JVW FC defender Erin Herz is a perfect example of mixing sport and education and staying the course in pursuit of your goals.
Following in the footsteps of several football players who have walked the journey of obtaining education and playing sport at the same time, the 25-year-old Herz is seeing the fruit of her hard work.
Her road to get where she is has not been an easy one.
Herz came through the JVW Schools League, playing for Reddam House Bedfordview, and was identified to join the club in 2013 through the JVW Stars team (A team of the top 20 players playing in the School League), making her one of the longest serving members of the Blue Diamonds team.
The defender was part of the squad that lost in the final of the SASOL National Championships in 2016 after they lost 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies.
But never one to give up, Herz stuck around and helped the team book their place in the Hollywoodbets Super League in 2019, after being crowned Sasol League National Champions.
She has become an integral part of the JVW FC setup and has helped the team get to second position on the Hollywoodbets Super League, sitting just one point behind log leaders and reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.
To top it all, Herz has just earned her maiden Banyana Banyana call-up and is part of the squad in Gqeberha which will feature in the 2022 Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s Championship under coach Simphiwe Dludlu.
“I am over the moon and words can’t describe how I feel for having been selected. Watching Banyana Banyana tackle and win the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations left me with a great sense of pride and I vowed to work hard to one day be part of the set-up. I didn’t expect the call-up to come so soon, but I am super excited, and I will give my best if given a chance,” said an elated Herz from the Banyana Banyana camp.
Herz was selected in the starting XI in the opening match at the COSAFA Women’s Championship against Angola where the team won 3 – 0.
Thanks to football, she is on a bursary and currently studying at Wits University, where she also plays for the institution’s Varsity Cup team.
“Erin is a great testament of how well the JVW Girls Schools League is functioning. For her to move from that level to the south African Senior Women’s National Team is a great success story for the school. Her journey is a clear indication that there is a big need for school sports development, which talks to the importance of having players involved in the game at school level,” said JVW administrator Lauren Duncan.
“As JVW Schools Football is celebrating 10 years of existence, we can’t help but marvel at the success unfolding in front of our eyes, bearing in mind that there have also been several players who have come through the school’s league system into the JVW football club development structure. This further confirms that you can still get education and have a career in football.”
NB: The JVW Girls Schools League is one of the biggest mass participation leagues for girls football in South Africa. The league pioneered in 2021 with 12 hopeful teams entering the league in the Ekurhuleni region. The league was split into U15 and Open age groups.
Fast forward a couple of years and the size of the league has more than trebled. The league currently hosts over 160 teams across the Gauteng Province, split into U15, U17 and Open age groups with approximately 3200 girls actively participating at school level.
The overall winner of the JVW Schools is crowned through a play-off weekend where all the top schools from their respective streams battle it out in a two-day play-off. As a cherry on top, the JVW Girls School League has seen aspiring players scouted to National Teams across all levels and continues to be on the forefront of Women’s Football Development.
The JVW Girls School League has created many opportunities for players and continues to be the platform for players to be scouted into club structures to further their football careers.
For more information on the JVW Girls School Development League, kindly visit https://www.jvw5.co.za