Van Wyk’s hard work paying off

2016-04-27 06:00
MERVYN VAN WYK, who hails from the Homevale Extension in Kimberley, is a Premier Soccer League (PSL) referee assistant.

MERVYN VAN WYK, who hails from the Homevale Extension in Kimberley, is a Premier Soccer League (PSL) referee assistant.

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WALKING down the streets of the Homevale Extension, Kimberley, one will not easily imagine that the township can produce a Premier Soccer League (PSL) referee assistant like Mervyn van Wyk.

Van Wyk developed a love of football at a young age. He began playing at Brighton FC and later moved to William Pescod’s junior soccer teams.

His big break came when referee instructors Tom Gaborone and Percy Manuel asked local football association teams to send one player each to a refereeing workshop held in Upington in 2009.

Van Wyk was among those chosen to take part.

During the 2008-’09 season Van Wyk officially started his officiating career.

After serving for only two years, he was moved to a national panel. He has not looked back since.

“I got promotion to the national panel in the second round of the 2011-’12 season,” Van Wyk says.

“In February 2012 I officiated my first match. The game was between FC AK and Dynamos at the Mahlareng Stadium in Thembisa.

“I have been on the panel ever since.”

Though his dream is to be one of the best referee assistants in the country, he is also eyeing Africa.

“It’s every linesman’s dream to be promoted to the CAF/Fifa panel, but my main objective for now is to be consistent and work hard at every opportunity I get. The rest will follow.”

Referees are always under pressure from coaches who want to win at all costs, but Van Wyk has proven himself to be able to always stay cool and handle the pressure.

This pint-size linesman recently came under heavy critisim from former referee Andile “Ace” Ncobo during a Nedbank Cup match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Mbombela United.

Van Wyk had flagged Mbombela United to be offside and Sundowns took a quick free kick and went on to score.

. . . my main objective is to be consistent and work hard in every opportunity I get.

– Mervyn van Wyk

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