Baloyi highlights SA goalkeeping crisis

With Bafana Bafana having struggled to showcase striking talent for several years, Baloyi believes the problem is self-manufactured.

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The former Amakhosi goalkeeper coach has warned that a lack of position-specific development at both ends of the pitch is threatening the progress of the nation’s football.

“In the last more than 10 years, we’ve had big problems with strikers in this country, to a point where we’ve known that top goal scorers or best strikers in the league will always come as foreign players,” said Baloyi.

“That’s a problem we created for ourselves, and yet we expect good strikers to be playing for the national team. In the past generation we were lucky to have had strikers like Benni McCarthy, Siyabonga Nomvethe, Shaun Bartlett, who all went on to play in Europe.

“They created a vacuum when they left and, as a country, we haven’t groomed strikers. We’ve known that we have this problem, but tell me if there’s an academy that focuses on strikers in the country? No. Do any clubs at development focus on grooming strikers? No.”

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With Bafana over-reliant on Itumeleng Khune, ‘Spiderman’ feels goalkeeping in South Africa is treading a similar path, with nearly 40 percent of Absa Premiership teams having depended on foreign keepers this past season.

“It’s the same problem we are now having with goalkeepers. If you look in the league, maybe half of the teams’ [first-choice] goalkeepers are foreign goalkeepers,” he added.

“When you look at Sundowns now as they are going on to conquer Africa, they have three goalkeepers – all of whom are foreign. 

“There was also a time when we had some of our young goalkeepers going to play in Europe, and I was then surprised a few years ago when Reyaad Pieterse decided to return to South Africa. So, these are some of the challenges we’re facing as a country.”

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Following his departure from Chiefs, the 44-year-old ex-gloveman is now exploring how to raise the level of local goalkeeping.

“Again, how many goalkeeping academies are out there, not only in South Africa but on the continent? So, these are the things one has been looking at and thinking about.

“And if you talk to a lot of keepers and clubs – take Oscarine Masuluke for example, the only time he started having goalkeeper coaching was when he became professional.

“When Chiefs signed [Brilliant] Khuzwayo six years ago [from AmaZulu], the first time he had goalkeeper coaching was when he got to Chiefs.

“At First Division, with a lot of the clubs, goalkeeping is not a position we’re taking serious, not only at grassroots but to a large extent even in semi and professional level.

“When you go down to ABC Motsepe League, SAB League, amateur level, how many goalkeeper coaches are out there? So, it’s a position we look at as a ‘by-the-way’, yet we expect when they get to pro level to perform,” concluded Baloyi.

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