As Janine leaves South Africa to pursue her football career in the United States, we look back at her successful career to date, and the mark she leaves behind in her quest to conquer her dreams.
Van Wyk started playing football at a very young age, and joined a boys club in Germiston. Coming from a football loving family, Van Wyk grew up on the soccer field together with her Uncle and cousins. When not at club training, Janine would be in the back yard practicing her skills and enjoying countless hours of football fun with her cousins. From then on, Van Wyk’s passion and love for the sport grew stronger each and every time she stepped onto the field, and gradually made her way to her first women’s team based in Kwa Thema, a township south-west of Springs on the East Rand.
Being involved in the sport and playing for almost 25 years, Van Wyk has become an impeccable ambassador of the Women’s Game and always put her Country first, after her debut call up to the National Team in 2005. Van Wyk always gives her best for her team, and has been an avid soldier for Banyana Banyana for the past 12 years.
Looking back at her successful career to date, we share with you some of her highlights:
- Highest Capped Player in South Africa, and Highest Capped Female Player in CAF.
Recording a total of 143 appearances (and still counting) for her Country, van Wyk has been a fighter for women’s football and is a true Ambassador of the Women’s game both on and off the field. Janine’s first appearance for the Senior Women’s National Team was in 2005 and against Nigeria, and played her 100th Match for Banyana Banyana on the 10 August 2014 against Namibia. Van Wyk is currently the highest capped player in South Africa (Male or Female) and Highest capped female player in Africa.
- Scored the winning goal in SA’s first ever Victory over Nigeria
Another High in Van Wyk’s career was her jaw dropping goal against African Giants, Nigeria Super Falcons in the 2012 AWC, which secured their place in the Final against hosts Equatorial Guinea. Van Wyk managed to add her name to the history books as the lone Goal scorer in Banyana Banyana’s first every victory over the West African Team.
- Two Time Olympian
Van Wyk together with the Senior Womens National Team qualified for two consecutive Olympic Games, London 2012 and Rio 2016 and featured in all 6 matches. Janine captained her team at the 2016 Rio Olympic’s and although they did not progress out the Group stages, the team have salvaged the experience they gained from the major tournaments. Following a tremendous performance in the Rio Olympics as well as the International Friendlies ahead of the Games, Van Wyk was scouted by a NWSL Team for the 2017 Season.
- Formed a Development Program for Girls
Whilst focusing on her own illustrious career, Van Wyk decided it was time to give back and give other young aspiring girls opportunity to play football at higher levels. Van Wyk started a Girls School League in 2012 as well as a Club structure the following year, and continues to inspire more girls to live their dreams.
The Schools League is run in Gauteng and hosts more than 2300 players, who now have the opportunity to play football in a competitive and structured environment where they can also showcase their skills for a possible club move.
The Football Club has also grown in leaps and bounds with the First Team overcoming the group of death to go on and win the Gauteng Leg of the Sasol League for the first time, and finishing as Runners Up in their debut appearance at the 2016 National Championships. The Football Club also caters for Girls from as young as 9 years old, affording them the opportunity to play football at a higher level.
And a few more:
- SAFA Womens Player of the Year 2010
- COSAFA Cup Player of the Tournament 2011
- Ekurhuleni Sportswoman of the Year 2011
- Sasol League National Champions with Club, Palace Super Falcons 2011
- Appointed Captain of Banyana Banyana in 2013
- Gauteng Sports Personality of the Year 2015
- SA Sports Excellence Award
- CAF B Qualified Coach
- GSPORT4GIRLS Special Recognition Award
- Named in Womens AFCON Best XI 2016
- CAF Sportswoman of the Year 2016 Nominee
- Won the 2016 Gauteng Sasol League with former club, JVW FC
Whats Next for Van Wyk?
JVW now leaves our shores to pursue the next item on her football bucket list. Being scouted and signed by one of the Top womens football teams in the U.S, Houston Dash, van Wyk will travel to Texas in March and will join her team for Preseason.
Van Wyk is far from finished. Even though most of her boxes have been checked, there is still a missing piece in her puzzle – Participating in a World Cup. With all eyes on France WWC 2019, van Wyk will continue to work hard to make sure that she is a possible candidate for the Women’s World Cup Qualifications.
Janine van Wyk inspires us to achieve what would normally seem impossible, and leaves the following message for all aspiring athletes: “Never give up on your dreams, even if it may seem impossible! Believe in yourself and your abilities! With hard work and determination, there will come a time where you will experience success!”