Helman Mkhalele says Jody February will learn a lot from experienced Itumeleng Khune


The issue of Khune’s selection has divided opinions across the country, with some believing his inclusion may derail the progress of February, who stood out for the national under-23 side during the 2015 CAF Youth Championships in Senegal.

Mkhalele, who will be assisting David Notoane for the South Africa under-19 team during the Durban International under-19 tournament, says Owen Da Gama needed to select players that would bring equilibrium to the team in Rio de Janeiro.

"I have a different opinion in all of this and, with all due respect to what everybody has said, at the end of the day everyone has his own opinion," Mkhalele tells snl24.com/kickoff.

"However, looking at the competitiveness in Brazil, you need to find balance from the senior players as well as from the upcoming players. 

"Khune’s role: we know his leadership skills. I believe his presence will help the team and will also help the development of February.

"So for me I don’t think that it is something that we really need to pay attention when you hear such comments from other people. 

The 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winner added: "I’m not saying they are making useless comments, but these are comments that we need to take into consideration.

"But, as long as we know where we’re going, these are obstacles that you will always come across.”

The under-23s will open their campaign against hosts Brazil next week Thursday, followed by a clash against Denmark three days later in Corinthians, before finishing their Group A fixtures against Iraq on 11 August in Sao Paulo.