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Swansea GK Coach: Khune Not Too Short For Europe

Swansea City’s Head of Academy Goalkeeping, Andrew Sparkes, believes Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper Itumeleng Khune could succeed in Europe if he plays to his strengths.

Read: Furman: Khune A Huge Player For Bafana

Sparks, as well as Swansea’s Head of Coaching, David Adams, sat down with Soccer Laduma to talk about various aspects of the beautiful game.

The coaches from the Premier League side are in South Africa to host several coaching clinics before taking a Swansea City youth side to the Metropolitan tournament over Easter.

Among the various topics discussed was Khune’s chance of succeeding in Europe, where he touched on the issue of height - which has previously been discussed in the media as one of the stumbling blocks that Khune has had to deal with in regard to moving to Europe.

“When you look at traditional goalkeepers, you think of a 6 foot 2 (1.88m), 6 foot 3 (1.90), 6 foot 4 (1.93m) goalkeeper. But the way the game has developed, goalkeepers need to have a variety of technical, mental, tactical and physical skills - not only heights to play in the top leagues,” Sparks explained.

"For instance Iker Casillas (1.82m, Real Madrid) or Shay Given (1.85m, Aston Villa) are smaller goalkeepers but bring different attributes to the table.

“So it doesn’t necessarily mean that a goalkeeper who is tall is better than a keeper who is small, it just means that if you are a smaller keeper you have to be technically, tactically, mentally and physically on a higher level than the taller goalkeepers.

“A small keeper might not be as good when it comes to going out for crosses, but therefor he stays back on his line and might have better reaction skills to deal with the header, whilst the taller keeper fetches the initial cross.

“It depends a lot on the philosophy of the club and the manager's as well. Does he want a keeper who is stronger in the air, or smaller one who might be quicker and more agile?

“We at Swansea look for a keeper who can be the extra-man when we build up our game from the back, but that might be different for other clubs.”

This news will be pleasing for Khune and his agent, after the former Bafana Bafana captain recently revealed he would like to test himself against the best in the game.

Read: Chiefs Or Overseas For Khune?

Khune, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, has a new contract offer from Amakhosi but he is yet to tie his future to the club. 

Do you think Itumeleng Khune should move to Europe or stay with Kaizer Chiefs? Have your say in the comments section below.

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