Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, has lauded Refiloe Jane after the Banyana Banyana vice captain and star midfielder became the first South African woman ever to feature in the Serie A league.
‘Fifi’ was off to a dream start when she shot straight into the starting line-up for Rossonere, where she made an immediate impact when her side thrashed Napoli 5-0 in a pre-season friendly match on Saturday.
Ellis who has played a huge role in moulding Refiloe’s career hopes that more doors will open for players with aspirations to play in top leagues in and around the world.
“I think it’s a fantastic move for Fifi. We want our players to play in the top leagues in the world. She is not only playing in a top league, a top footballing nation but also a top club. And, it’s well deserved. She was recently at Canberra in Australia, but this is definitely a dream come true for her.”
Coach Desiree believes that the experience midfield maestro will gain in the European soil will be very vital for the South African women’s national football team.
“This will open up doors for other players.” – Desiree Ellis, Banyana Banyana Head Coach
“We are blessed that we have another Banyana player now based overseas and the experience she will gain will be immense for the national team. This will also open up doors for other players.”
Jane’s historic move to Italy stole headlines on the African continent and afar
Banyana’s hot property, Thembi Kgatlana sang her teammate’s praises saying Jane’s move will boost the image of South African women’s football
I’m very happy about Fifi’s move to AC Milan. It will grow the image of South African female footballers. For a long time, South African female footballers haven’t been given a chance anywhere in the world. We had to work extremely hard to get opportunities like these.”
“More players moving overseas will grow the quality of Banyana Banyana.” – Thembi Kgatlana
‘Pikinini’ believes that Jane’ impressive performance at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup where they shared the field together, earned her the recognition and, deservedly so.
“After our performance at the recent World Cup, it is right for Refiloe to get a move overseas. More players moving overseas will grow the quality of Banyana Banyana. It will also make sure that we don’t only dominate Southern African region but Africa as a whole. This move came at the right time for Refiloe and I wish her all the best in Italy.”
Another of Jane’s national team mates, Bamabanani Mbane shares the same sentiment as Kgatlana as she also believes that Jane playing for the Red and Black side of Italy will benefit South African women’s football immensely.
“This is a way to show that doors are really opening, and opportunities keep knocking.” – Bambanani Mbane
“Refiloe is a born leader and a very great sports person. I am personally very proud of her and wish her nothing but the best on such a big move.”
“I feel this is a great opportunity for South African woman’s football. This is a way to show that doors are really opening, and opportunities keep knocking. It’s something we’ve all always wanted, and this goes to show that we are growing and are yet to grow even further.”
Photo 1 Caption: South Africa’s Refiloe Jane making her debut for AC Milan in a pre-season match against Napoli. Jane became the first player from Mzansi to sign for an Italian side, making history for SA women’s football. Photo: @MilanFemminile on Twitter