Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk is delighted to have been nominated for the 2016 Glo-CAF Women’s Player of the Year Award.
Van Wyk has been an ever-present in the national team set up since she was given the armband in 2013.
She faces stiff competition from Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Arsenal Ladies), Elizabeth Addo (Ghana and Kvarnsvedensik), Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (Cameroon and Rossiyanka) as well as Raissa Fedjio Tchuanyo (Cmaeroon and Aland United).
“It is a very formidable line-up of nominees and I am greatly honoured to be competing against such great players who I have huge respect for. To be nominated alongside them says I am doing something right, and just to be on that list is a great achievement, I can only hope that all goes well and when they read out the name on the night, it will be mine. I guess to be the best you need to compete against the best,” said Van Wyk, shortly after she led her side to a second-place finish in the 2016 Sasol League National Championship in Mosselbaai.
At 29 years old, she has in recent times been nominated for various awards and scooped others.
In 2010 she was chosen as the SAFA Player of the Year, and the following year she was picked as the COSAFA Player of the Year.
Van Wyk was honoured with the Ekurhuleni Sport Women of the Year in 2012, and three years later was named the Gauteng Sports Awards Sports Personality of the Year.
“I am really really excited, I have to thank the people who influenced my career, have contributed to my success and one person in particular is former coach Vera Pauw. She has played a huge role in my success in the past two years that she was in charge of the national team, and I have learned so much from her in such a short space of time on and off the field – they way she motivated me as a player, the way she believed in me, I think I owe that nomination mostly to her,” added Van Wyk.
“But also to the people who have been there for me, through my ups and downs and failures such my family and close friends as well as my teammates, they are the ones that believed in me and always pushed me, and all the coaches that have coached me through my career. So I am really pleased, honoured, priviledged and delighted with the nomination.”
Van Wyk remains the highest capped footballer in South Africa with 142 appearances for the national team.
She represented Banyana Banyana at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, and at various editions of the the CAF African Woman’s Cup of Nations.
She says she is not done yet.
“This nomination has come at the right time in my career, and many ask me if I am going to retire and I say I am only 29 years old, I have reached the peak of my career, but I have never been in such good shape as now. I have learnt so much in my career and I think I still have so much to contribute to my country and the game itself, so yes I am ready to give more, I am motivated and confident that I have so much to offer and I am happy I have got to this stage of my career,” she says.
Also nominated at the CAF Awards is the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana for the Women’s National Team of the Year. They are competing against Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Both South Africa and neigbours Zimbabwe represented the continent at the Rio Olympic Games this year, and also qualified for the recenctly-ended 2016 AWCON.
Banyana finished in fourth place.
South Africa’s other representatives in the awards are Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane for Coach of the Year, while club is nominated for Club of the Year.
Under Mosimane, Sundowns won the 2016 CAF African Champions League and qualified for the FIFA Club World Club Championship currently underway in Japan.
The Brazilians are also dominating the list of nominations for the African Player of the Year Award – based in Africa, with Keagan Dolly, Hlompho Kekana, Khama Billiat and Dennis Onyango (all of Sundowns) competing against Rainford Kalaba of Zambia and plays for TP Mazembe.
The winners will be announced at the Glo-CAF Awards Gala scheduled for Thursday, 5 January 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.
CAF Awards nominations involving South Africa:
Women’s National Team of the Year
Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat OSHOALA (Nigeria & Arsenal Ladies)
Elizabeth Addo (Ghana & Kvarnsvedensik)
Gabrielle ABOUDI ONGUENE (Cameroon & Rossiyinka)
Janine VAN WYK (South Africa & JVW)
Raissa FEUDJIO TCHUANYO (Cameroon & Aland United)
African Player of the Year – based in Africa
Keagan Dolly (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Rainford Kalaba (Zambia and TP Mazembe)
Coach of the Year
Florent IBENGE (DR Congo)
Milutin ‘Micho’ SREDOJEVIC (Uganda)
Pitso MOSIMANE (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Nacer SANDJAK (MO Bejaia)
Florence OMAGBEMI (Nigeria women’s national team)
Club of the Year
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
MO Bejaia (Algeria)
TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
Zesco United (Zambia)