Hans Vonk

Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Hans Vonk. Image: X

Where is former Bafana Bafana keeper Hans Vonk now?

Hans Vonk appeared out of nowhere and was first-choice keeper at the 1998 World Cup with Bafana. He earned 47 caps for the national team.

Hans Vonk

Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Hans Vonk. Image: X

Hans Vonk appeared out of the blue and represented Bafana Bafana at the 1998 World Cup in France.

His impressive saves and leadership were praised by some, while others thought Andre Arendse or Brian Baloyi would have done better in goals. Since making his debut for the national team, he earned 47 caps, becoming one of the country’s top keepers of all time.

Hans Vonk was born in Alberton but his family left when he was two years old. The former Ajax Cape Town captain played most of his football in the Netherlands. He even represented the Netherlands U/20 team before switching to South Africa eight years later.

Vonk began his professional career at Dutch side RKC Waalwijk making 25 appearances in three seasons. A year before he was called to Bafana, the Alberton-born keeper joined Dutch giants Heerenveen. He went on to play more than 300 games for the club before joining Ajax Amsterdam in 2004.

Hans Vonk made his Bafana debut just before the 1998 World Cup. Fans were sceptical about him but the former goalkeeper told On The Whistle that Danny Jordaan had his back. In his first World Cup game, Vonk conceded three against France.

“I have a few friends that are not big on football and they thought ‘three goals, two own goals, that was all your fault, Hans, you let in three goals’. I can only do so much if it’s an own goal,” he said.

The Denmark game was the best game I’ve played at that tournament. The nerves were gone after the first game. It was a different ball game, we were 1-0 down, then we equalized.”

Hans Vonk talks about the 1998 World Cup with Bafana

“After the game, the was such a relief in camp, everyone was happy we got a result against a top team in Europe. The criticism was put to bed,” he said.

Bafana were eliminated from the tournament after failing to beat Saudi Arabia.

“That game we were supposed to win. There was chaos in that Saudi Arabian camp. we could have taken advantage,” said Vonk.

The 54-year-old recently moved back to South Africa after spending three years in the Netherlands. Having retired from football in 2011 with Ajax Cape Town, Hans Vonk spent years with the Cape side as goalkeeper coach until 2020.

Vonk no longer involved in football and is back in Cape Town

“I’m living a happy life in Cape Town and as I said, I’m in Woodstock, we bought property here. Basically, I started a new phase in my life where I quit football a year ago,” Hans Vonk said.

“My last job was in Amsterdam with Ajax doing international affairs and partnerships but I was no longer in the role and no longer happy in Holland. So I went back to South Africa where I have a beautiful girlfriend and together we bought property in Woodstock and this is where I am now,” he said.