October 17, 2021

Kaizer Chiefs’ Hunt explains why Khune has been battling of late

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The 33-year-old goalkeeper has featured in only 13 matches in all competitions for the Glamour Boys this season and has conceded 18 goals

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt says that former Bafana Bafana number one Itumeleng Khune has been struggling with the mental side of his game.

Khune has battled for form throughout the current campaign and has made a number of high profile blunders, especially in the opening few months of the season, which saw him lose his place in the team to Nigeria international Daniel Akpeyi.

He’s also been down the Bafana Bafana pecking order for some time now. Last month, Khune also suffered a devastating personal tragedy when his younger sister died in a fire.

Hunt concedes it’s been a tough time for Khune, although the coach does see some light at the end of the tunnel for Chiefs’ longest-serving player.

“He’s had a hell of time in his life, you know with what’s happened,” Hunt said after Amakhosi’s 1-0 Caf Champions League Group C win over Wydad Casablanca on Saturday.

“But I can see he is coming back, mentally. I always felt that his problem – I spoke to him about this, I don’t want to hide it – is that he fell out of love with the game. You’ve got to love the game.

“But it happens in a football career sometimes (that a player loses his passion for the game),” Hunt continued.

“What happened to him off the field was tragic, but sometimes in football, you need something to jolt you. He’s coming back. You’ve got to want to go to training every day and love it, if you don’t it’s a problem. I’ve spoken to him about it.”

Khune came off the bench against Wydad after Akpeyi’s 40th minute sending off for a handball outside his box.

The Ventersdorp-born keeper had a solid match, making a couple of brave saves as the Moroccans piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.

Khune has played 321 games for Chiefs and has conceded 244 goals during that time.