Stanton Weir produced a polished performance in Santos’ Nedbank Cup last 32 match against Marumo Gallants at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, at the weekend.
Santos may have lost the match 2-0 but Weir, who captained Woodlands United to victory in the 2019 Safa Cape Town Coke Cup, was by far the best player on the field. He stopped almost everything that came his way and was duly rewarded with the man of the match award.
Santos, who play in the ABC Motsepe League, was always going to be the under dogs as they were up against a PSL outfit and defending champions, Gallants. However, the 2019 Safa Cape Town goalkeeper of the year was a stumbling block between the sticks.
That performance didn’t really come as a surprise though. The 25-year-old from Heideveld is, after all, an experienced campaigner who has in the past worn the colours of Ajax Cape Town and Milano, among others.
“What always keeps me motivated is my family who always push me to work hard and football is in our blood so they are always supportive and that keeps me going,” he said.
“I’m a local boy from Heideveld, trying to achieve my goal of playing in the top league in South Africa. As a goalkeeper, the coaches in the top league always look for tall goalkeepers, and I think I don’t have much height. That’s what’s keeping me behind not to play on the highest level. But, having said that, there was one coach who always motivated me, saying if you are good enough you are tall enough. Those words got into me and made me work extra hard.”
The former SA junior international described Saturday’s match as a perfect opportunity for him and his teammates to show what they are capable of, at the highest level.
“I particularly had to show the football world that I can play on the highest level in SA football despite the ongoing story of my height,” he said.
“It was a great experience for the team to play in a world cup stadium which we don’t get the opportunity to play in every week. So we had to make the most of it and market ourselves on TV because you will never know who’s watching.”
Weir recently featured for Woodlands United in the Mitchell’s Plain LFA, leading them to Coke Cup victory in 2019 and semi-finals last year.
“I think Mitchell’s Plain on its own has a variety of raw talent and football there is huge, every player wants to achieve what the likes of Slimkat (Moneeb Josephs) and (Abbubaker) Mobara did in their careers. Those are role models and people every youngster looks up to.”