News Live Scores

Kaizer Chiefs’ Khune reveals why he didn’t ‘throw in the towel’

07:21 IST 28/01/2022
Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2021
Once Bafana Bafana's undisputed number one, the shot-stopper has lost his place both in the national team and for Amakhosi

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune says that support from within the club and from his family is what's kept him going during a tough time in his career.

The MTN8 opening game of the campaign, against Mamelodi Sundowns, has been the only match Khune has played for Chiefs all season.

While Daniel Akpeyi has established himself as the first choice, Khune has frequently found himself out of the match-day squad altogether as head coach Stuart Baxter has instead opted for Bruce Bvuma or Brandon Petersen as backup.

Khune does, however, remain popular with the Amakhosi fans, not surprisingly after so many years of brilliant service, and he gave a reminder of his quality with an assured display last weekend in the Compact Cup for Warriors.

The 34-year-old admitted it's not been easy finding himself sidelined this season and appreciates the support he's been given.

“To be quite honest, it’s been difficult to adjust (to not playing) but I’ve got a good support structure around me,” Khune was quoted saying by IOL.

“There are people from the club that still call me and encourage me not to throw in the towel," he continued.

“I’ve got my family, wife and daughters that keep putting smiles on my face at all times. I know that I am not doing it for myself anymore but for the people that still believe in the talent and that I still have a lot to offer in this beautiful game.”

Khune will have another chance to impress for Warriors when they take on Coastal United in the final at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“I needed to go out there, impress and do what I do best," he said of last weekend's performance.

"I am not here to prove a point to anyone that I still got it. I just want to enjoy myself and give the fans that still believe in me, and voted for me, something to smile about as well.”

The squads for the Compact Cup, made up of combined PSL teams, were selected by the fans.

Another good performance for Khune and he might just open a door for a return to the Chiefs side.

While Khune has been getting some game-time, Akpeyi did not feature for Nigeria while being part of the Super Eagles’ squad at Afcon.

Amakhosi return to action when they play TS Galaxy in a Nedbank Cup last 32 fixture on February 12.