'Darren did well but we mustn't go crazy over one performance‚' says De Sa after Keet's Bafana display
Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Roger de Sa has praised the performance of Darren Keet against Libya on Sunday‚ but cautions that consistency at the highest level will be key to determining the future number one for the national team.
Keet was outstanding as South Africa claimed a 2-1 victory to book a place at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals‚ making a number of excellent saves and looking rock solid under the many high balls that Libya threw into the box.
It was a matter of some debate before the game as to whether Keet or Ronwen Williams would get the nod in the place of the injured Itumeleng Khune‚ who has been the undisputed first-choice for a decade now‚ but has increasingly suffered injury issues and is out for the remainder of this season.
Former Moroka Swallows and Mamelodi Sundowns gloveman De Sa knows Keet well having signed him as a teenager for Bidvest Wits‚ and says his best quality is his consistency in performance.
“He was still at school when I signed him so I had to wait for him to complete his Matric in Cape Town‚ which was why we loaned him to Vasco da Gama‚” De Sa tells TimesLIVE.
“When he finally arrived at us it only took him a couple of months before he made his debut. His move to Belgium developed him a lot as a keeper and a person‚ and he came back with a lot more maturity.
“He has been a valuable part of that club [Wits]‚ you can’t win anything without a good goalkeeper.”
De Sa believes that Keet can give Khune a good run for his money for the Bafana number one jersey‚ especially as the latter is into his 30s and the former is probably just about reaching his prime.
“Itu is out injured for a while and he is getting a bit long in the tooth‚ so that maybe opens the door for the next one‚” De Sa says.
“You don’t know with injuries how long it will take a player to get back to full fitness and their best form‚ especially the older they get. It takes longer.
“Darren is not a flashy keeper‚ but he is very consistent and does the basics very well. He is probably the best in the country under the high ball and commands that penalty box.
“It will be a tough call [when Khune returns]‚ but a lot will depend on the club form‚ you have to take that account.
"Darren is in pole position and he must hold onto that‚ but he has also got other competition.
"Ronwen Williams has done well and is a very good goalkeeper‚ and there are others out there too. It is a good position for the country to be in.”
De Sa cautions that one game should not define a player and that Keet will have to keep his level high to stay in pole position.
“Darren did well‚ but we mustn't go crazy over one performance‚ he must continue ruling the backline and getting better and better.
“International football is different to club football‚ and unfortunately he doesn't play for a club with long runs in the Caf competitions‚ because that would be massive experience for him.”