South Africa icon Janine van Wyk sets retirement date

Janine van Wyk lined out for Houston Dash in the United States.

Janine van Wyk lined out for Houston Dash in the United States. Credit: "janine-van-wyk-042217" by wosophotos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

South Africa’s captain and all-time record cap-holder Janine van Wyk will hang up her boots after this month’s 2024 Olympic qualifying double-header against DR Congo.

The defender, who has amassed more than 180 caps over an 18-year international career, has struggled with injury in recent years.

Van Wyk, 36, has been without a club since leaving Glasgow City in 2021 but led her country to their first AFCON crown last year.

She also guided Banyana Banyana to their first World Cup in France in 2019 as they finished bottom of a group containing Germany, Spain and China.

But persistent injuries saw the former Houston Dash and Fortuna Hjorring star miss out on participation at this summer’s finals in Australia and New Zealand.

And it was with a heavy heart that Van Wyk announced her decision to draw a close to a remarkable career after hosting the Congolese on October 31st..

She wrote: "This has been by far one of the hardest decisions of my life. This decision has always been one I have wanted to make on my terms. 

“And this is my time to say goodbye to football as a player while I watch the next generation shine.

"It has been my greatest honour and privilege to play this beautiful game, in particular playing for my Country, which has and always will be the greatest gift football has ever offered me.

“To football, you have given me a purpose every single day to live my life to the fullest. I will never forget this incredible journey with you.”