DURBAN – Ronwen Williams has been instrumental for SuperSport United in the last few months, especially with his penalty-saving heroics, but life has been difficult for him at the international level.
His poor start to his Bafana Bafana career has not discouraged him in a way and he has vowed to change his fortunes.
Williams saved two penalties to propel his side to the MTN8 title as SuperSport overcame Cape Town City 4-2 on penalties, after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
It was not the first time he has won SuperSport a match on penalties. Williams was also the hero in 2014 when SuperSport lifted the Telkom Knockout against Platinum Stars.
He also saved Eleazar Rodgers’ penalty in extra time to hand his side a 3-2 victory. Williams told Independent Media on Saturday night that he enjoyed facing penalties.
“I don’t practice penalties as much. Honestly speaking – and I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own horn – but I’ve been a penalty specialist since I started playing football.
“I’ve always saved and won a lot of matches on penalties. When I started at the SuperSport Academy, I was saving penalties. I’ve only lost one penalty shoot-out since I graduated to the first team, and that’s the time I kicked, and that’s why I don’t kick anymore.
“Yes man, it is all about belief. I believe in myself and it is all about helping the team.”
He has won all the cup competitions in the Premier Soccer League. Williams possesses three Nedbank Cup medals, MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout, and his next goal is to win the Caf Confederation Cup.
The only missing medals in his collection are the continental titles and the Absa Premiership.
“The league is not far away, but before the league, I want to win the Caf Confederation Cup. We want to write history. We are almost there, we can smell it now. After winning the MTN8, the next step is to win the Confed Cup,” he said.
Williams has made three Bafana appearances and has been on the receiving end in all. One thing he has not done, though, is throwing in the towel on his international career.
“I believe in myself. My family, teammate and friends have been very supportive for me. Coach Stuart Baxter has faith in me. If there wasn’t something special about me, he wouldn’t have called me up all these years.
“I believe I can change my national team career around. I still believe I can play a part, I won’t give up.
“I know I haven’t had the best Bafana career, but I will never give up. As long as the coach believes in me, I will keep going,” Williams elaborated.
The SuperSport goal-minder is facing stiff competition from Itumeleng Khune, though.
“Itu has been amazing for Bafana. I’m proud of him. I learn from him in each and every camp. I’m willing to wait for my opportunity. He is a pillar of strength for the country,” Williams concluded.