Banyana Banyana stalwart Janine van Wyk has reacted to equaling Ahmed Hassan’s record of the most capped player in Africa, male or female.
This comes after the veteran defender left the Banyana camp in October on a sad note during their 2024 CAF Women’s Olympic qualifiers against DR Congo.
Coach Desiree Ellis had named van Wyk in her squad that will face the Congolese side in Olympic qualifiers, as the 36-year-old footballer was set to bring the curtain down.
Following discussions with SAFA and coach Ellis, an agreement was reached to afford the highest-experienced defender to achieve her goal of breaking the record.
Van Wyk was then included again in the Banyana squad to face Burkina Faso for the WAFCON qualifiers.
The defender started with the game when South Africa played out to a 1-1 draw in the first leg away from home against the Western African nation and donning the team’s captain armband.
JANINE VAN WYK EQUALS AHMED HASSAN’S RECORD
As things stand, the JVW FC boss has matched Ahmed Hassan’s record of the most caps on the continent with 184 appearances.
Now, van Wyk will be hoping to surpass Hassan’s record when they face Burkina Faso in the return leg set to take place on 4 December 2023 in South Africa.
“I’m very happy that the coaching staff has given me this opportunity to step onto the field,” said van Wyk after the match.
“I’m very grateful for my teammates supporting me. It’s now 184 caps and one more cap to go. I’m just really happy to be here with the team.”
REFLECTING ON THE GAME ITSELF
She went on to reflect on the game itself, citing that they are not happy with the results they have got. But van Wyk is confident that the team will finish the job in South Africa.
“It’s unfortunate we did get the results came in here for. We have one leg to go which I’m sure will be a positive one,” she added.
“It’s good that we scored a goal and fortunate we conceded one. That’s not what we wanted when can here. So, they have to come to South Africa where we are very strong in our game. We will be having supporters behind us.
“We in our last game against Congo that we dominated the game and that we played home and away. Now that we know how Burkina Faso plays, we can just capitalise on their weaknesses.”
JANINE VAN WYK ON BANYANA BANYANA’S SQUAD BALANCE
The former Glasgow City defender also shared her thoughts on the Banyana’s squad depth. Van Wyk praised how the team is well-balanced with young and experienced players.
“It’s a good balance that the national team has with the young and upcoming players. Especially with the experience mixing that,” stated van Wyk.
“It’s important for the senior players to accept the younger players coming in through. You know, just to take them under their wing.
“Also, make them feel comfortable in an environment that they are in. At the end of the day, we are one nation and build the team forward together.”
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