South Africa please join me and the entire Soccer-Laduma family in congratulating Itumeleng Khune for yet another remarkable achievement in his amazing career, the 2013 South African Sports Star of the Year Award he won this past weekend.
The man from Ventersdorp continues to improve with each and every game and it is not surprising that he is reaping the rewards of his hard work.
Despite all his achievements, Khune remains level-headed, a good sign of better things still to come his way in his football career.
The category in which he was nominated, boasted a 'high-profile' list of some of the biggest names in South African sport across different sporting codes.
For example, cricketer Hashim Amla or swimming sensation Chad Le Clos could have walked away with the big prize on any day, but because Khune has been fantastic for both Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana, he accumulated the most number of public votes and became the deserving winner on Sunday night.
Remember what happened at Gold Reef City at the end of the 2012/13 season?
Khune is the same guy that swept clean at the PSL’s awards during the end of last season, taking home the ABSA Premiership Footballer of the Season, ABSA Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season, ABSA Premiership Players’ Player of the Season and the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament.
It is unusual for a goalkeeper to get such accolades and that is why Khune deserves a pat on the back for his achievements.
It was at the end of the 2001/02 season when we last saw a goalkeeper crowned the PSL’s Footballer of the Year, this after Andre Arendse helped Santos claim their first ever Absa Premiership title under Gordon Igesund.
Khune has restored hope for other goalkeepers that the league’s prestigious individual awards aren’t only for outfield players, but for any deserving footballer who stands head and shoulders above the rest in helping his team to achieve.
The fact that it can’t be ignored is that it was in Khune’s first full season as captain of the Amakhosi since replacing Jimmy Tau in October 2011, that the club successfully ‘reclaimed the glory’ after winning the Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup double at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Khune is an inspiration to young goalkeepers like Ronwen Williams and Siyabonga Mpontshane which is a plus for the country.
I have no doubt in my mind that 'Itu' is the goalkeeper capable of emulating Arendse by moving abroad, like the Bafana legend did during his career as a professional footballer.
I can also bet my last cent and say Khune will be the first goalkeeper to break Arendse’s record of 67 caps for Bafana.
Well done Itu, you are a true professional and an inspiration to the up-and-coming young players.
In conclusion, I will ask one favour from you captain, please lead Bafana Bafana to a win against world champions, Spain, tonight.
It’s all in the name of the beautiful game.
Follow Masebe on Twitter: @MasebeQina