Renald Leaner focuses on Ajax after completing degree

Budding Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper Renald Leaner is now ready to fight for his place in Urban Warriors' starting XI. /Supplied
Budding Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper Renald Leaner is now ready to fight for his place in Urban Warriors' starting XI. /Supplied

After the University of the Western Cape (UWC) conferred a bachelor's degree in education, natural science and mathematics on Renald Leaner last week, budding Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper now aims to make even greater strides in his football career.

Leaner, 22, is yet to make his senior Ajax debut. Now that his schedule is cleared up a bit, the lad from Elsies River in the Mother City has shifted focus to progressing even further in football.

"To be honest, everything I do now [after completing his four-year degree] is all about football. My wish now is to take my football to another level," Leaner told Sowetan.

"I had too many commitments while I was studying, that's why I haven't made my senior debut yet. But I'm positive that now I'll make it because I'm done with my education."

After the cancellation of the graduation ceremony, that was scheduled for last Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic, Leaner and his fellow UWC students received their qualification certificates via emails.

The abandonment of the graduation event left the Urban Warrior a bit disheartened as he had spent money preparing for the special day.

"I am not sad, but disappointed because I was looking forward to the graduation ceremony; I even bought my clothes and shoes a long time ago," Leaner said.

Leaner also explained why he decided to study a course related to maths and science, which are two educational disciplines many fear as difficult.

"The reason why I did maths and science is because I don't like to study and memorise words," stated Leaner, who looks up to Bayern Munich and Germany keeper Manuel Neuer.

"I've always loved challenges, so maths and science are subjects where you get challenged and where you have to work out things on your own and there is not a lot of reading involve."

The promising shot-stopper, who had also been playing for UWC in the Varsity Football, admitted it wasn't easy balancing school and football.

"For me, it was very difficult to study and play football. I had to manage my time perfectly to fit both in.

"Luckily, I made time for both. I was also thinking about my future after football, that's why I studied," Leaner said.

Ajax promoted Leaner two years ago, having joined the GladAfrica Championship leaders at the age of 16 from local amateur side Central AFC.

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