The Amakhosi goalkeeper was frustrated on the sidelines last season but is back under the new coach
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has hailed his captain Itumeleng Khune for putting in the extra effort in training as he works towards getting back to his best.
Hunt’s tenure has started with Khune in goal. The gloveman begins this term on the backdrop of a difficult spell where despite his return to fitness, he had lost his starting spot to Nigerian star Daniel Akpeyi.
Now, Hunt has given assurances he will bring the best out of the South African.
“We have a huge difference in age and experience in the team. There are players who have been around for a long time like Bernard [Parker], [Willard] Katsande, Eric [Mathoho], the same as Itu [Khune],” Hunt told Mawara Sport Worldwide on Metro FM.
“I said to him, I will show that he is a fantastic goalkeeper. I think last season he had a lot of injuries. When I came here I looked at him and he seemed fine. I said to him the most important thing is that he still has the hunger to play, to succeed.
“The thing about football players, when they succeed so much and have won a lot, they lose the hunger and desire to do it. So he said to me that he wants to do it and prove people wrong again and I said, ‘It could be your rebirth, so why not?’”
Hunt has urged Khune to first focus on his Chiefs role before the South Africa national team, where SuperSport United’s Ronwen Williams currently has the number one jersey.
“I said the first thing you have to do is get your form back for the club and then the national team. If he is fit and he wants it, that would be a great opportunity,” said Hunt.
“The platform is there, he is training well. Yes, he hasn’t played for a long time but that can be worked on at the training ground. He is doing some extra work, I have seen it. So let’s go and work because that’s what we can do at this point in time.”
Khune is expected to start in goal when Chiefs face Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premier Soccer League opener at FNB Stadium on Saturday.