Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has admitted that age is no longer on his side, and has thus vowed to put in the work in order to reclaim his positions at the club and Bafana Bafana.
Khune, 32, has been playing second fiddle to Nigerian international Daniel Akpeyi at Amakhosi, and has not featured in national team colours in over a year.
Khune made his long-awaited return from a four-month injury-layoff when he took charge of the sticks in the Ke Yona competition.
He made just his third appearance this campaign, when he led Chiefs to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over GladAfrica Championship outfit Royal Eagles in the Nedbank Cup last 32 round.
“Age is no longer on my side any more,” the goalkeeper admitted this week according to TimesLIVE.
“Yes, we as goalkeepers age like wine, but I have to make sure I invest in my body. I have to make sure I do extra work and stay fit.
“The more I keep working hard at training the more I will convince the coaches that I deserve to be back in the team.”
‘Mzansi’s number one’ has dismissed any notions that he’s envious of his goalkeeping partner Akpeyi, who has established himself as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper this season.
“I have been working very hard to get back into the team but Daniel hasn’t made it easy for me. He deserves all my support. What we have is a healthy competition,” said Khune.
“We are giving the coach a good headache on whom to choose.”
With 89 Bafana caps, a few behind former skipper Aaron Mokoena who has a record 104, Khune has promised to reclaim his spot as No 1 goalkeeper at Chiefs and Bafana.
“I will bounce back and I will make sure I perform very well on the field to reclaim my position at Chiefs and Bafana.
“I will work hard to reclaim. That’s where [Chiefs and the national team] I have been for years. So, it’s very hard for that transition given that I have been No 1 for such a very long time. So I need to get back to my best in order for me to reclaim.”
“So, I will work hard when nobody sees.”
The Glamour Boys are back in league action on Saturday, February 15, as they welcome bogey team Maritzburg United to the FNB Stadium at 18:00.