Why SA goalkeepers don't go overseas

Posted: 17 April 2018 Time: 10:00

South Africa has some of the most talented goalkeepers, but they don’t get to make moves to Europe.

Back in the day, Bafana had goalkeepers such as Andre Arendse, Emile Baron, Hans Vonk, Rowen Fernandez, Darren Keet and Sean Roberts playing abroad. These days, however, the shot-stopping talent stays at home.

Arendse, now a goalkeeper coach at SuperSport United, has explained why he feels South African keepers do not get signed overseas. It must be mentioned that it’s not just a South African problem – there are hardly any African goalkeepers playing regularly in top European leagues.

“When you look down the years, the goalkeeping position has always been one of the settled positions in terms of the national team,” Arendse tells


“When I did that, it improved my game a lot. It gave me a much better understanding of the game, from a goalkeeping perspective. That’s why I would encourage our goalkeepers to go abroad.

“Our development is not where it must be and that’s a big problem for us. If I have anything to do with that, in the future we will see local young goalkeepers going abroad. I am working with young goalkeepers and that’s what I want to see happen. I have some wonderful talent coming through. But it’s just a shame that where we are now we don’t have goalkeepers going abroad and we have to fix it.”

Most European clubs prefer to have goalkeepers from their continent, making it difficult for African shot-stoppers to make their mark in that part of the world. The likes of Vicent Enyeama (pictured, left), Idriss Kameni and Tony Sylva are among the few Africans that made a mark in Europe.

“It’s the one position on the field where there’s so many out there. So when clubs look for goalkeepers, they look for what they got.

“These goalkeepers [in Europe] come through all the time and it’s because of the development system and that’s what’s holding African goalkeepers back. In they will look to the ones they develop because they know what they are capable of and they do not know what the others are capable of. So an African goalkeeper has to be exceptional in the modern game to make it in the European leagues.”

Article by: Tshepang Mailwane

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