Banyana Banyana legend Janine Van Wyk brought the curtain down on her illustrious career by becoming the most national capped African player .
The former Banyana captain also helped the South African senior women’s national team secure qualification to the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Van Wyk was deservedly given a standing ovation by her colleagues after earning her 185th cap and breaking the record for the most caps (men and women) on the continent that was held by Egypt legend Ahmed Hassan for over a decade.
Janine van Wyk retires with 185 caps for Banyana
“It wouldn’t have been a joyful one without a win and qualifying for another WAFCON. It was not about me but the whole team. Yes, we celebrate the 185 caps, but we had a very important match coming here and we knew it was not going to be an easy one, especially after drawing away from home,” Van Wyk said.
“Overall, this has been the cherry on the cake after a great career for me, and a great moment for me reaching this milestone. What better way to do it with the national team at home. It has been a long journey with Banyana Banyana.
“There have been many of ups and downs, but these are the moments that one strives for and to achieve every single dream that you have planned out for yourself from a young age, and just reaching this last one is a great fulfilment for me. So thank you for all the support.”
Banyana coach Desiree Ellis wished Van Wyk well after the many achievements and heights she has scaled during an illustrious career.
“I want to say congratulations to Janine after a long career. I think this is well-deserved. She has given her all and always wore her heart on the sleeve,” the coach said. “This couldn’t have happened to a more deserving player. Good luck and welcome to the space. It is not easy but we wish you all the best and hopefully your coaching career can be as successful as your playing career.”
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan hailed Van Wyk, describing the roving defender as one of a kind.
“You will never find another Janine van Wyk again and I want to express the country’s appreciation for all the entertainment she provided during her long stint with Banyana Banyana,” the SAFA President said.
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