Banyana Banyana has the perfect opportunity the strength of the women’s game in Rio, writes Banyana Banyana captain JANINE VAN WYK in SoccerClub magazine.
It has been a really busy period for Banyana recently and I am proud of the team for putting up a good fight and qualifying for another African Women’s Championship.
Playing an African team is never easy as they always make it difficult when you play in their country. Botswana gave us a good run in the first leg but, fortunately for us, we managed to score two late goals, which made the job slightly easier for the return fixture at home.
The team’s success coincided with a personal milestone for me, having taken over as the country’s most capped player of all time. It’s truly a huge honour and accomplishment for coming this far.
I am proud of what I have overcome throughout my career. To be honest, I never thought I would be breaking these kinds of records.
The 2016 Olympic draw has been confirmed and we have to face the hosts Brazil in a tough group.
Many people have labelled our group, which includes Sweden and China, as the ‘Group of Death’, but if we had any other team in our group it would still be considered the Group of Death as all teams participating at this event are good. We have to step up our preparations to become stronger and fitter to be able to compete well and make our country proud.
With that in mind, the team’s sole focus at the moment is performing to the best of our ability in Rio. The next few months will be key and we will be playing quite a few international friendlies to get us into shape.
About Janine van Wyk
Janine van Wyk is the current Banyana Banyana captain and is the most capped SA footballer of all time with 130 caps. Her foundation, the JVW Football Development, aims to develop young female footballers and improve all aspects of the women’s game at grassroots level.
Join the conversation:
Web Page: www.jvw5.co.za
Facebook: JVW Girls Football Development
– This article first appeared in issue 69 of SoccerClub magazine.