Janine van Wyk recently took to the field to captain Banyana Banyan in her 127th game for her country. She is now the most capped football player in the land after surpassing Aaron Mokoena (A while ago) and now Portia Modise. The 2010 SAFA Female Player of the Year is now building towards representing her country at the Olympic Games for the second time. We took some time to chat to Janine about All Things football.
Jabu: You recently played your 127th cap for Banyana Banyana, making you the most capped footballer in South African football history, how does that make you feel?
Janine: I feel honoured to be an athlete representing my Country in the sport i love most. I’ve been doing so for the past 11 years and i am truly proud of how far i have come and what I’ve accomplished in my career so far.
Jabu: Do you have a particular game in that 127 that stands out in your memory?
Janine: Yes i certainly do. The AWC (African Women’s Championship) 2012 semi Final when we beat Nigeria for the first time ever and me scoring the only goal of the match.
Jabu: You have been heavily involved in development of South African football, what is your vision you have for the JvW Sasol School Soccer League and JvW FC and do you believe that these will lead to more players emulating your achievements for the South African side?
Janine: The reason i started the JVW girls Schools and Football Club development was purely based on giving young talented girls the opportunity to play and develop in the sport they love! I hope to see some of these girls make it to National Level one day.
Janine: Playing abroad has always been one of my dreams and i would like to play in England in the near future to experience a different style of football outside my own Country! If i could choose i would definitely play for Man United Ladies FC, but it wouldn’t matter where in England i play, as long as i enjoy my football and learn
Jabu: With your focus on the Olympic Games, what is the training program you are currently following?
Janine: Banyana Banyana has been in camp since November 2015, so the preparations have been really tough and hard work. The training has been really effective and everyone is hungry to go do well in Rio.
Jabu: You have already represented Banyana at the 2012 Olympics where there was a credible draw with Japan, how much better equipped are we for the 2016 tournament?
Janine: The preparations now compare to preparations for 2012 Olympic Games are incomparable. We only had about 3 months to prepare for London 2012 whereas now we have been preparing for 5 months already with 3 months to go before the games starts. So yes I think we will be more than ready this time around compare to 2012
Jabu: What do you make of the draw featuring Brazil, China PR and Sweden? Do you think Banyana can advance?
Janine: Our opening match will be against Sweden yet again. It’s almost like a revenge match for us as it was the same in London when we faced them in the opening match and lost 4-1. We haven’t played China PR so it’s going to be an interesting one as we do know that they beat former WC Champions Japan to qualify for the Olympics. So they will definitely not be a walk in the park then we have the hosts Brazil which will probably be the most difficult match of the tournament! It’s a competitive group but looking forward to every challenge.
Janine: The fact that we can’t make a living from playing Football…
Jabu: What teams or people do you support in other sports?
Janine: I love to watch Tennis! I’m a Roger Federer fan. I love Cricket and always say I’m going to join the National Women’s Cricket team when I retire from football…
Jabu: And lastly where can our readers find out more about you?
Janine: I have my social media pages where people can read about me and follow all my activities:
Facebook: Janine Van Wyk fan page
Web Page: www.jvw5.co.za
JVW GIRLS FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT:
Facebook: JVW Girls Football Development