Ronwen Williams ‘ready’ to play overseas

2014-05-28 15:45

Ronwen Williams is eager to wear the Bafana Bafana jersey when the team tackles New Zealand in an international friendly match on Friday.

The 22-year-old told City Press after the team’s training session at the Takapuna Sports Complex today that he hopes to make his second Bafana appearance and wipe away memories of his debut against Brazil.

“I’m hopeful that I will start on Friday as I’m always glad to play for my country,” he enthused. “It is always an honour to represent your country even if you play against an Mvela [National First Division] side.”

Talking about the current camp and trip, he said: “It’s been very nice being with this group of players. The vibe is awesome.”

Looking back at that match against the Seleção, where he conceded five goals, the lanky shot-stopper said: “It was not nice considering the score, but the experience was invaluable. Their way of playing is much different than ours in the PSL [Premier Soccer League].

“In a PSL match, I only get to work at least every 10 minutes, but in that game I was made to work every minute.”

Asked about the differences in South African and Brazilian football, the Port Elizabeth-born Williams said local teams were more defensive, while Brazil’s emphasis was on attack.

“I think most PSL coaches are scared to lose and tend to play up to five defenders. The Brazilian team defends and attacks as a unit,” he said.

Williams started playing football as a striker but converted to the goalkeeping position when he was 12.

He looked sharp as Alex Heredia – the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper coach – took him and his Orlando Pirates counterpart Senzo Meyiwa through their paces.

Many already see the SuperSport United last man of defence as a veteran already, despite his tender age. He has already clocked in three and a half seasons in the PSL. This could be why he feels that he is ready to move overseas.

“I started very young and think I now have the experience and talent to go overseas. Besides playing in the PSL, I have also played in the CAF Confederations Cup. With just a little bit of effort from my side, I think I will make it overseas,” he said confidently.

He concurred with Safa president Danny Jordaan and coach Gordon Igesund that this group of players on the Australasia tour is the future of South African football.

“I agree that this squad is the future Bafana Bafana,” he said. “It is a very good squad with experienced overseas players and a lot of good PSL players. I agree that this is the future team including a number of other players.”

Igesund took the team through an hour-long training session and once more Mamelodi Sundowns defender Thabo Nthethe – who had a knock before the first match against Australia but played in the game – watched from the sidelines.

But it could just be another precautionary measure to save him for Friday’s match after the departure of Eric Mathoho. The Kaizer Chiefs defender had to go home after his cousin died. The team now only has two central defenders – Nthethe and University of Pretoria’s Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi.

» Mseleku is in New Zealand courtesy of Safa

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