Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi must never feel pressured to compare himself to long-time favourite Itumeleng Khune, says Greg Etafia.
Instead he should embrace that the nature of the game dictates that they just compete and work towards all that will benefit the team that employs them.
This is the opinion of the former Moroka Swallows goalkeeper, who has been watching the developments at Chiefs with interest since the arrival of his fellow countryman two years ago.
"Firstly, there is a reason why the team brought him [Akpeyi] there and it means they saw qualities which will help the team progress," points out Etafia talking to KickOff.com.
"At every club there will always be players that were there when others arrived. Real Madrid had Iker Casillas but they still got other keepers because they offered something different.
"As a keeper you cannot be stressing about comparing yourself with the next keeper. All you do is just compete by way of using your qualities to the best of your abilities. There is no way all goalkeepers can be the same, so that needs to be respected and appreciated.
"So, for Daniel it is important that he focuses on what he can do and at the end of the day it is up to the coach to make the call on who he wants to play. If Daniel is going to start wanting to play like Khune then he will lose his identity and be lost. You cannot be someone else. You can only be yourself so you have to keep it that way,” says Etafia adding that Akpeyi must never feel discouraged when his efforts are not coated in gloss.
See where Akpeyi ranked among the PSL's best goalkeepers from the 2019/20 season
Etafia continues: "I feel Daniel has done a lot for the team that doesn’t get any recognition, but that shouldn’t discourage him in wanting to keep on doing the job that is appreciated by those in charge. If you take into heart everyone’s opinion, then it means you will again be lost thinking about what people say. You cannot be liked by everyone and some people will just dislike you regardless of how well you do.
"In the absence of Khune, Daniel did well which is why he remained in the team even when Khune came back. He has added value so far. This is the first time that Khune has faced real competition from another international goalkeeper as well, which is why he has had to play for so long.
"It is now going towards two seasons that Khune has not been a regular so other keepers deserve credit as well. Daniel has done a lot for Chiefs by way of contributing since he came to the club and has played most of the games which were wins," argues the retired keeper.
Since Akpeyi arrived he has played 49 of the 74 matches Chiefs have been involved in while Khune – who has battled injuries – has played just 14, with Bruce Bvuma playing the remainder.