Now that he is back in the country and penning a short-team deal with Cape Umoya United, Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Darren Keet has chipped in with some valuable advice for his long-term Bafana teammate Itumeleng Khune.
The duo, along with Ronwen Williams of SuperSport United have been pushing each other for the national team jersey for the last 10 years. However, in the last two seasons, Khune, who had largely been the number one for Bafana, has experienced a dip in form, which has seen Williams make the jersey his own.
In an exclusive interview with the Siya crew, Keet weighed in on Khune’s current situation and what he thinks ‘Mzansi’s Finest’ should do if he is to get back to his best for both club and country.
“I mean, it's hard to say because for someone like him, who's done well, for so long, both at club and national team level it's hard for everyone, it's hard for the Chiefs supporters, for Bafana supporters, for everyone to see him struggle,” Keet told the crew.
“But everyone throughout their career, you always go through a little bit of struggle, then you just need to keep pushing on, find the right way to get yourself back into the best possible position so that you can perform at your level again.
“I think he is at a stage where for the last, what 12-15 years, he's been performing at such a level that now he's at a stage where he needs to figure out the next step of his game, you know, maybe he needs to add something else, maybe you need to do to try and do something differently, that we'll get into the next step. Because, yes, he is 33. I mean, I'm 31, you do feel the effects of ageing, and at 33, you do feel the effects of ageing. So you got to make sure that whatever you do, you're doing it in a way that can benefit you.
“So you know, maybe, for instance, for my purpose now. I'm 31, I'm trying to read the game more, trying to see things before they happen. Because at the end of the day, I need to find an edge the other players in so you've got to figure things out as a goalkeeper, you can never just go out there and play. I mean, it's part of being a goalkeeper where you need to just read the game and be involved more and figure it out for yourself. So I think he's in that stage also where, where he's finding things, difficulty finding something different and he'll figure it out. He's not there for no reason. Being the keeper in the national team for 15 years for nothing. So I'm sure you'll get back the best and I'm sure he'll figure it out. And at the end of the day, it takes time maybe he needs a nice off season. Maybe he needs a nice full pre-season again.”
In his recent interview with Soccer Laduma edition 1217, Keet also discusses:
- His short term deal with Cape Umoya
- Reuniting with Gavin Hunt
- Why he returned to SA