Janine van Wyk: I had given up on playing abroad two years ago
Van Wyk joined National Women’s Soccer League side Houston Dash in December, and recently arrived in Texas to prepare for the upcoming season.
JOHANNESBURG - Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk has told Eyewitness News Sport that after a certain age, she gave up on her chances of ever furthering her career abroad, until realising her dream and earning herself a move to the US.
Van Wyk joined National Women’s Soccer League side Houston Dash in December, for an undisclosed deal, and recently arrived in Texas to prepare for the upcoming season.
The 29-year-old had been playing for the club she started, JVW FC, before making her dream move to the States.
She got her big break following South Africa’s friendly match with world champions the US Women’s National Team last year and indicated that the club had wanted to sign her in July already.
Van Wyk says the older she got, the more she doubted that she’d ever make the move.
“I think when I reached the age of 27, I thought there’s no way I’d ever go and play overseas, because of my age. I’ve always dreamt of playing abroad, especially in America.”
The Banyana skipper has been playing for her country for 12 years and is the most capped South African footballer of all time, with 142 appearances for the national team.
She joins a growing list of South Africans plying their trade in America, such as her current teammate, Jermaine Seoposenwe – who is at Samford University.
The Alberton-born defender has credited former Banyana head coach Vera Pauw for paving the way for her to finally achieve what she’s yearned for all her life.
“If we didn’t play U.S, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So, credit must go to Vera Pauw, because I don’t think just any coach would get it right to play the best in the world.”
Van Wyk is expected to make her debut for the Dash when they face Chicago Red Stars on 15 April.
(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)