Fernandez empathises with Bucs keepers

Pirates have four reputable first-choice goalkeepers on their books, making for plenty debate as to who should get the nod for the sole position between the sticks.

READ: Micho not sounding Bucs alarm bells

Many have welcomed the arrival of Brilliant Khuzwayo from Kaizer Chiefs, believing he could walk straight into the team after Wayne Sandilands, Jackson Mabokgwane and Siyabonga Mpontshane all had opportunities to prove themselves last season.

However, Fernandez believes this sort of competition could be detrimental to the department, due to the harsh judgement of mistakes as in Sandilands’ recent case.

“As a goalkeeper it’s difficult because now you’re all fighting for one place to play between four guys, who can all play as number one's anywhere in the league,” Fernandez tells KickOff.com.

“What you get is one happy keeper, one not-so-happy keeper because he’s on the bench, and two unhappy keepers because they’re not involved.

“It’s not the ideal situation, and it’s a selection headache of note for the coaches because they’ve got to choose the best one for the team.

“As a goalkeeper, it’s hard to keep yourself motivated when you know you’re fighting this battle and unfortunately, like with Wayne, you make one mistake then you’re sacrificed in a sense. But in totality his game [against Highlands Park] wasn’t bad, barring that one mistake.

“Unfortunately for keepers, you make one mistake … Strikers can miss 10 chances – it’s fine, but a goalkeeper makes one mistake and it’s game over.”

READ: Mpontshane rasing his hand for No1 spot

The former Bafana Bafana shot-stopper, who served as Bucs goalkeeper mentor for two seasons prior to Milutin Sredojevic’s arrival, also feels Mpontshane deserves to retain his place based on recent showings, and backs Sandilands to take his chop on the chin.

“Siya is very persistent, he’s not your flashy type but he does get the job done. I like him, he’s a good, honest hard worker and I was there with him before,” he adds.

“It was a good two years I spent with him and I really enjoyed it. We worked really well together and he’s a good keeper who just needs more game-time. He’s playing right now so I would say don’t change things, let him play.

“With Wayne, it’s unfortunate that he made such a costly mistake but good keepers make mistakes too. I’m sure the coaches would’ve been speaking to him about it, so it wouldn’t have been a surprise for him that he was taken out.

“And, though it’s difficult for him, he’s a good character and he’s got a strong head on his shoulders. He should take this on the chin, work hard and fight to get his place back in training.”

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