Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk reflects on USA stint
Posted: 13 October 2017 Time: 15:15
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk has offered words of advice to players that harbour ambitions of competing abroad.
Van Wyk recently returned home from a six-month stint with USA's Houston Dash.
The defender played in 17 of the club's 24 games in the National Women’s Soccer League this season.
Van Wyk, who is in the Banyana squad for a friendly with Burkina Faso at Dobsonville Stadium on October 22 (15h00), enjoyed her time overseas but revealed it was not plain sailing.
"It was phenomenal, it was an incredible experience for me," She told SAFA Media.
"I have always wanted to play overseas and I can finally say I have done so. It wasn’t an easy run in for me, in fact it was very difficult at the beginning but I think the best experience was playing professionally and getting a very big crowd every single game.
"The biggest crowd was at Portland Thorns in Portland with about 22 000 fans. That experience on its own was amazing, and is something that we can really hope that it will happen in South Africa once we have a professional league going. So many people can come to support women’s football in our country."
She added: "Always be ready for whatever comes your way. It’s really hard to adapt to any style of play when you go play overseas. You have to deal with a different culture, the team, and you really have to be on top of your game and do your best every single match and at all the training sessions.
"Also, never be negative because you will find people that will try to put you down, and that is something I needed to deal with when I first got to America – your teammates aren’t your friends and you have to prove to them what you can bring to the game, and that side it is very difficult. But it will always be a part of a great journey for you and will grow you as a player. So be prepared for the worst, but you really need to prove yourself in order to make things happen for yourself."