Shortly after Banyana Banyana’s friendly against Sweden in Cape Town recently, Sweden’s women’s national team coach Peter Gerhardsson said, given their speed and technical ability‚ more Banyana Banyana players should be featuring in leagues abroad.
Gerhardsson had overseen his side beat South Africa 3-0 in the international friendly played at the Cape Town Stadium.
Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk who plies her trade in the US for Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League by virtue, being the only women footballer in the country playing in a professional league, also echoed in Gerhardsson ‘s words by demanding to see more Banyana players in professional leagues across the world.
“In my honest opinion, I don’t think I should be the only one playing in a professional league abroad,” she said.
“There’s a couple of players that really showed themselves [against Sweden] and you could see the talent on the field and they also deserve to play professionally.
“they can compete against these players that play professional football their whole lives.
“its just a matter of facts for us to keep playing these international friendlies against such oppositions for them to get scouted too because we don’t get as much recognition as much as the Europeans do to get scouted for professional teams.
“But in my opinion, there’s not much of a gap between myself and the team [Banyana] I am playing with.
“I think they also deserve to be recognised to get contracts overseas.”
Next up for the Sasol-sponsored Banyana is the Cyprus Cup in March. The tournament, where they were drawn in a group with Slovakia, Hungary and Trinidad and Tobago, also forms part of the squad’s preparations for the African Women’s Championship to be played in Ghana in November.