Banyana Banyana captain opens up about her departure from Italy

Banyana Banyana captain opens up about her departure from Italy

Banyana Banyana Captain Refiloe Jane has opened up to SABC Sport about her departure from Italian side Sassuolo.

The Soweto-born midfielder says her contract with the Europeans came to an end and she decided against renewing it as she is looking for a new challenge.

Jane joined the club two years ago but was on the sidelines for long periods this season after an injury sustained at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“I have healed completely after going through rehab, it’s just that my contract came to an end, and now I am looking for a new challenge elsewhere. I feel I have played my part, grew as a player, as an individual and also as a team member,” said Jane who is currently in South Africa for the off-season.

“It was a good season for the team, we finished fourth. Even though we didn't start so well, we managed to push through and fought to the end, getting a good position. We played well against some top experienced teams, and we were able to hold our own.”

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The former TUT Ladies, VUT Ladies and Sundowns Ladies player says the injury left her frustrated.

“It was a frustrating period because the pain was always there through training and games. It was difficult to take time away from the team because the team valued my presence on and off the field, hence I ended up working through the pain and discomfort. Some games it was better than others and at times it was just unbearable hence I would miss matches or play less minutes,” added Jane.

Previously on the books of Italian giants AC Milan for three seasons, Jane joined moved to Sassuolo in 2022 after leading Banyana Banyana to gold in the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations – their maiden continental title.

She has also played club football in Australia alongside Rhoda Mulaudzi of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.

Jane has informed SABC Sport that while she is listening to offers from other clubs, her priority is being with her family.

“At the moment I am taking time to rest since it's off season. I want to spend time with family because I never get to do so as I am always away. Just recently my father was in hospital, so being at home now and recharging is a priority at the moment. A decision about my next move will be made and announced in the near future.”