, Argentina, and then Italy in the group stages of the competition and Jane believes her knowledge of the Italian squad might be a huge boost in these games.

“Playing in Italy makes it a little easier for me to share the scope with our management, I think 95% of the players playing in the Italy national team play in Italy,” she concluded.


IOL Sport