Williams 2-0 Nwabali: Super Eagles no.1 missing from PSL Goalkeeper of the Season nominations

Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali is set to miss out on another prestigious award, as South African goalkeeper Ronwen Williams of Mamelodi Sundowns has been nominated for the Goalkeeper of the Season by the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

Nwabali, who was a strong contender for the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the last Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast, saw the award ultimately go to Williams.

Ronwen Williams 2-0 Stanley Nwabali: Super Eagles no.1 missing from PSL Goalkeeper of the Season nominations
Photo by Icon Sport

As the nominees for the 2023/24 season have been announced, Nwabali, who plays for Chippa United, was not included in the selection for the PSL award.

The three goalkeepers nominated for the DSTV Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season are Badra Sangare of Sekhukhune United, Sage Stephens of Stellenbosch, and Ronwen Williams of Mamelodi Sundowns.

Despite this omission, Nwabali has had an impressive year. Since the turn of the year, he has been a stalwart for both his club and the Nigerian national team.

At Chippa United, he has consistently delivered outstanding performances, demonstrating his reliability and skill between the posts.

His agility, shot-stopping ability, and leadership have been crucial for Chippa United's defensive solidity.

Nwabali's exclusion from the PSL award nominations has surprised many fans and analysts who have closely followed his performances.

His contributions to Chippa United have been significant, often single-handedly keeping his team in contention during challenging matches.

Nwabali's consistent form has made him an indispensable part of his team and a notable presence in the league.

Stanley Nwabali this season for Chippa United

The 27-year-old Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has been immense for Chippa United, helping them secure a 12th place finish in the 16-team DSTV Premiership with 34 points.

Despite the team’s overall struggles, Nwabali's individual performances have stood out, solidifying his reputation as one of the top goalkeepers in the league.

Ronwen Williams 2-0 Stanley Nwabali: Super Eagles no.1 missing from PSL Goalkeeper of the Season nominations
Photo by Icon Sport

In the league, Nwabali featured in 25 games and impressively kept 11 clean sheets, demonstrating his reliability and consistency between the posts.

His shot-stopping ability, command of the penalty area, and leadership have been crucial in maintaining Chippa United’s defensive stability throughout the season.

Nwabali's contributions were not limited to the league alone. He also featured three times in the Nedbank Cup, where he maintained one clean sheet.

His performances in this prestigious knock-out competition further enhanced his growing profile and showcased his ability to perform under pressure.

Internationally, Nwabali has been a key figure for the Super Eagles. He was one of the stand-out players as Nigeria advanced to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast, ultimately losing to the hosts.

Nwabali's role in Nigeria's journey to the final was pivotal; he started in all seven of Nigeria’s games at AFCON, conceding just three goals from open play.

His excellent form in the tournament underscored his shot-stopping prowess and composure in high-stakes matches, earning him widespread acclaim.

Nwabali's path to success has been marked by determination and hard work. Formerly with Enyimba, his move to Chippa United has allowed him to develop and showcase his talents on a larger stage.

His performances have not only boosted his reputation within the South African league but have also cemented his place as a key player for the Nigerian national team.

Despite Chippa United's lower-table finish, Nwabali’s individual accolades and performances have been a bright spot for the club. His 11 clean sheets in 25 league games highlight his impact and importance to the team.

His ability to maintain composure, organize his defense, and make crucial saves has been instrumental in earning valuable points for Chippa United.

Reflections  from Chippa United

Chippa United Technical Director Morgan Mammila revealed he is not disappointed that Nwabali did not make the short-list despite the goalkeeper’s form this season.

“I’m personally not that disappointed for the absence of Nwabali on DStv Premiership Goalkeeper of the season,” he told iDiski Times.

Ronwen Williams 2-0 Stanley Nwabali: Super Eagles no.1 missing from PSL Goalkeeper of the Season nominations

“We’re proud of his 12 clean sheets [in all competitions] in his first season in South Africa and his performances [are] recognised by his country that makes him the number one keeper for Nigeria national team.

“We understand that we see football differently and we move on.”

Despite not being nominated for the award, Nwabali’s stock has risen since his Nigeria showing at the Africa Cup of Nations with clubs from Belgium, Turkey and Saudi Arabia all seeking his services.

It is left to see where he will end up next season.

Williams 2-0 Nwabali: Super Eagles no.1 missing from PSL Goalkeeper of the Season nominations
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

Beyond reporting, Andrew is a pioneer in sports graphics creation within Nigeria. His expertise extends to sports kit design, making him a true multi-faceted talent in the African sports landscape.

Andrew's experience is vast, with collaborations encompassing prestigious names like Kickoff, SuperSport, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation), and the NPFL (Nigeria Professional Football League)