If you follow women’s football in SA and specifically Banyana Banyana you will know all about Vice Captain Refiloe Jane.  Refiloe recently signed for AC Milan in Italy, a massive step up for class for the Banyana midfielder, adding her name to a growing list of South African players plying their trade overseas. Refiloe has played previously for Vaal University of Technology and Canberra United in the W-League in Australia, so this will be the 27-year old’s toughest test of her career. To see if she can crack it in Europe.

Jane made the perfect start for her new club as she walked straight into the starting line up and was part of a 5-0 win for her side. AC Milan’s Serie A campaign starts on the 14th of September against AS Roma and Jane will be keen to help her team succeed this season.

Janes transfer to AC Milan will undoubtedly open the doors for more talented SA women footballers to get noticed and realize their dream of playing professionally. Refiloe is in many ways a pioneer for her generation and will hopefully inspire more young girls to play football. Women’s football is growing rapidly throughout the world and looking at the upward trend of the Banyana’s results id say the game in South Africa is growing just as fast, if not faster!

Banyana are currently ranked 49th in the world far above their male counter parts and while I accept you can’t compare the two, I would argue that these women deserve a lot more credit than they currently get. South Africa currently do not have a professional football league for young talented girls to play in so its difficult to know if we have even scratched the surface of talent in SA and its about time we had a league for these women to make a career out of football. Currently there is a debate as to whether women should have equal pay to men in football and in this case, I believe perhaps the women of SA football should be paid more. Given how difficult it is for them to make it as a professional I believe these pioneers of the sport should be well compensated for their time and skills. I understand that the popularity of women’s football is nowhere near that of the men’s game and therefore there aren’t as many sponsors for the women as there are for the men, but the sport is growing, and the players wages should reflect that growth as well.

We salute Refiloe Jane and all our Banyana players for their efforts and we will continue to support them. Hopefully with more of our players going abroad to bigger and bigger clubs the women’s game will grow in both South Africa and the world.