The winner of the Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season award will likely come from the men in goal in tonight’s clash between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City at Bidvest Stadium.
Darren Keet and Peter Leeuwenburgh have been head and shoulders above their peers in a season characterised by goalkeeping errors.
The Clever Boys and the Citizens are part of the chasing pack in the league race that’s led by Mamelodi Sundowns.
As the adage goes, strikers win you games and defenders win you championships. They will be the difference between their teams being pretenders and champions.
Keet and Leeuwenburgh have a lot of similarities. Neither are that acrobatic but they’re smart. Their best qualities are their intelligence, positioning and timing.
Their consistency means the players in front of them play with a lot of freedom knowing the man behind them has their back.
Keet has kept nine clean sheets in 21 matches. He has made the No 1 jersey his own at the Clever Boys, playing every minute in the premiership.
The 29-year-old personifies the transformation Wits have undergone in the past decade. He sacrificed Uefa Champions League football in Belgium to return to the Clever Boys, who consistently challenge for the league.
In 2011 he left a Wits team that had flirted with relegation and was just content with surviving.
The team he returned to has grand ambitions of conquering the country. They won the PSL title two seasons ago, with Keet playing a starring role in goal in that campaign.
Wits will need him to repeat that feat if they’re to reclaim the title.
Keet’s contribution at Wits sees them have the second-best defensive record in the country.
Peter Leeuwenburgh, right The Dutch goalkeeper is the Citizens' best signing this season.
He has brought a calming influence at the back. His shot stopping abilities keep City in games where they should easily be buried.
He was in good form against Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday. But despite his performance, he let in three goals in a 3-2 loss, which shows that he can’t do it alone.
City have conceded the most goals among the top four title contenders, which is why the league might be a big stretch for them.
Leeuwenburgh has kept just six clean sheets in 19 matches.
But his contribution at City goes beyond the number of clean sheets he has kept. Since the club’s defence is still in a building phase, he has brought a reliable presence in goal.
The 24-year-old is one of the finest shot stoppers in the Premiership. His saves give City confidence in attack, which is something they do well with their never-say-die attitude and taking the fight to their opponents regardless of who they’re facing.