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SA SOCCER NEWS
Rowen Fernandez Interview 18/11/03
The Tsipa-Tsipa is a dance where you virtually stand still and twitch your buttock muscles as hard and rhythmically as you can.

Rowen Fernandez is known as Tsipa at Kaizer Chiefs and knows all the dance moves, from the Kwasa-kwasa to Mnike.

Sasoccer365.com spoke to the talented goal minder about his dancing talents as well as what the Amakhosi keeper does besides stopping goals.

Hi Rowan, thanks for making time for us.

Hi Shahied, no problem, I'm just on my way to gym now.

Lets start then, where did soccer begin for Spider Fernandez?

My dad took me to the local football club in Benoni at the age of four. I was a striker but I had this tendency to pick up the ball when it came my way. I think my coach then saw my natural ability to be a goalkeeper and I was promptly moved there.(laughing)

And since your discovery as a keeper what's been the highlight of it?

There are many, the Olympics in 2000, the All Africa games in 1999 and most recently the Peace Cup in Korea. It was great getting a chance to play there.

Who are the coaches that have impacted positively on your career?

I'd say Roger De Sa for goal keeping, he is the best in the country when it comes to coaching keepers. Eddie Lewis, Muhsin (Ertugral) and Ted (Dumitru) have also been great in overall coaching for me."

Your girlfriend Sandie tells me it takes you about 41 shots to complete a nine-hole golf course, is this true?

Hahaha, no man. Sandie does not know the rules of the game. I 'd say I have a 14 or 15 handicap. She just plays for fun but is slowly getting into it.

Tell us why you named your dog Dida?

I think the Brazilian and Roma keeper Dida and I have a similar kicking style amongst other similarities I noticed, and I liked the name and decided to call my husky Dida. My favourite keeper though is the great Peter Scheimeckel though, but that name is way too long for a dog.

Cool, and who do you hang out with besides guys from Chiefs and Sandie?

That would be guys like Lee Bennett and South African seam bowler Andre Nel and guys from high school and the old club. We go to local pubs here in Benoni or just hang out at each other's places and have a braai or something.

Sandie tells us you like your chicken but not the way you eat it?

Sandie told you a bit too much (laughing). Yeah I do man, what's better than a quarter chicken meal from Nando's. I do my own cooking also, I can grill prawns and although my chicken's not Nando's it's still good, and Sandie likes it too. She did not tell you that did she?

No she forgot to mention that you are a goal keeping cook, not too many of you around. So Rowen how do you prepare for games?

Well with Chiefs we go into camp the night before a home game and we eat what we are served, usually lots of pasta, my other favourite, and chicken too. There's no special preparation for me, I go about it like any other day. Of course there's more talk about the game on the day when the coach briefs us, but other than that we all take it easy."

And playing against Wits, does that not motivate you even more?

Yes it does actually, I mean we going up against the team where I started my professional career and where I still have good friends. I look forward to facing them in the Coke semi's this weekend."

Well Rowen, that's all we have time for today and lets hope you put in good stops against your former team mates on Saturday.

It's a pleasure Shahied, cheers.

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