Itumeleng Khune urges Bafana debutants to make the most of their chance to shine


Interim coach Owen Da Gama has called up new young guns like Phakamani Mahlambi, Percy Tau and Luther Singh on the back of impressive seasons for their respective clubs.

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Khune, who is third in the all-time caps list for Bafana after making his debut in 2008, says these young guns have all the support system they need and the stage is theirs.

"We've given them [debutants] warm welcomes and we told them to relax and feel at home, because, like the coach said, there are lot of players who are left behind but for them to be here it shows how good they are," said Khune at press conference today at base camp at Maharani hotel.

"Most of them are in the form of their lives now and that is why they are here and they've to show it on the day of the match. They've been showing it on the training field and now they've to be tested in the matches, so for us we just have to help them settled.

"I've been given the responsibility to lead them and I've got a great supporting team, Dean Furman - the captain of SuperSport United, Hlompho Kekana- the captain of the current African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, we've got 'Tyson' [Thulani Hlatshwayo] - captain of Bidvest Wits, all those [clubs] are in the top four.

"So it shows how much the coach believes in us, in our leadership and we working very hard to make sure we bring all the players together so that we can take Bafana to greater heights."

"The players have been very cooperative and it shows good signs leading into these two matches."

Khune's distribution with the accuracy on ball is one that many goalkeepers admires around Africa to have as part of their weapon in the game

With this Bafana Bafana squad currently have many young, pace and speedily wingers, the Bafana skipper says his well documented weapon of pin-point supply will have to be used on Saturday to caught out Wild Dogs from counter attacking.

"Definitely. That has been our strength in the national team, starting the counter from the back, from the goalkeeper I should say, so we've pacy players, we've skillful players," he added.

"Obviously whenever the teams, because in today's modern football, right back and left back they've to push up to add numbers to the last third and they leave gaps open at the back.

"And that is where we want take advantage on, so for me, as soon as I catch that ball as the goalkeeper we need to make use of that space.

"So it'll be very important that we discuss it. We'll be doing another video analysis just after lunch to see where we can penetrate, to see where we can get those pockets (of spaces) to use our advantage.

"This afternoon at training we'll have to work on that and definitely it'll work to our advantage in the match."

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