GAUTENG MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation Lebogang Maile has described the inclusion of Refiloe Jane in the Banyana Banyana squad as a major boost for the department’s development.
Jane is the winner of the 2009 Future Players Identification Programme, a tournament sponsored by the provincial government.
Playing for Mamelodi Sundowns, Jane has been drafted into the Banyana squad currently in the Western Cape preparing for the 2012 London Olympics.
“Jane’s elevation to Banyana Banyana is proof of the talent we have in Gauteng and the effectiveness of this identification programme,” Maile said.
“Gauteng is a hot-bed of football talent and the challenge for us is to unearth these gems and help them gain exposure.
“This programme has done that for Refiloe and I am quite sure there will be many more like her in the coming years.
“We hope to see Refiloe representing the country at the 2012 London Olympics.”
Banyana manager Zanele Khanyile confirmed the arrival of Jane at the team’s camp at the University of Stellenbosch.
“Coach Joseph Mkhonza and his technical staff have been monitoring her for sometime now and she is one of the rising defenders,” Khanyile.
Said Jane: “I hope to be at the Olympics later this year, and represent my country.”
Her Future Champions win gave her a week-long training tour to England, where she worked with the Manchester City youth team and played for their Under-17 side, before making a similar lasting impression at Everton Ladies.
Meanwhile, Banyana beat FC United boys’ Under 15 side 3-2 at the weekend.
Sanah Mollo, Leandra Smeda and Noko Matlou scored for the national team.