Janine van Wyk to retire as Africa’s most capped int’l footballer

South Africa’s Banyana Banyana icon and former skipper Janine van Wyk has announced she is hanging up her boots after almost 20 years.

Van Wyk was included in Banyana coach Desiree Ellis’ squad to face DR Congo in two 2024 CAF Women’s Olympic qualifiers this month.

After the two matches, Van Wyk will sit on 185 international caps, making her the most capped footballer on the continent, male or female, and highest capped female in CAF. Van Wyk plays as a defender for her own club in South Africa JVW and captains the South Africa women’s national team.

“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,” van Wyk said in a statement on Monday, Oct 16.

“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.”

Coach Ellis, herself a former Banyana captain, said van Wyk deserved the credit she was getting having been an ambassador for South African football.

“There are so many superlatives that I can use to describe Janine. I think she’s an absolute legend of the game, not just in South Africa, but also on the African continent as well as globally,” the Banyana coach said.

“She has led the team at Olympic Games and the World Cup. She has given her all every time she has stepped onto the field. She loved representing this national team and has always played with her heart on her sleeve. She’s an absolute role model to all the kids out there. And I wish her everything of the best in her new adventure.

“I pray that she’s just as successful as her career was. Many blessings to her. I think the legacy she’s left behind has been the hard work she’s put in, always making sure that she’s in absolute good shape to come and represent the national team, and always giving her best.

“She has also created opportunities for others with the club JVW. I’m wishing her once again all the best and blessings in her new adventure,” concluded Ellis.

Source: IOL

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