Khune focuses on Gambia clash — nothing else

2015-06-11 06:01
PHOTO:gallo images 



Bafana keeper Itumeleng Khune is firmly focused on the team’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia in Durban on Saturday, even though his club future has yet to be confirmed.

PHOTO:gallo images Bafana keeper Itumeleng Khune is firmly focused on the team’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia in Durban on Saturday, even though his club future has yet to be confirmed.

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BAFANA Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune insists that his future is furthest from his mind as he prepares to represent South Africa in their opening 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Gambia in Durban this week.

It was announced last week that the 27-year-old will be leaving Kaizer Chiefs at the end of this month after failing to agree on a new contract, meaning he will be a free agent.With speculation over his next move rife in recent days, Khune revealed how he had blanked everything out of his life as he cast his eye towards making the national number one jersey his own once again.

“It’s good to be back in the national team,” the seasoned gloveman said yesterday. “All the goalkeepers that are here are very competitive. We support one another and we push one another for the benefit of the country, so whoever gets to start, the other two will definitely be behind him and supporting him so that he can do well for the team.”

Regarding his future, he added: “I told myself that as soon as I get to the national team, wearing the national colours, then I have to switch off from what’s happening outside and focus fully here on the national team. I think I’ve been doing that very well and I think you can see with my work on the field, that there’s nothing bothering me at all. I’m just fully focused on the national team.

“I’m still young, I still have a long future ahead of me. I’m not worried I will not be able to get a club after I leave the camp. Now my agent is hard at work and my job is to focus here.”

Khune, a veteran of over 60 caps for his country, will compete alongside the likes of Jackson Mabokgwane of Mpumalanga Black Aces and Brilliant Khuzwayo, one of the men that deposed him at Chiefs, for the Bafana Bafana goalkeeping spot. The latter pair were both part of the South Africa squad who did duty at January’s Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, without really managing to stamp their mark on the number one position.

Khune, a fixture in the side over the last five years, was not chosen for the tournament after only returning from injury, with national coach Shakes Mashaba instead opting for players that were playing regularly during the first half of last season.

The Ventersdorp-born player believes he is back to his best, despite a lack of game time in 2014/15.

“I think I played seven games after my injury, but I’m still at the same level [that I was before the injury],” he said. “Even though I wasn’t getting enough game time at the club, I’ve shown that I am still a professional. I think my call was because with my presence here it gives other guys the motivation to do well. so I’m also going to be part of the team and part of the goalkeeping department in the national set-up.”

Meanwhile, the squad continued to train at People’s Park, on the outer fields of the Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday.

The entire team, apart from Eng­land-based Tokelo Rantie, were in attendance. The Bournemouth FC striker got married over the weekend

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