Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk will soon depart South Africa to start a new club career with USA club Houston Dash.
The JVW FC in Johannesburg player joins a list of several South African players who are already plying their trade abroad, and this includes goalkeeper Roxanne Barker who is on the books of SC Heerenveen vrouwen in Holland, and the USA-based contingent of Jermaine Seoposenwe, Kaylin Swart, Robin Moodaly, Kelso Peskin and Stephanie Malherbe.
Speaking from the USA where she is also studying, Seoposenwe says Van Wyk’s move augurs well for the national team.
"Such a move just gives you such a diverse experience and pits you against the best female football players in the world so you get to elevate your game and that's great for the national team because it helps the team grow as a unit and you begin to fully understand what it takes to be great. It would be awesome to see more Banyana Banyana players play abroad for the good of the country," said Seoposenwe.
The striker is currently studying Marketing and will be graduating in May 2017. She has also set her sights on finding a club abroad.
And she also has a word of advice to aspiring youngsters.
"Keep working hard, keep the faith and don't play it safe. Make those hard decisions that get you out of your comfort zone and if that means moving across the world then do it. Also never let your circumstances determine your destiny," she added.
Seoposenwe recently reached a milestone 50 caps for Banyana Banyana when they faced France last month in Saint Denis, Reunion Islands. South Africa lost 2-0.
"I have always wanted to get to this point and I knew that if I keep believing in God, worked hard and made proper decisions, I would eventually reach this milestone. I just want to play every game like it’s my last, and know that I gave it my all everytime I stepped onto the field," said Seoposenwe.
She joins an elite list of players like Van Wyk (143), Noko Matlou (133), Nompumelelo Nyandeni (130), Portia Modise (124), Amanda Dlamini (104). Refiloe Jane (74), Nothando Vilakazi (98), Mamello Makhabane (82) who have played a half century of matche for their country.
It has been a long journey for the Cape Town-born player.
"My Banyana Banyana career started after I returned from the Women’s U17 FIFA World Cup that was held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010. The then coach (of Banyana Banyana), Augustine Makalakalane, spoke to me when the Senior Women’s National Team was in camp in Stellenbosch. He said he was going to bring me into the squad, to give me a chance to see if I can make the team for the 2010 African Women's Championships because he watched me play in the World Cup and thought I had something to offer," said the player also known as Neymar.
“My first game was against Zimbabwe at the Sinaba Stadium, and I scored on debut. I also had an assist. It was a preparation clash for the 2010 AWC."
It is one of the encounters that stand out for her in her 50 caps for Banyana Banyana.
"My debut will always be one of the greatest moments for me but I think the most memorable is when I scored the winning goal that saw us qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games that was held in Brazil in August. And one of the highlights would be playing against the US Women's National Team - while studying in the US - and having a lot of my Samford teammates at the game cheering me on, as well as playing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games," she added.
She has also scored some memorable goals in her career so far – with 12 bagged in a Banyana Banyana jersey.
"Besides the goal against Equatorial Guinea to qualify for the Olympics, I will not forget the one I scored on debut against Zimbabwe, and also the two I bagged against England in the u17 National Team," she said.
Seoposenwe has high hopes for Banyana Banyana.
"I would like us being the top team on the African continent and it would be a great achievement if we regularly qualified for the Olympic Games and World Cup tournaments. I would also like us to not only put up great performances against the top ten opponents in the world but also get wins over them," she said.
|Name and Surname:||Jermaine Seoposenwe|
|Date of Birth:||12 October 1993|
|Place of Birth:||Cape Town|
|Honours:||AWCON TEAM 2016, 2016 Southern Conference player of the year, 2013 World Student Games in Russia, 2012 AWC Runners up, 2010 U17 FIFA World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, First South African female player ever to score in a World Cup (2 goals), 2010 SAFA U17 Player of the year|
|Caps:||Banyana (50 caps), u20 (5 caps) and u17 (6 caps)|
|Goals:||Banyana (12), u20 (5) and u17 (4)|
|Banyana debut:||v Zimbabwe in 2010|
|1st international goal:||on debut v Zimbabwe in 2010|
|Current Club:||Samford University, Alabama, U.S.A|
|Previous Club:||The University of Western Cape, Western Province|
|Nickname:||Microphone and Neymar|
|Favourite Player:||Daniel Sturridge and Alexis Sanchez|
|Educational Background:||Currently pursuing a degree in Marketing at Samford University, USA|