Having been in charge of Banyana Banyana during one of its most successful eras, Amanda Dlamini (file photo) has handed over the reigns of the senior women's soccer team ahead of the Cyprus Women's Cup, to Janine van Wyk, on account of her studies. Dlamini is pictured in action for the national team against Sweden at the 2012 London Olympic Games, on 25 July, 2012. File photo: Wessel Oosthuizen / SA Sports Picture Agency Banyana Banyana captain Amanda Dlamini has resigned as the captain of the senior women’s national team with immediate effect and will be replaced by the team’s vice-captain Janine van Wyk on an interim basis until a permanent replacement has been identified by the team’s technical team.

Dlamini, a student at the University of Johannesburg, where she is completing her third year in Transport Management, cited her need to fully commit to her studies in her crucial academic year, while also concentrating on improving her game without the huge responsibilities that comes with leading the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana team, among the reasons behind relinquishing the captain’s armband.

“It has truly been an amazing journey leading the team for the past three years and my position as captain has opened a lot of doors for me while on the field of play, I led Banyana Banyana during one of our most successful eras which saw us make history and qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. I wish the next captain all the best in leading such an amazing bunch of talented and committed girls,” said the dreadlocked midfielder, who also plies her trade for the University of Johannesburg Ladies FC in the Sasol League.

“As a senior member of the team I will continue to give my support and guidance where it is needed. I’m grateful to SAFA and Sasol for their continued support for women’s football and for affording me the opportunity to lead our national team,” she added.

Dlamini has made 60 appearances for Banyana Banyana and has scored 19 goals during that time while she was the captain of the high-riding Banyana side since 2010.

Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza said: “When we first heard the news from Amanda we were all quite shocked and disappointed but we fully accept her decision and have supported her during this time. She has made a name for herself during the time she led the team, she showed good leadership qualities and saw the team through many successes which include participating in the Olympics and playing in the final of the African Women’s Championship in Equatorial Guinea last year.”

Janine van Wyk, who takes over captaincy of the side during the team’s participation at the Cyprus Women’s Cup until a permanent replacement has been identified, is currently the most capped player in the squad and the coach and his technical team have full confidence in her to carry out the duties as the leader of the team.

Banyana Banyana are currently in Cyprus for the Cyprus Women’s Cup which will take place from Wednesday, 6 March until Wednesday, 13 March 2013.

The Sasol-sponsored team are in Group C alongside South Korea, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.