Banyana Banyana captain Amanda Dlamini has resigned as the captain of the senior women’s national team with immediate effect and will be replaced by Janine van Wyk on an interim basis until a permanent replacement has been identified by the team’s technical team.
Dlamini, who is a student at the University of Johannesburg where she is currently completing her third year of study in Transport Management sighted her need to fully commit on her studies in her crucial academic year of study while also concentrate on improving her game without the huge responsibilities that come with leading the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana team among the reasons behind relinquishing the captain’s armband.
“It has truly been an amazing journey leading the team for the past three years and my position as captain has opened a lot of doors for me while on the field of play, I led Banyana Banyana during one of our most successful era which saw us make history and qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. I wish the next captain all the best in leading such an amazing bunch of talented and committed girls,” said the dreadlocked midfielder, who also plies her trade for the University of Johannesburg Ladies FC in the Sasol League.
“As a senior member of the team I will continue to give my support and guidance where it is needed. I’m grateful to SAFA and Sasol for their continued support for women’s football and for affording me the opportunity to lead our national team,” she added.
Dlamini has made 60 appearances for Banyana Banyana and has scored 19 goals during that time while she was the captain of the high-riding Banyana side since 2010.
Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza said: “When we first heard the news from Amanda we were all quite shocked and disappointed but we fully accept her decision and have supported her during this time. She has made a name for herself during the time she led the team, she showed good leadership qualities and saw the team through many successes which include participating in the Olympics and playing in the final of the African Women’s Championship in Equatorial Guinea last year.”
Janine van Wyk, who takes over captaincy of the side during the team’s participation at the Cyprus Women’s Cup until a permanent replacement has been identified, is currently the most capped player in the squad and the coach and his technical team have full confidence in her to carry out the duties as the leader of the team.
Banyana Banyana are currently in Cyprus for the Cyprus Women’s Cup which will take place from Wednesday, 6th March until Thursday, 14th March 2013.
The Sasol-sponsored team are in Group C alongside Korea Republic, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Meanwhile,Banyana Banyana hold New Zealand ahead of Cyprus Women's Cup opener
Banyana Banyana shook off their rustiness with a commendable 2-2 draw against the highly-rated New Zealand Women’s National team in a friendly match played at the Larnaca Sports Ground in Cyprus last night ahead of the start of the annual Cyprus Women’s Cup.
The Sasol-sponsored team, who last played a competitive match against Botswana in December 2012, fought back from an early goal down against the towering Black Caps ladies to equalise through winger Mary Ntsweng with the impressive Jermaine Seoposenwe netting the second goal on a rebound after the New Zealand goalkeeper had saved Janine van Wyk’s fierce shot to give Banyana a deserved lead.
With Banyana heading for a famous win, New Zealand grabbed an equaliser towards the end of the match through an own goal, off the hip of Banyana Banyana defender Nothando Vilakazi to make the final score 2-2.
Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza said of the outing: “We looked shaken and very rusty early on which was understandable as we haven’t played competitively in nearly three months but I was glad to see the girls gain confidence and play to instructions as the match progressed and then go on to hold this good New Zealand side.”
“Having arrived in Cyprus last Tuesday, we’ve quickly managed to familiarise ourselves with the usually chilly conditions we face in the mornings and evenings while the tactical training we have implemented on the girls seems to be progressing nicely thus far. We are grateful to Safa and Sasol for providing us with the opportunity of performing at this level again this year,” Mkhonza added.
Banyana Banyana will only regenerate today (Sunday) and then have a day off before getting back onto the training pitch on Monday and Tuesday for final preparations ahead of the opening match of the tournament against South Korea on Wednesday, 2:30pm.
Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland make the other two teams in Group C alongside the Sasol-sponsored side.