Van Wyk Is Saying Farewell To The Wonderful Round Of Football

Van Wyk

South African senior women’s national team defender, Janine Van Wyk is set to retire from the game.

After a sparkling football career that was capped with a gold medal at the last TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, the 36-year-old is set to play her last two matches in her national Jersey in a 2024 Olympic Qualifier against DR Congo later this month .

The Bayana Bayana defender put out an emotional farewell write up to the game, saying that she was saying her final goodbye to the delightful game and has enjoyed the honour and privilege of serving her nation.

“This has been by far one of the hardest decisions of my life. This decision has always been one I have wanted to make on my terms. And this is my time to say goodbye to football as a player while I watch the next generation shine. It has been my greatest honour and privilege to play this beautiful game, in particular playing for my country, which has and always will be the greatest gift football has ever offered me.”

Van Wyk started her career at the Springs Home Sweepers on the east of Johannesburg, before joining the Moroka Swallows and then Palace Super Falcons of Tembisa before going on to enjoy a successful career that also includes her establishing her own club and academy for girls, JVW FC which is now home to a number of junior national team players.

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In 2016, she joined Texas based side, Houston Dash in the United States where she featured 41 times – subsequently earning the nickname, Booth after South African senior men’s national team defender, Matthew Booth.

She then came back home before venturing into Europe with Danish club Fortuna Hjørring before heading to Glasgow City in Scotland where she had the opportunity of playing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

The Alberton-born captain also enjoyed an extraordinary national team career that traverses back to 2005 against Nigeria, where she scored a great free kick. In 2012, she took part in the Olympic Games in London.

On March 26, 2016, she became the most capped player in South Africa across all genders and is still one of the most capped African football players on the continent.

Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis described Van Wyk as a legend of the game, both on the continent and around the world.

“There are so many superlatives that I can use to describe Janine. I think she is an absolute legend of the game, not only in South Africa, but also on the African continent and around the world,” she said.

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