Expected to step into the breach following the retirement of veteran South African goalkeeper Hans Vonk, Rowen Fernandez's international career has since been hampered by both injuries and inconsistency. Despite his undoubted ability, the 32-year-old custodian faces stiff competition from up-and-coming youngster Itumeleng Khune, who is well-placed to be coach Carlos Alberto Parreira’s first-choice between the sticks at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
The most experienced keeper in the current South African set-up and a first-class shot-stopper, doubts have been raised over Fernandez's ability to deal effectively with crosses. He has also struggled to find playing time with his German side, Arminia Bielefeld. While Khune remains Parreira’s number one choice, Fernandez will be eyeing an opportunity to re-establish himself as number one again although he picked up an injury in February of this year which made his participation at the finals a question mark. Fernandez is a seasoned professional, who played over 100 times for South African clubs Wits University and Kaizer Chiefs before moving to Germany. He made his debut for Bafana Bafana in the summer of 2004 and he’s gone on to appear around two dozen times for his national team. He is known to occasionally attempt penalty kicks in his club career.