Patience is a virtue, they say… And now, after moving up the ranks to take on the role as his team’s number one goalkeeper in Belgium, Darren Keet is reaping the rewards.
Check out Keet in action in the gallery above!
The 30-year-old Bafana Bafana man made the decision to move on from Bidvest Wits at the end of last season to return to Europe as a step forward to progress his career, signing for ambitious OH Leuven in the Belgian Proximus League as they aim to secure promotion into the top-flight.
‘Popeye’ had to wait a few months for his league debut though as the head coach stuck with first-choice stopper, Laurent Henkinet, but – after biding his time, he broke into the side in late 2019, and has now seemingly positioned himself at the top of the pecking order.
Now, with eight appearances under his belt in Leuven colours, Keet is eager to keep his place as Vincent Euvrard’s number one, but insists that he knew it wasn’t going to be easy for him to break into the side in the first place.
Speaking to the Siya crew from Belgium, the former Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season said, “Well I knew the situation when I signed… I arrived three days before the first game, and had to get the work permit sorted out, so I knew I would have to bide my time until I got my opportunity.
“So it was expected, but I also never made a move thinking I would automatically be first choice. I always need to work hard and show that I’m ready to play, just like I did at both my stints at Wits as well as my first transfer to Belgium. This move was no different.”
Now though, with OHL having already won the first tournament to book their spot in the promotion play-off, they’re looking to win tournament two and get the job done without facing off against another team.
After winning two games on the bounce this month, Keet’s side marched to the top of the table for the closing tournament, and the shot-stopper is hopeful of straight promotion, saying, “We definitely got some lucky breaks with results going our way, so our push for direct promotion is definitely in our hands now. So we are feeling good about it, because we definitely have a team capable of getting us that promotion.”
Next up for OHL is a clash with Percy Tau’s former side, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, but it is unlikely that Keet will feature given that it is a game that was postponed from the first round and is effectively a dead rubber.
Follow Joe on Twitter: @YesWeCrann