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Kaizer Chiefs skipper Khune defends Zwane's academy products

9:56 pm AEDT 4/12/22
Arthur Zwane and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.
Kaizer Chiefs' Itumeleng Khune says there is “chemistry and understanding” between coach Arthur Zwane and players who came through the club's academy.
  • Zwane's policy is promoting more academy players
  • But the majority have failed to deliver
  • Khune defends the direction taken by Zwane

WHAT HAPPENED? Zwane has been working with a number of players who were under him during his days as a development coach as well as the time as assistant coach to Gavin Hunt and Stuart Baxter. First-team players like Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Njabulo Blom, Sabelo Radebe, Keletso Sifama and Siyabonga Ngezana were under the tutelage of Zwane during their academy years.

The likes of Aiden McCarthy, Mduduzi Shabalala and Samkelo Zwane are a new group trying to break into the first team. With most of these players struggling to become key players, Khune has defended the recruitment policy.

WHAT KHUNE SAID: “I’m happy that the club is taking a new direction by giving coach Arthur, our very own product, our former player, an opportunity to coach and to lead the team,” Khune told iDiski Times. “The coach has worked with a lot of the development guys and they were promoted into the senior side, so there is that chemistry, there is that understanding.

“When the club made that decision, I was also happy and I supported it because the chairman and the club itself has invested a lot in the academy. It’s always nice to see players coming from the academy and plying their trade in the first team, and winning trophies for the club. So, you can see the project now is going to bear fruit.

“There’s that understanding from the academy into the first team. We brought in a number of new faces but when you look at the age you can see that there is still a bright future for the club, and for the players that came in from other clubs. It’s just a matter of time before you will see us starting to gel as a team and starting to produce positive results.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: There has been criticism that most promoted players have not added the expected value to the club like yesteryear players who were developed at Naturena. In the current squad, goalkeepers Khune and, to a certain extent, Bruce Bvuma are the players who came through Chiefs’ ranks and became national football stars.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR CHIEFS? Chiefs now prepare to face Golden Arrows when they resume their Premier Soccer League campaign on New Year’s Eve.