Impermeable will be a good way to describe Dylan Paterson’s abilities as a goalkeeper of the Tuks Varsity Football team. He could be a key player in his side’s 2017 Varsity Football season, proudly brought to you by FNB, Samsung and Debonairs Pizza.
In South African university football the challenge seems to be that if you can outfox Paterson, you will beat Tuks, but it easier said than done. The statistics prove it. During the last three South African Universities tournaments he has only conceded two goals. One was an own goal. So it should be no surprise that he has received the Goalkeeper of the Year Award for the last two consecutive years at the tournament.
Being sort of the “Fort Knox” of student football did not go unnoticed. Paterson has been selected to represent the South African team at the Universities Student Games in Taipei next month. The Tuks coaches must be doing something right because seven of his teammates are also selected.
Tuks lost to TUT in the SA Universities Tournament final in a penalty shootout (5-4). The team’s defensive record for the duration of the tournament was impeccable having scored 15 goals and only conceding one in seven games.
Being the ultimate team player Paterson refuses to take sole credit for the Tuks defensive success.
“The foundation for the Tuks gameplan is to keep our mistakes to an absolute minimum, and I got my role to play to ensure it happens. I suppose it is rewarding when it comes down to you being the last line of defence that I can step up and make the safe for the team.”
According to Paterson, there is nothing more rewarding than executing a match winning save.
He ascribes his success at being able to consistently keep the ball from hitting the back of the net to having a high concentration level for the whole duration of a game.
“Good reaction is also of cardinal importance. When I talk about concentration, it has to do with making my teammates constantly aware of what is going on around them on the field. As a goalkeeper, you have the advantage that you don’t have a blind spot, so you got to be able to organise the defence all the time. That means I can be very vocal at times,” said Paterson who is a final year LLB-student.
The 25-year-old Tuks player credits David Beckham as the player who instilled his love for football and Edwin van der Sar as the goalkeeper who has influenced the way he tries to play.
“What I admired about Van der Sar is that he was a very traditional sort of goalkeeper. There was nothing flamboyant about the way he played. He just made sure that he did the basics right and that is what I am trying to emulate.”
It won’t be wrong to say Paterson is part of the “furniture” at Tuks Football. He made his debut for the under-6 team. At first, he was playing as a striker, but when I got to play for the Tuks under-12 team, the coaches advised him to consider playing goalkeeper as it might be his best position. He never regretted it.
If he passes his end of the year law exams, Paterson hopes to go to England for try-outs at a few clubs.
The other Tuks players in the South African Universities Team are Lindsay Stowman, Robin Swartz, Lawrence Ntswane, Jeremiah Nkwana, Ludumo Nkebe, Phuthego Mabitsela, Khumbulani Siluma.
By Wilhelm de Swardt