August 2, 2021

Hunt on why Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Khune is still ‘very important’

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The Amakhosi goal-minder has played in only five of his side’s 15 league matches this term, conceding 10 goals and failing to keep a clean sheet

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune’s spell on the sidelines has increasingly been coming into the spotlight in recent weeks.

For the greater part of the last decade Khune has been the number one for both South Africa and for Kaizer Chiefs.

But injuries over the past two years, and a series of blunders in goal earlier this season, have cost Khune his place in the Amakhosi starting XI.

Not only has he been replaced by Daniel Akpeyi, but he has lost his place in recent matchday squads altogether as Bruce Bvuma has been on the bench.

Asked about Khune’s situation ahead of Amakhosi’s Nedbank Cup last 32 clash with Richards Bay at the FNB Stadium on Sunday evening, coach Gavin Hunt maintained that the former World Cup keeper is still important to the team, although probably not in the way the player would like.

“He’s very important‚ knowing that we’ve got someone of that calibre pushing to get into the team. So he’s very important‚” Hunt told the media.

“He’s like any other player‚ he’s got to work hard. There’s no entitlement to a position at a club anywhere.

“So he’s working hard. He’s doing well. And when his chance comes again, hopefully, he grabs it. That’s the only thing I can say on the situation.”

The 33-year-old Khune has 91 caps for Bafana Bafana but has not played for the national team since an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria back in November of 2018.

For the Glamour Boys, he has kept goal on 316 occasions since making his debut in August 2007 against Jomo Cosmos. He has conceded 237 goals in total while managing 147 clean sheets for Amakhosi.