I have not retired, says dropped Banyana captain

Long serving Banyana Banyana defender Janine van Wyk has moved quickly to dismiss rumours that she has retired from the national team.

This comes after she withdrew from South Africa’s preliminary 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad of 36, which will be trimmed down to 23 closer to the start of the tournament.

“I have sustained an injury that I personally feel would impact my chances of performing at the highest level that is required to make the World Cup squad. I have to turn down the call-up with a heavy heart, but also knowing that I am doing what is best for the team,” Van Wyk told www.safa.net after the squad was announced.

Speaking from Europe, where she is on holiday after parting ways with her Greek club, Ergotelis WFC, Van Wyk says it was important to weigh her options.

“Definitely a hard pill to swallow after making an extremely tough decision to withdraw from the preliminary squad. As a long serving member and leader of the national team, it’s important to have the best and strongest squad representing the country at the World Cup,” she wrote on her twitter page.

Post the World Cup, she is expected to run out for JVW in the Hollywoodbets Super League – a team she led to promotion into the South African elite women’s football in 2019.

The Blue Diamond is currently fourth on the table with 33 points, nine behind log leaders, the University of the Western Cape (UWC), after 16 rounds of matches.

Sundowns Ladies are second on 41, followed in third place by TS Galaxy Queen on 37.

The experienced player, who was once on the books of overseas-based clubs Houston Dash (USA), Fortuna Hjorring (Denmark) and Glasgow City (Scotland), needs just two matches to become the most capped player – male or female – on the continent.

She is currently sitting on 183 appearances for country, and still has her eyes set on breaking that record.

“Many believe that I have hung my boots and retired, but those that know me would know that I don’t easily give up on achieving my goals. There still one last thing I am out of accomplish before I move on, to break records,” she said.

Van Wyk has wished the team well as they embark on a very tough assignment. – Centrecircle.online.

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