Banyana Banyana captain Van Wyk signs for European club

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Colleta Dewa

Johannesburg - South Africa national women football team Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk has signed for Danish side Fortuna Hjorring, who are playing in the preliminary rounds of the Uefa Women’s Champions League this season.

Van Wyk signed a deal with the club this week, but will continue rehabilitation from a knee injury picked up in the recent Cosafa Women’s Championship before heading to Denmark.

The move was announced by her JWV Academy, which is hoping to also create links with the Danish Dana Cup Academy.

“The primary reason for the South African stalwart’s arrival to Hjorring is to be a player, however, the idea is to establish a collaboration with her academy and the Dana Cup. Besides playing on the field, Janine van Wyk and the Dana Cup Academy have built a relationship and look forward to work together in the near future and create benefits for both parties,” JWV said in a statement.

It is another accolade for the history-making skipper after she led Banyana Banyana in their maiden Women's World Cup via a first ever AWCON final.

“I am incredibly excited to join Fortuna Hjorring, a club that has a great development structures and believes in the growth of women’s football. I can’t wait to get started and contribute to being the best I can be for this amazing team,” said an elated Van Wyk.

Fortuna Hjorring has had a good showing in past competitions, their biggest achievement in European football was reaching the 2002 – 03 UEFA Women’s Cup final where they lost 1–7 on aggregate to Umea IK. In the 2016/17 season, they reached their best result since the final in 2003, when they made it to the quarter-finals which they lost on aggregate to Manchester City.

The Hjorring based team is heading into the Round of 32, and have been drawn against Vllaznia on the 11/12 and 25/26 September 2019 in home and away matches respectively.

Van Wyk, the most capped player, male or female on the continent, previously had a two-year stint with Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States.

She joins a number of other Banyana overseas-based players, including Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo (Beijing BG Phoenix, China), Leandra Smeda (Vittsjö, Sweden), Letago Madiba and Rachel Sebati (Minsk, Belarus), Jermaine Seoposenwe and Nothando Vilakazi (Gintra-Universitetas, Lithuania) and Stephanie Malherbe (Djurgården, Sweden) as well as Rhoda Mulaudzi (Apollon Ladies, Cyprus) and Regina Mogolola (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia).

 

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