Sowetan

Banyana, be proactive about your own career

HOW BARKER TOOK INITIATIVE

- Tshepang Mailwane

BANYANA Banyana goalie Roxanne Barker has urged her teammates to take charge of their own careers and “put themselves out there”.

An e-mail, Barker said, was all it took to get a contract with Dutch club SC Heerenveen Vrouwen and she believes her Banyana teammates also have the quality to play abroad.

“It’s just a matter of being proactive about it and putting yourself out there. The women’s game is not like the men’s where managers [agents] are such a big part of it. In fact, some managers … don’t even help you,” she said.

“I don’t have a manager and it’s probably going to stay like that. I just e-mailed them and put myself out there. They came to watch me. So, as a female you need to realise that you can do a lot of it yourself.

“I am playing for a young team in Holland. I hope we can win the league. There’s a lot of potential in the team, so I believe we have the chance to surprise Ajax Amsterdam and other teams.”

Barker said she and her teammates have been talking about trying to impress overseas scouts at the Olympics, where they’ll play hosts Brazil, China and Sweden.

“To be honest, we mostly talk about getting some recognitio­n because there’s not a lot in South Africa for women in terms of football. I was fortunate to grow up in the United States for a while and get their youth developmen­t.

“So I think we all just want to improve the situation for all the women in this country. We will play our hearts out because this is an opportunit­y to get some attention.”

Banyana begin their Olympics campaign against Sweden on August 3.

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