Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk has started her new life in the United States with a bang.
She played her first match for her new club, Houston Dash, on Saturday, 15 April as they opened the 2017 season with a victory.
Van Wyk has been in the USA for just over a month and was hard at work during the pre-season training.
The defender got her first taste of American football when they defeated Chicago Red Stars 1-0.
She says it was the realization of her dream.
“Playing my first game for my new club was the realization of a dream come true. I am glad everything went well for me, I was quite nervous but ready at the same time just before kick off because I knew I had to put up a good performance to show my worth, but also to give myself a good start for the season ahead,” said Van Wyk.
“I knew that I would start because the whole week at training I was being used as a starting player so I could prepare myself mentally for the game. I was very excited to know the coach also has trust in me. Now I am looking forward to all the upcoming games, I am just glad that the first one is out of the way.”
The former JVW FC player in the Sasol League was also made happier by winning her first game.
“I was so excited. The moment Rachel Daly scored that beauty of a goal in the last few minutes of the game gave me goose bumps and I knew it would lead us to victory. I couldn’t contain my excitement and the entire team was just too happy with the victory in our first game of the season. For me it was an extra special one because you always want to start every project on a positive note, now I am hoping this Saturday will be the same story too,” added Van Wyk.
She is also excited that even though she is living her dream, she is an inspiration to many other South African players who still have ambitions of playing abroad.
“Of course, I definitely feel that I am an inspiration and therefore it gives me another reason to keep working hard and stand out because although it hasn’t been an easy journey for me, I still managed to reach my dream. This can only mean that you should never give up on your dreams – some day it will become a reality,” said Van Wyk.
Houston Dash will face San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, April 22.
Kickoff is at 15h00 local time (22h00 SA Time).