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Williams says he’s up for Afcon challenge

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“I’d like to be Bafana’s No 1. I haven’t taken my opportunities at Bafana, but now I feel good. I’m in a good frame of mind.”

Picture: Muzi Ntombela BackpagePix

With Stuart Baxter set to announce his Bafana Bafana squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations this afternoon, newly-crowned Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season, Ronwen Williams, is adamant that he’s worthy of donning the No 1 jersey in the continental showpiece.

However, that’s easier said than done. Rewind to 2014 where he conceded five goals in Bafana’s defeat to Brazil – the SuperSport United goalkeeper has since endured unending criticism from local supporters. But with national team’s No 1 Itumeleng Khune ruled out of the Afcon tournament and Darren Keet having missed a couple of matches late in the season, Williams will have no choice but to come to the fore, right?

He has, after all, played all his team’s 37 matches this season.

“I am looking forward to the squad announcement, hopefully when they make the announcement, I’ll be there,” Williams said. “I am feeling good and this was the first season in a long time that I played every minute. I had hoped for two things at the beginning of the season – to play all matches and win the goalkeeper of the season. This will be a booster for me going to Afcon.

However, Williams acknowledges that he hasn’t been at his best for Bafana.

“I’d like to be Bafana’s No 1. I haven’t taken my opportunities at Bafana, but now I feel good. I’m in a good frame of mind,” he said.

Williams kept 14 clean sheets as Matsatsantsa a Pitori finished sixth in the league and lost to Cape Town City in the MTN8 final. Deservingly, on Sunday night at the Durban International Convention Centre the 27-year-old shot-stopper walked away with the Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season award. He beat Africa’s and Mamelodi Sundowns’ No 1, Denis Onyango, and Cape Town City’s flying Dutchman Peter Leuweenburgh to the prestigious crown.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t describe it, it’s out of this world. I’m proud of myself, I was nominated in my first two seasons, but I never gave up (after the snubs that followed). It’s been many years, but the never-say-die attitude remained,” Williams said.