OFORI STAYING FOCUSED IN THE MIDST OF PRAISE
12 March 2020
Maritzburg United goalkeeper Richard Ofori is just marginally behind SuperSport United’s Ronwen Williams on the list of the most clean sheets kept in the league this season.
Ofori has maintained 10 clean sheets in 22 Absa Premiership appearances, testament to his assured hands, and also to the efforts put in by the entire Team of Choice defence this season. Williams has 11 clean sheets but has played two matches more.
United have conceded only 17 goals in 24 league matches this term. That number is bettered only by Mamelodi Sundowns, with 15 conceded. But Sundowns have only played 20 fixtures.
Asked recently by the media if he is eyeing the Goalkeeper of the Season award, ‘Big Rich’ explained that it’s not his priority – his focus lies first and foremostly with helping the team succeed.
“As a goalkeeper you need to always aim for clean sheets because then possibility of your team winning a game is like 70 percent,” the Ghana international said.
“I always say this league is one of the best for goalkeepers. You’ll see goalkeepers who are either second choice or first choice for his country. That lets everyone in the world know that this league has quality.
“I don’t think about goalkeeper of the season, I just think about the team, doing well in the league.
“Because at the end of the day we are playing for this crest, which is Maritzburg United.
“And before individual awards, the most important thing is that the team is doing well. Anything else will come later. I don’t think about best goalkeeper, I just do my best.”
The 26-year-old Ghana keeper will likely find himself up against Bafana Bafana when the two countries meet in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in June. The Black Stars won their home tie 2-0 in November last year, but Ofori remains respectful of Bafana and foresees a tight game.
“In Africa you can’t predict results,” he said. “Maybe before, but now it’s not like that. You have to just work hard and focus and be positive and try to win. If the game has not been played, you can’t say you’re going to win.
“Bafana are a tough team, a very good side. I know the quality this country has.”