In a shock announcement this morning via Whatsapp messenger, veteran CTTLFA Premier League goalkeeper player-coach, Barry Petersen has retired from competitive football.

Having featured between the sticks for 10 or more clubs, Petersen made the announcement just two weeks before the CTTLFA promotional leagues are due to conclude and has promised to see out his time coaching the young Durbanville FC side before he begins his new journey.

Petersen started playing at the age of nine-years-old when he joined Northpine United. He would watch his idol, Wayne Morris, from behind the goals in their first team games and that inspired him to remain between the poles for his career. He made his first team debut aged 19 and won his first Premier league title in 1998 under Basil Petersen, and the late duo Neville Londt and Russel Woodman.

Barry went on to play in the Vodacom League (ABC Motsepe League) for Strandfontein, under Deon Smit, Mervyn Natus and Donovan Smit – and Sea Point Swifts where he was coached by Preston Jongbloed and the late Jeff Isaacs. He later played in the Castle League (Regional Third Division) for Chelsea and NSR where he stood in goals for his friend and coach, Arreshaat Daniels, the current FN Rangers Head Coach.

“It’s with a heavy heart I have to announce that after serious thoughts that its time for me to step down the 24 years of my competitive footballing career,” Petersen said in his announcement.

It continued: “I would just like to thank all the coaches who I played for in my development as a player on and off the field and the crits and positive messages from players and friends. I have a vision going forth from here on in but will take some time to develop. Again thank you all”

Petersen has most recently been with Durbanville Football Club, having been brought in by Graham Purdy who left the team earlier this month. In response to his announcement, Purdy said: “Brilliant career Barry congratulations. Really enjoyed our time together.”

The goalkeeper has an incredible array of accolades. He won Sportsman of the Year twice with Northpine and once as Player of the Year. He also picked up a league winner’s medal, a runners up medal and four knockout trophies during his time with Northpine.

At Chelsea, he won Player of the Year before he moved on to sign with Saxon Rovers, FN Rangers, Norway Parks, Bellville City and most recently Durbanville. In 2016, Barry joined the CTTLFA Mancom as the assistant fixtures coordinator and now holds the role of Head of Competitions after collecting an Appreciation Award a couple years ago for his commitment and work to CTTLFA Administration.

Current Hanover Park coach, Anwar Gallant wished Petersen well and said he “had an awesome journey” while current Kensington chairman, Warren Langerman wished the goalkeeper “everything of the best” and stated he had a “great football career to look back on”.

Allan Roman, whose club has been one of the few to have signed Petersen, bid an emotional farewell to the tall shotstopper: “Barry, you are a person who embodies the pinnacle of all the important human aspects. You are original and authentic in the right measures and admired by your peers. Someone whose persona inspired many – you are a legend!”

Vice President of Youth at CTTLFA, Grant Scholtz, was also full of praise: “It was a pleasure and an honor to work with you, I always found your experience and input invaluable from a coaching and management perspective.”

Although there will be many clubs after his signature for social football, it is unclear whether or not Petersen will take up the challenge or stick to his guns and focus on coaching and administration.

Speaking after he broke the news, he said: “I also had a spell as head coach of Northpine United but never saw the season through as results did not go well and the club tried to survive relegation that year. Lessons was learned.

Barry also assisted in mini football and helped the under 11 coach in 2019 reach the Quarter Final of the FC Kapstadt tournament and a few weeks later won the Clyde Pinelands tournament.

“People always asked why I have odd numbers on my back,” he said of a question he gets asked at least once a week.

“Its just my age,” he responded.

Although not confirmed, rumours of a testimonial match being arranged are gaining steam with notable figures from Petersen’s career already claiming to have been invited to participate at a date still to be confirmed.