Kaizer Chiefs' selection policy of their goalkeepers could have played a role in Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos's decision to be consistent with the dropping of senior players in the national team, that included Itumeleng Khune.
Broos made it clear when he was appointed that his main focus would be to rebuild the team with younger players and letting go of the senior players, that included the likes of former captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, Themba Zwane and Bradley Groble, among others.
However, there could have been a case to be made of Khune, whom at 34 years old, for a goalkeeper could still have time to play for the national team and generally, when it comes to shot-stoppers, experience is always key going into major tournaments or qualifiers.
Instead, Broos stuck to his guns, making his intentions clear of giving Ronwen Williams the nod for the number one position after appointing him as the official captain of the team.
Other goalkeepers who were called-up for the FIFA 2022 World Cup, back-to-back qualifiers against Zimbabwe away and Ghana at home are Khune's teammate at Chiefs, Bruce Bvuma and AmaZulu shot-stopper Veli Mothwa.
It can be argued that what could have motivated Broos to be confident in selecting Bvuma over Khune may not be the age factor alone, but by playing time and how the shot-stopper is placed on the pecking at Amakhosi.
Currently, Bvuma seems to have been the successor of Khune for the number spot, with Daniel Akpeyi and Brandon Petersen on the fringes.
Had Chiefs backed Khune all the way after his recovery from injury, instead of putting Bvuma ahead of him, perhaps he could have been considered for the national team, purely for his experience.
Given that all of Williams, Bvuma and Mothwa do not have a lot of international experience, former Mamelodi Sundowns left-back James Mayinga, who is also a TV pundit, says Khune's experience is indispensable.
“Itu cannot be a bad goalkeeper overnight and if you remember he was out for almost the whole season when Chiefs went on to sign (Daniel) Akpeyi, and I think he had a shoulder problem," Mayinga told Soccer Laduma.
"But his experience in international football, trust me, it will be very credible for our goalkeepers. No amount of justification can do the onus in substituting Khune in terms of his international experience,” he said.
Do you think Khune still deserves a place in the national team, given his international experience?
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