‘He who dared does succeed’ — understudy pulls it off

2014-09-22 00:00

THE hype surrounding the absence of Itumeleng Khune from Kaizer Chiefs ahead of Saturday’s MTN8 final spiralled out of control.

Would Brilliant Khuzwayo be able to handle the pressure of playing in a cup final that also happened to be a Soweto derby? The answer was a resounding ‘yes’.

Khuzwayo put in a man-of-the-match performance with a series of fine saves on Saturday night to help his side to a 1-0 win and silverware as Khune continues to recover from an ankle injury. While Chiefs fans were stressing over the prospect of an inexperienced goalkeeper taking on Bucs, Khuzwayo was the coolest man in Durban.

“Coach Baxter told me that ‘he who dares will succeed’,” said Khuzwayo, born in Umlazi. “Everything you do you must do to your fullest potential. I was prepared to fight as an underdog. Replacing Itu [Khune] is not easy, he’s the best in the country and I look up to him.”

Khuzwayo added that Khune had given him some words of encouragement ahead of the final.

“Itu told me to just go out there and enjoy myself,” the 24-year-old said. “He said that it is not a mistake that I was signed by Kaizer Chiefs and that I had been selected to play in the derby. He told me that this was my time to show my class and fight for the jersey.”

Baxter congratulated Khuzwayo, saying that there was every opportunity for him to challenge Khune for the number one jersey.

“Brilliant has done well, but he needs to go back to training tomorrow with his feet on the ground otherwise tonight [Saturday] doesn’t mean a whole lot,” said Baxter. “If he takes his chances and keeps performing over the next few games and we keep winning, then there is no reason why he can’t challenge Itu for a place in the team. That’s up to him and how he trains and plays.”

For the confident Khuzwayo, a regular place in the Chiefs line-sup is the immediate priority, though he has not ruled out a possible future with Bafana Bafana.

“Obviously I would like to join Bafana but that is up to Shakes [Mashaba, coach],” said Khuzwayo. “I just need to focus on improving and maintaining my place in the [Chiefs] team.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.