Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk believes the Fifa Women’s World Cup is the start of a ‘new age’ for women’s football in South Africa.
The South African Women’s national team returned home this week after qualifying for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France.
Banyana achieved this feat after finishing as runners-up in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) in Ghana, following their 4-3 defeat on penalties in the final against Nigeria after playing out to a goalless draw in regulation time.
Their World Cup qualification will mark the first time the team will be participating in the global tournament, alongside Nigeria and Cameroon who will also be representing Africa in France.
The Banyana captain admits that she has been dreaming of this moment her entire career, and will forever be grateful to Sasol and Safa for the opportunity to represent South Africa on a global stage.
‘Qualification for the Fifa Women’s World Cup is a dream come true and something I have been working towards my entire career. I am incredibly proud of the team and humbled by the messages of support and congratulations we have been receiving from South Africa,’ Van Wyk told the media.
‘To return home to such a welcome is something we will remember for the rest of our lives. This is the start of a new age for women’s football in our country, and we as a team are eternally grateful to Sasol and Safa for the support they have shown us.
‘This is just the starting point, we pledge that we will give the campaign towards and during the Fifa Women’s World Cup everything we have.’
Banyana have also been nominated for numerous accolades at the 2018 Caf Awards following their exploits at the Awcon in Ghana. Van Wyk and Thembi Kgatlana have been nominated for African Women’s player of the year, with Desiree Ellis nominated as Coach of the Year, while Banyana Banyana for Team of the Year
Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
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