After his breakthrough to top-flight football in the 2012/2013 season, Reyaad Pieterse has been playing as a third and second fiddle for the past five-and-a-half years, however since joining Mamelodi Sundowns in the last three months he is now confidence that those misfortunes will change at the Brazilians.
Pieterse spent three-and-a-half years as the deputy to Itumeleng Khune at Kaizer Chiefs, and that was followed by two seasons as Ronwen Williams’ backup at SuperSport United.
“It’s been really good being here and I am enjoying myself as I am learning from the likes of Denis Onyango, Kennedy Mweene, Thela Ngobeni and goalkeeper coach Wendell Robinson,” Pieterse said of his tenure at Chloorkop so far.
“People always wonder why I joined Sundowns but it’s a team with top and experienced goalkeepers and I always want to learn and grow. Obviously I want to become the best and win trophies.”
He already feels at home competing for the No.1 spot with favourite goalie in the PSL, Onyango.
“For me, I think it’s Denis Onyango,” Pieterse answered when asked who the best goalkeeper in the PSL is. “He’s dominant in the air. He’s commanding, and I just like his style of play.”
The 26-year-old goal-minder hit the ground running at Sundowns this season as he made his debut against AmaZulu, filling in for Onyango – who had family commitments - while Mweene deputised for him.
However, it wasn’t the perfect start for Pieterse against Usuthu as he conceded three goals.
He was responsible for the second after fumbling the ball into Jabulani Ncobeni’s path.
Coach Pitso Mosimane didn’t punish the newbie for his errors though, and instead gave him a successive run against Golden Arrows, where he kept a clean sheet.
“I didn’t have the greatest debut against AmaZulu but the coach backed and believed me to give me the game against Arrows. That said a lot about the coach and the team, that they are willing to give you a chance to redeem yourself and show your potentials,” Pieterse admitted.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve jumped the pecking order because we (as goalkeepers) know what to do and at the end of the day if the coach and technical team believes in you (then you’ll play).”
After missing out onthe season’s first cup competition – the MTN8 – the Brazilians have a chance to redeem themselves with the Telkom Knockout where they’ll face Baroka away at Peter Mokaba Stadium this afternoon (3:30pm).
Pieterse is likely to start ahead of Onyango as the latter didn’t train in their final preparations on Thursday.