"Yes ‘Fifi’ (Jane) was very quiet in the first 20 minutes. She hardly touched the ball. She knows that, we know that. But it’s up to us as players to get her the ball”
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk is expecting a much-improved performance from striker Refiloe Jane (pictured) in the Albertina Sisulu Challenge against Sweden at Cape Town Stadium tonight.
Jane, who plays her football for Canberra FC in Australia, forms part of a potent trio upfront for Banyana that also includes Thembi Kgatlana and Jermaine Seoposenwe.
Kgatlana and Seoposenwe were both industrious against the Netherlands on Saturday, with Kgatlana terrorising the Dutch with her searing pace, which ultimately resulted in the US-based striker scoring Banyana’s solitary goal in a 2-1 defeat.
Seoposenwe, meanwhile, showed good touches on the ball and linked well with Linda Motlhalo through quick interplay in midfield and should also have been on the scoresheet late in the second half.
In contrast, Jane had a quiet afternoon at the former 2010 World Cup venue and will be eager to show her quality against the Swedes tonight.
Van Wyk, though, believes the onus is on the entire team to get Jane more involved in the action.
“We have obviously done our video analysis and gone through what we did well and what we didn’t.
“Yes ‘Fifi’ (Jane) was very quiet in the first 20 minutes. She hardly touched the ball. She knows that, we know that. But it’s up to us as players to get her the ball,” the skipper said yesterday.
“She is a quality player. And if we don’t give her the opportunity to get on the ball, it’s a collective team thing. All of us could have given a bit more in our attacking roles.”
Jane’s work-rate was certainly not in question on Saturday.
Often she was seen switching from her customary left-wing position over to the right, and she definitely went out looking for the ball against the European champions.
“You tend to lose focus and concentration if you (are) not involved in the game too much. She switched a lot to get into the game and get more on the ball.
“But like I said, it is up to us to get her the ball because we lose her quality if she is not on the ball,” Van Wyk said.
Van Wyk also defended her team’s game plan that often finds the defence sitting very deep, which allows the opposition plenty of space in the midfield to hold on to possession.
“If you cover your defensive block it is easier to counter-attack especially with the forwards we have. It creates space for our pacy forwards like Thembi and Jermaine,” she said.
“If you saw against the Netherlands we broke through behind their defence because we sit deep.
“So there is a reason why we sit deep. It’s not because we can’t handle the pressure but it’s actually the game plan.”