Banyana Banyana captain and central defender, Janine van Wyk continues to be a trendsetter in women football development, having bought a franchise in the Sasol League which features top performers from her school league team.
Van Wyk founded the JVW Girls School Soccer league a year ago, with the aim of giving school girls an opportunity to develop their careers in the game of football.
Her latest move to acquire the Mondeor-JVW Football Club, wholly made up of girls drawn up from the JVW Schools League, includes van Wyk herself – having moved from Palace Super Falcons where she played last season, and is joined by another top national player in fellow Banyana Banyana teammate, Robyn Moodaly.
The iconic Banyana defender said she left her former club, defending Sasol League champions Falcons, to fulfil her new vision of developing upcoming women footballers, and is of the opinion that this is a great opportunity to give the younger players the platform to achieve their ambition.
“I decided to buy Mondeor because of the development structures they had in place. Since I have an interest in girls’ football development, this is an opportunity to give the young players something to work towards and realise their potential as footballers.
“Playing in the Sasol League is a step in the right direction for this team, and I also feel it can only enhance my performance in Banyana colours. I have set myself on working harder as a player, to serve as an inspiration for the up-and-coming players within the team.
“We have been playing well since the Sasol League season started – having played four games – losing two, drawing one and winning the other,“ said van Wyk.
Van Wyk has been involved as a player/coach for the club, giving input on what needs to be done during the teams’ training sessions. “I have several coaches who have been helping me in the club that include Lisa McAuliffe, a former player in the Irish Women’s League,” explains Van Wyk.
Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza believes the robust Banyana defender has done well for herself as a player and continues to help on the development front of younger players. Mkhonza hopes that this will encourage other former players to plough back into the development of women’s football in the country.
“I am very happy that Janine has taken this great step. While she is still an active player, she is also looking at giving younger players opportunities to grow,” said Mkhonza.
“Coming from Super Falcons, a team that had star players, I don’t think playing for her new club will affect her performance as a national team player. She is a natural winner and will continue working harder and at the same time guide and develop future stars.
“I have seen the team myself; it is growing, and has huge potential!” added Mkhonza.