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How Ronwen Williams’ help got Maswanganyi PSL contract after 4 rejections

Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Ronwen Williams helped Orlando Pirates’ playmaker Patrick Maswanganyi get his first PSL contract after four rejections. 

Interestingly, the two will finally play together in the South African national team after the man nicknamed ‘Tito’ was called up to the FIFA Series International Friendlies Bafana Bafana squad.

Bafana will face Andorra and Algeria in the North African country on 21 March and 26 March respectively.

The 25-year-old Maswanganyi was developed at Farouk Khan’s Stars of Africa Academy. He spent five years at the club after arriving as a teenager at the renowned academy.

At the age of 21, the Tembisa-born star moved to Portugal where he played for third-tier outfit Oliveirense before switching to Academia’s Under 23 side in 2020.

However, when South Africa was preparing for the 2021 Olympics, ‘Tito’ was so sure playing in the domestic league would give him a shot at going to Tokyo.

Popular commentator Arnold Rankoko, who facilitated his move to Khan’s academy, reveals how tough it was for the talented playmaker to get a team locally. 

The two come from the same neighbourhood in Tembisa and have maintained contact over the years. In fact, the Pirates star has previously referred to him as his father during an interview.

He reveals that the self-effacing football star spent close to a year at SuperSport before they signed him.


“Kaitano Tembo was there, Andre Arendse was there. When Gavin Hunt came, that’s when they signed him,” Rankoko explains to FARPost

He goes on to reveal that he was then offered to one of the biggest teams in the country, but was still rejected. 

“At one stage he also started doubting himself because of the rejections. When he came back we took him to Cape Town City and he spent two weeks with them. They didn’t see anything, we took him to Swallows, and Brandon Truter never saw anything.

“We took him to SuperSport and he spent a year without playing. Every day he never absconded from training. He went there for training without fail.”

How Ronwen Williams helped Patrick Maswanganyi get PSL contract after four rejections
Patrick Maswanganyi in action in Orlando Pirates colours.

His arrival at Matsatsantsa was before Teboho Mokoena, Sipho Mbule and Ronwen Williams moved to Sundowns.

“You know who pleaded with Stan Matthews? It was Ronwen Williams, he begged Stan to sign him.

“Ronwen could see he wasn’t just an ordinary player. At SuperSport they weren’t sure about him.”

The Bafana Bafana captain confirmed when asked whether he recommended Maswanganyi.  

“He was exceptional but the challenge he had was that he was a trialist. When you’re on a trial sometimes no one looks at you,” Williams told FARPost recently. 

SuperSport eventually signed Maswanganyi ahead of the 2022/23 DStv Premiership season. Fascinatingly, Williams was heading out of the club after 18 years with the Tshwane side.

Williams signed for the Tshwane side at the age of 12 after being scouted in a youth tournament in 2004. He moved from his home in Gqeberha into the club’s youth academy where he worked his way through the ranks and into the first team.

His debut came in 2012 and he went on to make over 350 league and cup matches. He boasts seven winner’s medals with the club which included three Nedbank Cups, two MTN 8 trophies, and one Telkom Knock-Out trophy during his lengthy stay at the club.

It explains the influence he had at his boyhood club. 


The Bucs attacking midfielder made 23 appearances for SuperSport after penning a deal with the club. However, he didn’t have the same impact he is having at the Soweto giants. This season he has featured 28 times for the Buccaneers, scoring five goals and providing seven assists. 

Rankoko explains the reason Maswanganyi has “fit in like a glove” at the Buccaneers. 

“Pirates are playing his type of football and everything that he’s doing is coming naturally. He has fitted like a glove at Pirates. He’s a type of player who when the chips are down will come through for the team,” he added.

RELATED STORY: Riveiro explains the profiling of Patrick Maswanganyi from SuperSport

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