Why Bafana goalie Darren Keet got the nod ahead of Ronwen Williams

21 April 2019 - 13:34 By Sazi Hadebe
Darren Keet of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Bidvest Wits and Highlands Park at the Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 26 October 2018.
Darren Keet of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Bidvest Wits and Highlands Park at the Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 26 October 2018.
Image: ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Darren Keet’s solid technique and his commanding character in the area are some of the attributes that won him a place in the Bafana Bafana starting line-up against Libya in Tunisia last month‚ says national team coach Stuart Baxter.

Keet earned high praise after producing one of his best performances in a national team jersey in Bafana’s final qualification match for the African Nations Cup last month.

Baxter explained why he started with Keet ahead of SuperSport United’s Ronwen Williams in the Libya match.

“I said to you guys (media) before we went there (in Tunisia) that Darren and Ron (Williams) were so close‚” said Baxter.

“I said it would be based (selection) on who is better on the camp. Ron is probably more‚ and I don’t want to be disrespectful to Darren‚ talented goalkeeper.

“Ron will give you that unbelievable save‚ whereas Darren is much more solid in his goalkeeping.

“We put together a game plan and we said the North Africans like their frank play.

“They are dangerous from the flanks and they usually have a big man in the middle‚ sometimes two.

“They hurt us a little bit in Durban (in the first leg) with that sort of cutting inside and cross in.

“We knew that we had to stop that. So that was one‚ and defending in the box on crosses and holding the box was also important for us.

“We look at which was the keeper that can use that space to come to help us out and Darren was good. And Ron also picked up a bit of a knock and so that made it clear.

“The picture that Darren had had in training‚ he got in the game because we did exactly what we said we set out to do. So I think Darren in terms of shot stopping‚ I think he had two good saves.

“Everything else was his handling‚ his confidence and he came for a couple in the first half and dealt with them. A lesser character would have then stayed on his line but he didn’t‚ he kept coming.

“That for me was the strength of Darren Keet. The shots he saved‚ I think the one that was close was a great save and the rest I expected him to deal with.

“But I think it was the consistency and I think that was the important part.

“I would congratulate him on the fantastic performance but the main thing was his character together with his solid technique (which won him the place).”

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