Banyana Banyana midfielder Kholosa Biyana has reflected on her move to the Spanish-based outfit Sporting Gijon.
Biyana joined the second division side in October 2020 from the University of Western Cape women’s team where she was also studying her Honours Degree in Biokinetics and managed to complete it online.
“I must admit things have been going very well. I have been playing 90-minute matches week in week out, so I am in a happy space. Sadly, I arrived here while I was still recuperating from a knee injury. The operation was done in Cape Town during the Covid-19 lockdown, and that for me was a good period as it gave me enough time to recover – it really worked well for me,” says the 26-year-old footballer.
“However, arriving in a new country, city and club was very difficult because I didn’t speak the language. But the saving grace was the coach who spoke English and another player from Brazil that once played in the USA, so I could communicate with them and they helped me a lot to settle. Language aside, I was warmly welcomed by everyone. The food, however, was a big challenge – a serious change from where I came from. The weather was pretty much like Cape Town, so that was okay.”
Sporting Gijon are locked in a tight battle for survival as they are in danger of losing their place and have to win at least two matches to be completely clear of the relegation zone. They need to unlock their survival instincts with only five matches left before the league rounds off.
The club succumbed to a disappointing 4-1 defeat at the expense of Collerense in their last league encounter.
“The unexpected loss last weekend to bottom side Collerense put us under pressure to do well in the remaining five league matches. With the rescheduled and reworked league programme, it has now become a bit complicated, as the zones have been divided due to Covid-19. Normally we are 16 teams in the league, but now we have been divided into the North and South streams – each with eight teams,” she adds.
“I am confident though that we will win at least two games to be safe – we are left with three home matches and we normally do well when we are hosting. Gijon has lost only one home match this season.
“I was hoping that I would help my side get promotion to the first division, so I guess we will have to try again next season.”
The gifted playmaker played 17 games in all competitions for her side this season.
“I have played 17 of the 19 games the team has played this season, so that is a good return,” Biyana divulges.
She last played for the South African women’s national team in the 2019 Cosafa Women’s Championship, having missed out on the recent Banyana Banyana last two international friendly matches.
“I was called up for the last two friendly games against Botswana and Zambia but due to Covid-19 restrictions at my club I had to decline the call-up. And I am glad that they did very well – winning the two games. That was impressive. I do miss the squad because it is a different vibe there, but the time will come when we are allowed to re-join. I know there are Fifa calendar dates coming up in June, and the good thing is that most likely I will be back home for the break,” explains the talented midfielder.
Biyana further said that it’s good to see many of the Banyana Banyana players playing outside the country which is for the South African women’s football growth.
We are playing at a higher level, and others are facing some of the best players in the world, so we are bound to improve and help the national team. Us being here is also an inspiration and motivation to those left behind to have something to strive for, to work towards. The good thing about playing overseas is that the individual prospers – and when that happens, it means when those individuals come into a group they help the group prosper too. So this is good for South African football,” she says in conclusion.
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By FARPost Reporter