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Can Kaizer Chiefs legend Khune change Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos’ mind?

20:57 GMT+3 03/01/2023
Itumeleng Khune
The next fixtures on the horizon for the senior national team are two Afcon qualifiers against Liberia, home and away, in March
  • Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs.

    Great Arrows performance

    Khune looked as if he was back with a bang a couple of months ago, only to be sidelined through injury.

    Following the World Cup break though, he was given the chance ahead of Bruce Bvuma and Brandon Petersen and made perfect use of the oppportunity - making a string of saves in a Man-of-the-Match performance in Amakhosi's 2-0 win last weekend in Durban.

  • Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs.

    A fighter

    To his credit, Khune has refused to give in.

    At one point he barely played for two seasons and injuries, weight gain and lack of form took it’s toll.

    It had been looking as if the former Bafana number one was headed for retirement and perhaps a move to another club, but he’s hung in through the tough times and emerged at the end of the tunnel still ready to fight for his place.

  • Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2021

    Calming influence

    Khune's influence from the back is not just what be brings physically, but also mentally.

    His leadership and calming influence can inspire confidence and composure on those in front of him, when on top of his game.

    “He gives the boys that courage and belief to [not] worry as well, if you remember we’ve been conceding goals that we shouldn’t have and the good thing today was we kept a clean sheet," Chiefs head coach ArthurZwane said after the Arrows win.

  • Itumeleng Khune Warriors

    Broos stance

    Khune is going to have to work very hard to prove to Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos that he is worthy of consideration, largely because of the Belgian’s preference for younger players.

    However, the selection of Mamelodi Sundowns stalwart Themba Zwane should give the 35-year-old Khune at least a flicker of hope.

    More so when one considers than goalkeepers often have longer shelf-lives.

  • Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune August 2022

    Lack of options for Bafana

    Mamelodi Sundowns custodian Ronwen Williams is a brilliant keeper. However, there have been times when a lack of competition has perhaps led to a bit of complacency setting in.

    Unlike in years and decades gone by, there are not a whole lot of goalkeepers fighting for the national jersey; indeed many PSL clubs are employing foreigners in goal.
    Having Khune in the Bafana camp could help keep Williams on his toes, the younger keeper can add to his game by learning from the veteran.

  •  Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs MTN 8

    Cautionary note

    Khune is not one to shun the limelight, but sometimes though a low profile approach can make things easier and help keep the focus.

    Having already had a couple of comebacks cut short, he needs to make sure the latest one counts because he’s not getting any younger.

    So far Khune has only had one good game since his return and more tough tests will come his way. He should keep his head down, keep working on his fitness and put the ball in Broos’ court that way rather than making rather than through the media.