Janine Van Wyk of South Africa during the Media Day of the South Africa Training on 01 June 2016 at VV OJC Rosmalen Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Janine “The Blonde” Van Wyk

 

The signature spiked blonde hair, hands on hips, drenched in that murky salty sweat and a grin that mimics a principal that’s about to scold primary school kids, those traits are synonymous with one herculine Janine “THE BLONDE” Van Wyk at the end of each game, irrespective whether she plays for club or country.

Captaining banyana banyana, being the most capped player (142 appearances) in South African football history, founding a club (JVW) that campaigns in the Sasol league, reaching the national finals in 2016, with the club being in existence for three years, setting up one of the most successful school league for girls football in the east rand, being nominated for the 2016 Glo-CAF Women’s Player of the Year …these are just a few initiatives and accolades that Janine has achieved in her illustrious career, oh let’s not forget she’s an Olympian.

The long overdue dream move to Houston Dash in the MLS came at much-needed time for her and Banyana Banyana, with the new era under Desiree Ellis, having more players being based abroad on competitive leagues will offer the national team more intuitive international experience lacking in the national setup, one can attest to the maturity of Jermaine Seoposenwe, who has been a revelation since playing for Samford University,  Compared to Jermaine at the age of 23,  Janine at a mature age of 29, the fast paced league will offer one needed challenge for her and that will certainly be beneficial for Banyana Banyana, one things certain she will bring some grit to the league courtesy of Alberton.

Certainly a gain for the MLS, but a definite loss for South African women’s football, she has revolutionise the game from a commercial perspective with JVW being administered and marketed far better than most Premier Soccer League clubs (could name a few, but rather not), she has challenged and pushed boundaries, we have yearned for a women’s professional league and with the JVW set up, she has formulated a blue print to follow in the establishment of the league, let’s not negate the fact the she had a lot of corporate and community assistance through her own initiatives, which is key to her success and that wouldn’t have been possible without her passion and advancement of women’s football.

This should be a challenge to all current female football players to create a legacy for themselves and start professional franchises in their communities just like JVW, not the meaningless so-called off-season tournaments masquerading as foundations.

While Sweden has Lotta Schelin, Japan has Homare Sawa, Brazil has Marta Vieira Da Silva, The germans have Dzsenifer Marozsan, we can proudly say we have Janine “The Blonde” Van Wyk STRAIGHT OUTA ALBERTON, as they say in the south of jozi make them eat CHUNDA Janine.

“The Blonde” our own legend in the making, will certainly add a bit of DASH in Houston..GOOD LUCK!!

SFC.