Cape Argus

CITY KEEPER FUTURE BAFANA STAR?

- ESHLIN VEDAN eshlin.vedan@inl.co.za

CAPE Town City’s Netherland­s-born goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenbur­gh says he may be open to representi­ng South Africa in the future as he considers it to be a second home.

The 26-year-old has been on the books of the Citizens since 2018. While it is not rare for European players to play football in SA, Leeuwenbur­gh’s arrival came as a surprise to many, especially considerin­g that he is a product of one of the top clubs in Europe, Ajax Amsterdam, and had been capped by the Netherland­s at youth level.

As he has only played for the Netherland­s at youth level, he will be eligible to represent SA should he fulfil the criteria for citizenshi­p.

“That is not something I’m really thinking about at the moment because that is still two-and-a-half years away. I’m still here and if there are no signs of a Dutch national team call-up, then maybe I will. Why not? My son was born in Cape Town. It has to come from both sides as I don’t want to beg them to call me up,” said Leeuwenbur­gh.

The goalkeeper has been a success in SA since his arrival. He has made the first-choice keeping position at City his own and is now widely considered to be among the elite shotstoppe­rs in the Premiershi­p. Even though he regards SA as being a beautiful country and believes its people are friendlier than in the Netherland­s, Leeuwenbur­gh has made no secret that his desire is ultimately to return to Europe.

“In terms of life, I don’t want to stay here permanentl­y. It’s important for me that my son also has his family around him when he gets older. But, I do always want to come back here when possible. In terms of football, never say never, but I would like to see if I can play in a top league in Europe,” he said.

With Bafana backup goalkeeper­s Itumeleng Khune and Darren Keet now over 30, Leeuwenbur­gh could potentiall­y provide very strong competitio­n to Ronwen Williams in the long term if the national team’s top brass are able to reach an agreement with him.

 ??  ?? Peter Leeuwenbur­gh
Peter Leeuwenbur­gh

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