Who boasts the safest hands in Mzansi?

Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs has possibly played his last season for the Amakhosi. | BackpagePix

Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs has possibly played his last season for the Amakhosi. | BackpagePix

Published Jun 11, 2024


The PSL season is a wrap but there is still much to talk about, including who was the best goalkeeper. Here, Mihlali Baleka, Smiso Msomi and Herman Gibbs debate who was the best between the sticks.

Ronwen Williams of Mamelodi Sundowns is undoubtedly one of the season’s best performers. | . BackpagePix

Ronwen Williams is not only the Goalkeeper of the Season, but the player too, Smiso Msomi believes, writing: Ronwen Williams is indeed head and shoulders above his peers in the top flight by far!

Not only does he bring stability to the Mamelodi Sundowns defence, but he has a calm demeanour as well.

Williams is good with his feet and allows the team to play, while he adds a strong support base to whomever is in front of him with coach Rulani Mokwena chopping and changing his defence due to a hectic schedule.

Mokwena has so much faith in the 32-year-old that he’s one of the players he gives instructions to during the game for the betterment of the team.

Williams is set to be crowned the PSL goalkeeper and footballer of the season in the virtual awards this month and he’ll be the first goalkeeper to achieve that since Itumeleng Khune in 2013.

Those recognitions should mean a lot to Williams as it will mean that he’ll finally step out of the shadow of a player who was always regarded as the best goalkeeper to play for Bafana Bafana.

Stanley Nwabali of Chippa United had an exceptional Afcon for Nigeria. | BackpagePix

That might be true, Smiso, but Herman Gibbs writes we should also give props to a Chilli Boy, Stanley Nwabali: The Chippa United goalmouth custodian is arguably the most underrated keeper in local football. Even though supported by an average defence, Nwabali has managed several clean sheets for the Chilli Boys.

As a result, word reached Nigeria that Nwabali would be a sound choice for Nigeria’s Afcon squad, and former Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro flew out to SA to monitor him. At that tournament, Nwabali was Nigeria’s first choice – an inspired decision.

He was named Player of the Match in the semi-final against SA, after he saved two penalties in a 4–2 victory on penalties following a 1-1 draw. Since then, Nwabali’s profile has ballooned, and he has made it onto the shopping lists of several leading clubs. However, speculation is rife that the shot stopper will end up at Orlando Pirates, although he is also a Kaizer Chiefs target.

Sipho Chaine of Orlando Pirates picked up two titles, winning the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup with the club. | BackpagePix

Thanks for some variety, Mr Gibbs, but there is no doubt that Williams is by far head and shoulders above his peers in top-flight football, opines Mihlali Baleka.

The Sundowns keeper will scoop up the goalkeeper and footballer of the season honours at the PSL awards this month, and rightfully so.

This feat will validate how far he has come in terms of getting out of Itumeleng Khune’s shadow, who was regarded as the best goalkeeper to ever don the Bafana Bafana jersey.

Kudos needs to also go to Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Sipho Chaine for the stellar season he’s had – guiding his side to the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup and a second-place finish in the DStv Premiership.

Chaine has been so good for the Sea Robbers that not only has he saved the team from the jaws of defeat, but he’s proven to be a ball-playing goalkeeper, too. The 27-year-old, just like Williams, can start play from the back, allowing the team to move as a unit going forward – a feat that was commended by Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena.

Chaine is set to have a tougher campaign next season given the departure of Siyabonga Mpontshane and Richard Ofori. A good outing then could see him topple Williams.