There’s something magical about the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper’s jersey.
Just some of the names who have donned that jersey include Brian Baloyi, William Shongwe, Botende Eshele, Itumeleng Khune, Gary Bailey and so many other great shot stoppers who have etched their names in the club’s history.
Brandon Petersen knows all about the weight the jersey carries and says proudly that joining those to don the club’s famous keeper jersey is a “huge honour”.
“As a footballer in South Africa, you want to play for one of the big teams. So when I received a call from my agent to say that Kaizer Chiefs is interested, it was a great feeling. It was amazing, it was good to know that I would be part of a brand like Kaizer Chiefs. Coming here as a goalkeeper you know there’s a rich history of goalkeepers. Just being part of that is a huge honour for me. My family and everyone is excited for me, as they always are no matter where I go. For me, it is a huge privilege to be part of this team and I am looking forward to the seasons ahead,” Petersen told www.kaizerchiefs.com.
It took a while for his signing to be made official, but when he was finally introduced to the Chiefs fans on the pitch, it could not have come on a bigger stage than in a Soweto Derby in the Carling Black Label Cup.
Petersen came off the bench to replace Khune in the pre-season cup game to save two penalties and give Chiefs victory in their first salvo of the season in their battles to come against archrivals Orlando Pirates.
The former Bidvest Wits goalminder is very happy to be in the company of other hardworking goalkeepers at the club, such as Khune, Bruce Bvuma and Daniel Akpeyi, and is ready to fight for his position, saying just working with his fellow Chiefs keepers and with keeper coach Lee Baxter is a “different class”.
The unity and strength in depth amongst the goalkeepers is something that has impressed Petersen.
“Having that camaraderie between the goalkeepers and seeing the way they work together and push one another. For me it was an eye opener. It is encouraging me to work hard. We saw in the CAF Champions League, with the changes that Chiefs had with the goalkeepers, they put one in and he performs. That is something that makes me smile,” says Petersen.
He says the strong competition for the keeper spot at Chiefs can only be good for his career.
“Because there is always me pushing someone else and someone pushing me, it will help. In the first training session the guys made me feel at home and for me it has been a blast,” says Petersen.
Having faced the Amakhosi in his time at Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits, Petersen has a good sense of what to expect and is proud to be representing the Gold and Black and the club’s legions of supporters.
“When I was playing at Ajax and we faced Kaizer Chiefs and you see the fans fill the stadium, to me that was evidence of a big club. Now, being part of this big family is really exciting times ahead. I know that at a club like this the supporters are a big part of the brand. I am looking forward to building relationships with the supporters and going out and representing them in a good manner,” says Petersen.