Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has opened up about his plan to gradually introduce younger goalkeepers to the national team setup.
And with Itumeleng Khune, the longest serving first choice, now 32 years old and injury prone, perhaps the coach is beginning to look for cover. The Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper sustained a shoulder injury nine months ago and did not make the Bafana squad for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, where the national team reached the quarter-finals.
“Something you need to know is that with the goalkeepers, we are looking at bringing in younger goalkeepers because we are looking at the future,” Ntseki said.
“You look at Darren (Keet) and Ronwen (Williams), they have been around for some time, so they need to have someone who will look up to them going forward. Ricardo (Goss) is of the same age as Cyril Chibwe (who chose to play for Zambia instead) and our plan is for the younger ones to learn from the older ones.”
Khune returned to action on Heritage Day last month, but was injured again a few days later after starting two back-to-back matches for Chiefs.
Williams, still only just 27, played in four of Bafana’s four games at the Afcon, while Keet (30) got the nod in the other. It’s expected that Williams will remain first choice when Bafana take on Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Sunday, a fixture that serves as preparation for South Africa’s opening 2021 Afcon qualifiers away to Ghana and at home to Sudan in Group C next month.