Van Wyk chooses Banyana over US
Posted: 14 September 2018 Time: 14:30
Banyana Banyana stalwart Janine van Wyk has confirmed she will not be returning to American club Houston Dash as she turns her focus towards FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification.
Van Wyk became the first South African female footballer to move to the United States when she joined The Dash at the end of 2016, paving the way for the likes of Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo, who have since made the switch too.
The 31-year-old has since returned to South Africa for the COSAFA Women’s Championships currently underway in Port Elizabeth, and has confirmed that she is now back for good in order to focus fully on helping the senior women’s national team reach next year’s World Cup in France.
“I can honestly say, yes [to being back for good]. I’ve set new targets, challenges and goals for myself, and Houston Dash or America is not included in that,” Van Wyk told SAFA.
“I think I’ve done exceptionally well overseas. I can finally say I achieved one of my goals by playing abroad, and I just thought it’s the right time [to come home].
“I’m 31 years old and I don’t have much playing time left, and I really want to concentrate fully on being with the national team.
“It’s an especially big year for us in qualifying for the World Cup, which is one of my ultimate dreams and something that South Africa’s never done before.
“For me, I think it’s really important, as a team captain and long-serving player in Banyana, to be part of the setup and not be away and flying in only when it’s possible for me to play.
“So, I feel like that’s a strong reason for me not to go back to the Houston Dash, and just contribute as much as I can to get the team to qualify for the World Cup.”
And so, my journey with the @HoustonDash has come to an end. It's been a year that has taught me many lessons. Thanks to everyone that has been on this journey with me. You will always be remembered when I think of one of my most memorable experiences in football. ????⚽️???? pic.twitter.com/qECDyq6OQn— Janine Van Wyk (@Janinevanwyk5) September 10, 2018