Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands revealed why former Bafana Bafana keeper Moeneeb Josephs was his childhood idol, saying that he is grateful to coach Josef Zinnbauer’s technical team for regular game time.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns net-minder faced severe criticism for his errors in the previous term as he competed for the number one spot with the likes of Siyabonga Mpontshane and Jackson Mabokgwane but says faith kept him going.
On the other hand, the 36-year-old shot-stopper also explains who inspired him to paint his face and why goalkeeper mistakes take longer to be forgotten compared to outfield players.
“In terms of childhood heroes, there’s not anyone in particular that I modelled my game on. I do remember in high school having a poster on my wall of Moeneeb Josephs while he was at Ajax Cape Town,” Sandilands told Sport24.
“He inspired me in terms of this young exciting keeper who is energetic, acrobatic, and very athletic.
“Also, the markings that I wear under my eyes during game-day, I remember watching the 2002 World Cup and the Turkish keeper Rustu Recber, he caught my attention because of the black markings he wore under his eyes.
“But what also attracted me was his aggressiveness, fearlessness, and just his confidence. I just loved the aura that he had on the pitch and that inspired me. So when I made my professional debut I just copied his trademark.”
Having notched 23 appearances, nine clean sheets and conceding 21 goals for the Buccaneers in all competitions this term, Sandilands is grateful to the technical team led by the German mentor as well the goalkeeping department.
“I’m just grateful to get the game time and to be able to contribute to however the team was playing in the recent victories,” he added.
“I remember the end of last season we came really close, we pushed hard to be there in terms of the title, but we came up short. But it was good to be able to just play and to contribute.
"The goalkeeper coaches I’ve had at Pirates have also been amazing. Last season I had Andrew Sparkes who is now the goalkeeper trainer for Southampton in the Premier League and Coach Jyri Nieminen this season.
“They are guys who just connect with you and understand you. They’re more than just trainers and guys who arrive, put you through your paces, shake hands and that’s it.”
Speaking about committing errors that attracted criticism last season, the Johannesburg-born keeper says he doesn’t focus too much on the negatives.
“That’s the reality of the position and obviously, you’re so close to the goal that with any mistake there’s a good chance that a goal can be conceded from it,” continued Sandilands.
“I think it’s something that you understand maybe, it’s not necessarily something that you think of all the time.
"Because if you think about it all the time or feel that weight or pressure, you did you wouldn’t want to step out onto the pitch. You’re not going to want to receive the ball.
“Everybody is human and mistakes will happen at some point and when those things do happen, it’s important to be able to put those kinds of things behind you and to look forward and just continue to play.
“I think for me I would probably have to put it down to my faith that, during those difficult periods, helped put things into perspective.”